Intoxication, descriptions of depression and depressive episodes, anxiety, brief mentions of self harm, racism, toxic parental relationships, some scenes containing sex
Thank you to Adri for this comprehensive list of content warnings.
Black, Japanese, Queer, Blackfoot, Indian, Anxiety, Depression
Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you to Morgan Rogers, Netgalley, and Park Row Books for this free copy. All quotes in this review are taken from the Advanced Reader Copy and may change in final publication.
I’m so glad that I finally got to listen to this novel. I do think I’ll need to reread it more closely because I feel like I may have missed a few things, but I still have a good opinion on what I do remember.
I understand where our main character Grace is coming from. I get wanting to do something as a big F YOU to the people that just seem to want to see you fail. I get wanting to just forget everything and have some fun for once. So I get that. I get how Grace was able to get super drunk and not realize that she got married to a complete stranger. I haven’t gotten that wasted but I mean, who knows what I would have done if I was THAT wasted.
After all of that, I still feel really bad for Grace. I felt bad for her because of her strained relationship with both of her parents, and the obstacles she’s finding herself trying to get through in her own industry. I wanted her to take some sort of break, but I also agree with one of the other character’s point to her that everyone else is also dealing with their stuff and didn’t just ditch out on their friends. People have to process in their own way, and while I understand having that feeling about Grace, what would have been the best way for her to process and take a breather?
Someone in their review mentioned how the relationship between Grace and Yuki was extremely toxic. I feel like this was in part to how they immediately started as a married couple without the whole process of actually getting to know one another and learning how to communicate with one another. It almost reminded me of an arranged marriage or something where the main time the couple would get to know one another was after they were already married. Their interactions were definitely not perfect, and there were some times where I didn’t understand certain actions or reactions throughout the novel. I pushed myself through them though hoping that maybe that would be addressed and worked on. Again, I’ll probably have to reread this one and possibly annotate it a bit.
It was a very interesting story, and I felt like everything just felt so real to me. From Grace having to deal with systemic racism in trying to find a position in her field, even though her mentor and professor basically groomed her for it; to Grace wanting to please her father so much and not putting her emotion in to anything she says to him. At least not all the time. Colonel telling Grace not to let anyone see her cry because it shows weakness. My dad told me the same thing, and he was also in the military. I immediately felt like I was reading about what kind of relationship I could have had if I was still communicated with my father, and I don’t know if I would be okay with it.
I can’t wait to read more books from Morgan Rogers, and I believe that this debut was a great one.