The first half of the book provides a hard look at the reality of climate change and how it's affecting everyone and everything right now. It speaks to the many, many warnings that have been ignored and shares the lived experiences of those on the front lines.
The second half of the book was hard work for me, a couple of the essays were a little dry and preachy, but the final essays offered hope, motivation and action steps, something I appreciate. It's all too easy to simply state that the world is on fire and leave everyone to panic and figure it out themselves; presenting solutions in an accessible way helped to counter my climate anxiety and enable me to do something productive.
On a personal note, the book helped me see my own place in the fight for climate justice and the changes I can make to make me a better activist. Specifically that hope is not my strong suit, meaning discussions with others quickly turn into me becoming upset and filled with fear and reacting accordingly. I realise it's important for me to surround myself with hopeful people and information most of the time in order to engage in discussions in a productive way - I can't share a message of hope and achievable change if I am hopeless and afraid.
The underlying message is so beautiful and made me cry at various points through the book. It threads hope into the most painful, hopeless situations and highlights the beauty of humanity without ignoring the awful parts of it.
I've been working on self care and self love for a few years now and this was a perfect next step for me. Reminding me of some things I had forgotten (like that it's OK for functioning to be the only aim sometimes) and teaching me new methods to make functioning easier on the really hard days.
Also, I cleaned my bathroom after reading the chapter on bathrooms!
Graphic: Sexual assault and Physical abuse
- Strong character development? It's complicated
- Loveable characters? Yes
- Diverse cast of characters? No
- Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes
Spoilerand seeing her build her own life and get to live her dream
SpoilerI also love that when she moved to Chicago, she didn't give up art school.
The "meant to be" plot might be a bit much for some but I thought it was really well done and not overplayed.
SpoilerI actually thought it was nice to see Carmine, the man, self-destruct without her, while she tried to build a life of her own after her initial mourning period. So often we see women portrayed as unable to live without their love but she made a real go of it and I believe that, had Vincent not died, she would have moved on eventually.
I just loved being back with the characters again; I find them really well written and lovable. Darhower kept me guessing right up until the end about what was going to happen with Carmine and Haven's future and I cried when I finally found out.
Once again I had the problem of having to ask American friends what the different guns were; at one point in particular it seemed important to be familiar with the type of gun to understand what was going on.
Honestly I loved both these books so much and the message from the author at the end about being proud of your passions was just an extra touch of awesome.
Graphic: Addiction, Alcoholism, Cursing, Death, and Violence
Moderate: Gun violence, Grief, Drug abuse, and Drug use
Minor: Animal cruelty
- Strong character development? Yes
- Loveable characters? No
- Diverse cast of characters? Yes
- Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes
Evelyn is an icon. She is strong, complex, smart, ruthless, loving. She is a character I admire and respect, and I could certainly learn a lot from her!
I appreciated that the book lives in the shades of grey, there is no good or bad person, no good or bad deed. Evelyn has always known that and she has made peace with it, putting her in a powerful position to live her life with no regrets.
I'm not sure I have the words to really talk about the book itself because it is so many things so beautifully done. Friendship, love, ambition, desire, heartbreak and so much more.
Through Evelyn we are forced to consider our own beliefs about life and people, and to see that nothing is ever black and white.
Even if you, like me, are not remotely interested in celebrity drama, it has so much to say about so many important topics that I would still recommend it without hesitation.