Go Ahead And Judge A Book By It’s Cover (Or At Least It’s Title)

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The Book: Weeping Underwater Looks A Lot Like Laughter

Why I Read It: I have absolutely no problem judging a book by it’s cover. If anything, I intentionally seek out the most visually appealing paperback incasing, but this time the title took the cake. The premise seemed promising too: the new boy in town falling in love with an unattainable dramaturg heroine. The first portion of the book sucked me in in a “walking down flights of stairs whilst masterfully continuing the chapter” kind of a way, especially because the younger sister role is precocious and idiosyncratic while facing down a brutal diagnosis. The author Michael J. White knits characters that feel familiar to me, resurfacing those illformed feelings of prepubescent love and lust, without decreasing the literary quality below the bar of an adult novella.

Favorite underwater pic

Favorite underwater video (and also one of my favorite videos in general)

Why You Should Read It: So apparently I doomed myself by reading “The Fault In Our Stars” some months ago, because literally nothing has added up since. I’ve even read other books by that author John Green, which felt lackluster in comparison to that most recent work (dude, write a new book already). This book is beautifully written, don’t get me wrong. It epitomizes the cliched secrecy of young adulthood that somehow feels completely au courant at the time. “For the last kiss, Emily held my face and licked a slow line up my neck,” the author entails, adding, “She waved before covering her mouth and smelling her breath and slipping inside. Hiking the rest of the way home took almost two hours but she was with me and still there on my lips when I fell into bed, believing she was mine.”

It’s a fabulous amalgam of run-on sentences and overly-impassioned adjective usage for the first half, but hits a stark reality with sudden loss in the latter portion which leaves the characters, author, verbiage and emotions struggling for air (pun mildly intended) near the end. If the book could have ended halfway through, it would have kept me deeply invested, satiated and happy. Then again, the question is up to you: should books tie everything up in a digestible bow, or leave you truly following the realistic arch of life and loss? If you’re man enough to handle it, give it a go. If anything, it’s worth it for that title.

Dorky Sound Off: What’s the best book you’ve read lately?

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