Reviews

The Book of Form and Emptiness by Ruth Ozeki

rays_bookclub's review against another edition

Go to review page

inspiring reflective slow-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


Expand filter menu Content Warnings

fictionalsarah's review against another edition

Go to review page

emotional

5.0

pilvinentaivas's review

Go to review page

adventurous challenging dark emotional hopeful inspiring mysterious reflective sad tense 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

stitchingirl908's review against another edition

Go to review page

4.0

I liked this book a lot.

alexowens's review against another edition

Go to review page

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

4.0

ashieee's review against another edition

Go to review page

It’s very rare for me to not finish a book. I think if this was half its length I might have persevered, but aside from the fact that I didn’t care about any of the characters and the fact that I wasn’t a fan of the writing style, the daunting number of pages made it that much harder to get through. There’s nothing wrong with the book, it’s just not for me.

shalise's review against another edition

Go to review page

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

hallebee2's review against another edition

Go to review page

challenging dark emotional funny hopeful 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

4.25

kimanguish's review against another edition

Go to review page

adventurous emotional hopeful reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5

really happy about the librarian representation in this, except for when it said cory knows how to shush because she’s a librarian 😠 we don’t shush anymore!!

i will miss benny and the book. what a lovely story to get lost in ❤️ 

bigbookslilreads's review

Go to review page

4.0

I had no idea what this book was about and didn't know it had won an award. So it ended up being a pleasant surprise, and the more I read the more I wanted to know what would happen to these characters that I started caring about so much. Benny and Annabelle felt extremely real, and it was scarier because of it - thinking how easy it is to lose oneself in grief, in everyday life, in external pressure and in personal heartbreak and trauma. While I haven't experienced some of the mental health issues that the characters have, I know people who have been through some aspects of it, and it felt VERY realistic in its portrayal. I would like to say that there was some exaggeration in the depiction of the therapist, but unfortunately I think there are psychiatrists that are that annoying, harmful and unhelpful, and unaware of it.

The book was very well written, though with an unusual structure that may not be to everyone's tastes. This is not just a book, but maybe three books within one. It goes from first person to second person, to third person... and while in the beginning, this put me off a bit, the more I read, the more I liked it. I'm not sure if all the sections were needed (
Spoiler like the one about Aikon
), but they all had their charm and useful messages, I thought.
What made me lower the rating by one star is how this structure sometimes made the book a bit disjointed, and didn't always feel necessary but more like a forceful insert of the author and their messages. There are also things left unexplained or dismissed, some unhealthy thinking that is not reframed but reinforced, and one particular trope used that I am not the biggest fan of (
Spoiler the manic pixie dream girl
).
But otherwise, I loved this book, and I see myself recommending it again and again.