A review by kt2e56
My Year of Rest and Relaxation, by Ottessa Moshfegh

dark fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes


Ugh. First of all, it’s not hard to “get” what’s happening with this book. Just like American Psycho, which this book reminded me of quite a bit, My Year of Rest & Relaxation is unbelievably shallow. So me not liking it doesn’t mean it went over my head. I just didn’t like the book.

I know the author has been on a crusade about how it’s sexist to not like a book with unlikable female characters but it’s not that I don’t like books about unlikable women, I like well-written books about unlikable women. The nameless main character is boring. She just is. She’s racist and nasty and cruel but above all, just so fucking boring. And the author is boring. We get it: somehow despite not showering for weeks, having crusted up eyes, toothpaste all over her face, and god knows what else…everyone is bending over backwards to let the main character know that she’s still just so beautiful and perfect and nobody could ever be thinner or prettier. My god. Find something less cliche.

What was I’m assuming supposed to be some big shocking reveal at the end about Reva dying in 9/11, I literally predicted when I was 22% of the way into the book. So not really that shocking. Just another cliched attempt at controversy.

I did give this one whole extra star for the spot on critiques about the art world. I thought that was genuinely funny and satirical. Ditto for the author’s description of Long Island (I live one town over from Farmingdale in Massapequa. Lol.) which I found pretty funny. Otherwise? Meh. I don’t take Infermiterol but I’m sure I’ll forget this book in three days.

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