Reviews tagging Suicide

Freshwater, by Akwaeke Emezi

32 reviews

charbck's review

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challenging dark slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

2.25

i have problems with this book. the we narration was the most boring which sucked because it was most of the book. imo, and this may be personal, but i think if i was the editor i would restructure the book so it was told from adas pov mostly, bc her chapters were outstandingly better than the others, and then sprinkle in chapters from asughara and we and maybe vincent too. also, for a book meant to be more about ada’s struggles with herself, there was way too much attention on her dealing with the shitty guys she was dating instead of her laundry list of traumatic experiences. each traumatic experience is just, mentioned? and then never mentioned again? or in passing briefly??? i really think this book would benefit from at least another 100 pages and some serious reworking. obviously this author can write well and this concept is really great but it could be so much better

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didireadthat's review

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emotional reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.75


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merin_aran's review against another edition

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challenging dark emotional reflective slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

I came to this book after reading The Death of Vivek Oji, and Emezi did not disappoint. 
Emezi's writing, as always, is stunning and so poetic. The plot and characters were complex, interesting, and deeply thought-provoking. I loved seeing mental health through the lens of African spirituality rather than the traditional western trope and enjoyed the queer representation. 
Having not much understanding of Igbo spirituality and beliefs, I did have to stop after 40 or so pages to research ogbanje and figure out what was going on. This was totally on me though, and I don't think the author had any obligation to make the book more accessible to a western audience by explaining a more about ogbanje. 
I highly recommend this book and can't wait to read the rest of Emezi's work. 

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rileyxchaos's review against another edition

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challenging dark fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0


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pang's review against another edition

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dark emotional reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0


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femboy_reads's review

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challenging dark emotional mysterious reflective tense slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0


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jet's review

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challenging dark slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5


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laurenleigh's review

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challenging dark emotional sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

5.0

I was already amazed by Akwaeke Emezi after reading The Death of Vivek Oji, but I am now in complete awe after reading Freshwater. Emezi is a transcendent author. This semi-autobiographical novel was definitely dark and hard hitting (message me or check out my review on the StoryGraph for content warnings), but there is also so much life and light to be found here. This book gave me valuable insight into neurodivergence and gender exploration, while also teaching me about Igbo ontology. While western medicine would almost certainly diagnose this main character Ada with some kind of psychosis or bipolar disorder, there is an Igbo concept of “ogbanje,” a kind of malevolent spirit that lives inside certain children. Emezi envisions these spirits (who live inside Ada well past puberty) as inner Gods that have passed over from the other side, living inside their human form. Having these multiple selves certainly had a splintering effect on Ada, causing a lot of pain and struggle. But as they grow up, Ada also finds strength in these versions of themselves, learning and relearning their identity in all its multiplicity. As Ada begins to discover more about their Nigerian and Igbo ancestry, they can begin to see their inner demons in another light. I am SO glad the Queer Lit readathon picked this for the group read!

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erinsbookshelves's review against another edition

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challenging dark emotional medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0


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candycain's review

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challenging dark emotional mysterious sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0


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