Reviews

The Centre by Ayesha Manazir Siddiqi

jbenson's review against another edition

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

3.75

gnomes95's review against another edition

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dark mysterious tense slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes

3.0

haylee_reads's review

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dark mysterious tense medium-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

2.0

The Centre definitely disappointed me. It was marketed as a “comic, speculative debut” and it fit the speculative mark but I didn’t find this funny at all??? The social commentary part was all over the place, it touched on many different subjects but only at a surface level. I also just didn’t like the characters, I thought they were all selfish and annoying. I probably should have DNF’d but I was really intrigued by the overall idea and wanted to see it through. The audiobook was well narrated.

shivanishrestha's review against another edition

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

4.0

jamiee_f's review against another edition

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I loved the premise, I liked our main character, and I was so excited to understand the mystery of The Centre! Anisa was sassy and online and very millenial which I appreciated. She's even kind of an unlikeable main character, which I usually enjoy. There was good commentary on success, friendships, relationships, finding yourself, being an immigrant/child of immigrants, cultural appropriation, who has a right to write which stories, class consciousness, and I liked most of that but it was a LOT to tackle all at once. Then it just.....absolutely dragged in the last half/third.

I couldn't motivate myself to finish
after it seemed like we were slowly driving towards magic cannibalism without a real explanation, and it seemed like all our characters were on board with it. I guessed it would be some sort of cannibalism pretty early on, but by the end it felt like the metaphor of cannibalizing people's souls for cannibalizing culture got SO heavy handed but also didn't go far enough.

I looked up the ending after I met the men who created the center by paying slaves to participate and submit their bodies/souls to the process, because the book was moving too slowly, and it was no longer fun how unlikable all these characters were. I was more interested in understanding the how and why of the process, that's what I was hoping for, but it didn't feel fleshed out enough (no pun intended). I also didn't like the reveal at the end that our main character decided to dedicate her own soul to the Centre. Like...why? It was unsatisfying to me.


I wanted to like it, I wish the ending third did it for me, because the premise was so call and the first two thirds I enjoyed! I would try another work from this author.

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jojodoug55's review against another edition

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4.0

Disturbing, but purposeful. Its themes of colonialism and feminism are naturally weaved, without feeling forced or preachy. The writing is engaging and well done. Threading well executed. I enjoyed the references to Pakistani culture—they also felt natural. The ending was expertly crafted; I quite like it: it certainly shows the cyclical nature of the thematic material. There should be an lgbt tag on this book—not sure why it doesn't have one. Regarding the horror tag, it seems borderline unnecessary to me. The novel definitely has Severance vibes.

noeltappin's review against another edition

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

3.25

I don’t think this was for me, but it was very digestible (haha)

stefprestonkryder's review

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dark mysterious tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5

maddieprav's review against another edition

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

4.0

whiterubys's review against another edition

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2.0

i wanted to like this one, i rly did. the coolest concept ever with an AMAZING twist… unfortunately wasted on this mind-numbing prose from the pov of a nepo baby.

example, a paraphrased section from the book: a retreat into luxury is all the more alluring when youre forced to look at poor and dying people every single day. what. the. fuck. again, coming from a nepo baby.

anyways… i was super stoked for this one and it… did not deliver.