Amanda (from the awesome Adventures from the Bookshelf) and I decided a while ago that we would choose a book that we both liked the look of, read it and write a review about it! I was so excited to do this because we picked Lolito by Ben Brooks, which we'd both heard of and wanted to read- me, personally, because it looked very different to anything I'd read before. HERE is Amanda's review!
Lolito follows the life of Etgar, a 15 year old and his world. A world that changes a little when he meets a middle-aged woman on the internet.
Disturbingly wonderful, Lolito is a book I was entranced by. It has lingered on my mind since and did nothing but when I was reading it. It's a slightly haunting book, whilst it's also funny, honest and charming. As Etgar's thoughts throughout the novel are so full of truth, I did nothing but adore Etgar. Even though his thoughts can be somewhat dark a lot of the time, there is such a rawness in his mind, it made me think a lot about being a teenager.
I read a lot of praise about Ben Brooks before I even bought Lolito, and his praise is the furthest from undeserved that it could get. His writing is mesmerising. When I think about Lolito, the word "unforgiving" comes to mind, and I can't quite pinpoint why. Brooks doesn't hold back; Lolito is funny, because it's both simply humorous and because it's outrageous. But it is heart-breaking. It's subversive because it touches on a subversive subject.
In Lolito Brooks, through comedy and darkness, Brooks tackles the teenage mind. Seeing the naturally sensitive subject of a fifteen-year-old-and-middle-aged-person through the mind of a boy whose thoughts are both very disjointed and very in unison was heart-breaking and eye-opening for me. It made me sympathise for him and feel an unease that made me gripped to Etgar's story.
I really adored Etgar's courage and the portrayal of his teenage experience. It was definitely recognisable and made charming through his eyes. He is a character that, through the narrative, is honest about his life, and how he views himself, and as sad as it was to read sometimes, I think Etgar is a hero.
This novel affected me. It made me think a lot. I read THIS review, in the hope to answer why I felt so... weird and affected by it. It did answer it, I believe. In the review it says Lolito is "less subversive than it had the potential to be", and this is so true I wish I thought this thought! I don't want to ruin anything because I adore this novel, but it left me questioning a lot (not the obvious things considering the subject), especially because the message is not clear cut.
Lolito is a classic of right now, I believe. Very different to anything I've read before, Lolito is a darkly wonderful read.
I really enjoyed reading this and sharing my thoughts with Amanda and her share hers (HERE). I'd really love to do something like this again so if you're interested tweet me (HERE) or leave a comment below!
Companions & Thoughts,
The Girl in the Moonlight.