Reviews tagging Toxic friendship

Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro

21 reviews

sophk8's review

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dark emotional mysterious reflective sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? N/A
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

4.25


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bootsmom3's review against another edition

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

3.0


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dancefever's review against another edition

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

4.25

oh.....my goodness this was a lot. intense, brooding, sad, mysterious... took me a while to get into the sort of conversational style its written in, but once i was in i was IN. the book somehow reminded me a bit of jane eyre? maybe the POV, the "stages" it is in, the reflection on a past life in a boarding school and the constant sense of foreboding and mystery all the way through. maybe its a personal thing but i found the whole mystery of the novel quite frustrating at times. i know that was really the point of the book, but it just felt like cathy was going to reveal a bit more every so often, and then she'd just change the subject, which left me feeling a bit short changed by all the parts that went unanswered.  like......
Spoiler if the other teenagers at the cottages weren't from hailsham, where did they come from? if they were from similar schools, why were they so mystified by the hailsham students? were the carers allowed to be part of society before being called up to being donors, or not? what is the whole system around leaving the cottages, who is the "they" who enforces the rules around carers and donors, why are we never introduced to them? i know we get reintroduced to miss emily and madame at the end, but surely there were other forces at play?
all in all a really gorgeous book: not the kind of thing i'd usually read, but would be up for reading another by ishiguro some point soon. 4.25 stars

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elefantino's review

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

4.0


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have_a_doris_day's review against another edition

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

3.75


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itsheyfay's review against another edition

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

3.5


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wellfedpages's review against another edition

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challenging dark mysterious reflective sad tense slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes
Never Let Me Go or Let Tommy Go And Live Your Life Girl

How do you know you are real?

What makes someone human?

What is humanity?
Consciousness?
Soul?

If you can raise animals to slaughter, why not humans?
If not to slaughter, to use in other ways

Where is the line?

Dystopias just take reality one step further
A step we are heading towards
Perhaps a step we have already half taken

Like here

But what has that got to do with Tommy?

Well other than exploring the above dilemmas, it also shows how an unreliable narrator leads to a tinted truth

SPOILERS

We only see things through Kathy's eyes

Tommy is the good guy, even though he seeks constant validation
Ruth is the villain, because she does not care about his ego

But is that the truth?

Ruth does many careless & hurtful things
But Kathy is mean to Ruth too
So is Tommy and he hurts Ruth in his own way

But we never hear from Ruth
Or Tommy for that matter

Kathy is clearly in love with Tommy and feels Ruth came between them
Ruth admits this eventually, tries to undo the harm
But Tommy says nothing
Nobody forces someone to be with another person
Even if Ruth did come between them, why did Tommy choose to be with her? Twice
Because she is more attractive?
Or because he felt something for her?
Why does Tommy only choose Kathy after Ruth is almost dying?
And even then why are certain things amiss in their relationship?
Are they simply beaten down by life?
Or is he not attracted to her in the same way?
Does he still feel something for Ruth?
Is it guilt?
Does he choose Kathy because there is no future with Ruth?
Is Kathy his ticket to a few more years?
Does he like Kathy more because she validates him? 
Or does he just like the validation and not Kathy at all?
Does he hate Ruth because she does not validate him? 
Or does he hate himself because he doesn't know what he wants?
Is he just a selfish piece of shit, or is it more complicated than that?
Isn't he really the person who came between Kathy and Ruth?
Is Ruth a better person because she ultimately chooses her friend?
Or is it too little too late?

The mess that they make of their lives is what makes them human

Kazuo Ishiguro simply raises the questions

The answers are all ours
We are left wondering about these flawed characters.

The book beautifully captures how humanity is a murky construct, 
how we are all just tiny driftwoods clinging to each other in the endless stream of time, 
and how female friendships are incredibly fragile, especially when a man comes between them.

Sadly, the women here do not put their friendship first and dump him, that is a feminist approach I'm still waiting to see in stories like this

But perhaps women in real life rarely do that, and Ishiguro simply shows us the mirror

Even if the shell of their friendship remains, it's hollowed out by time
Perhaps that is closer to truth

Maybe there are a few Ruth's in the end
But that is the problem, it's almost always in the end

Started this for Dystopian December but completed this in Jan

Did I like it?
Of course
Confused people and complicated relationships are great, on paper

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lindseyhall44's review against another edition

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mysterious slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes

3.75

This book is unlike anything I have read before, and I definitely want to read more of Ishiguro’s work in the future.
Never Let Me Go follows Kath as past relationships are rekindled, leading her to remember the significant events of Halisham, her old school. Through these memories Kath begins to learn more about the dark truths hidden throughout adolescence, but also truths about herself.
For me, the writing style and formatting are what made the book so unique. Told in 2nd person and non-linearly, readers are only given surface level information until the resolution. Ultimately, this helps cultivate a mysterious mood and makes the payoff more worthwhile.
Still, some elements of the confusion made it difficult for me to follow, which is why I rated it 3.75. The ending was phenomenal and quite a tearjerker, but in a few cases I wasn’t as invested as I would have liked to be.
No shame on the author however, as writing a book is incredible on its own, especially one creative as Never Let Me Go
If you like gradual sad books with character driven elements, this is for you:)

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ghostly_monstera's review against another edition

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challenging dark emotional informative mysterious reflective slow-paced

3.25

This is a book I'm glad I have read but did not enjoy the process of reading it. 

I have a lot of thoughts about this book that it almost makes it impossible to put them into any kind of order. 

I suppose this whole thing will be spoilers because it is hard to talk about this book without it. 

The fact that every student at Hailsham is a clone feels like a weird thing to leave out until a random page in part two. I really thought there would be a big lead up to the breaking of that news, but it came rather casually in the middle. I found it rather annoying because it made all the confusion up to that point kind of unnecessary. 

And honestly, the writing was slow and a little dull. I can't deny that Ishiguro brings an ethical conversation to the table in a way that is true to how things are discussed (or avoided) in our own world. I still was rather annoyed that there was no true resolution or answers, but again, that is probably the point he was trying to make. Big ethical issues, despite the overwhelming circumstances, don't ever have true resolutions especially when things are already in motion (like the donation program in this case). 

An aside: I had to read this for a class. We spent four weeks discussing this book, picking it to the bone concerning ethics but not really caring about the story aspect of it.

It is not a bad book. It brings to attention some questions we should be asking ourselves while also allowing us a look into complacency in culture when our own individual needs are met. It is an interesting study for those reasons, but as a novel, I don't know that I would have picked it up if my grade wasn't dependent on it.

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ekcd_'s review against another edition

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dark emotional mysterious reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

4.5


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