Reviews tagging 'Toxic relationship'

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

21 reviews

kaitoro_walker13's review against another edition

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dark emotional mysterious reflective sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5

A very lovely book. Very readable, very well-written, but I do wish that the plot developed faster in some areas.

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issyd23's review against another edition

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challenging dark emotional mysterious reflective sad tense slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

3.0

Basically the quiet, artsy, English version of Michael Bay’s The Island. TBH I kinda prefer Bay’s version with car chases & explosions 3👩🏼‍🍼

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samchase112's review against another edition

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mysterious reflective sad slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

4.0

It’s hard to say how I feel about this book. After just finishing, I really feel at peace with the ending and the characters’ fates — and didn’t come close to crying, the way so many people seem to. What I’m most impressed with is the slow yet compulsive writing style, and the way the woven nature of the narrator’s memory not only mirrors real life so well, but also makes you want to keep turning the pages, even if not much substantial is going. Definitely an interesting book, and one I’m glad I read.

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phantomgecko's review against another edition

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challenging sad slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

4.5

First off, it was kinda funny to me how much this mirrors Remains of the Day. Narrator driving across the country and reminiscing. Otherwise, it was more interesting, but also didn't affect me as much emotionally. It totally should have; it just didn't.

This book really takes a very sci-fi idea and delivers an entirely un-sci-fi book. It's a novel about humans and relationships and emotions and only marginally breaches the ethics of things.

The dynamics and feelings captured between Cathy and Ruth resonated a lot with my personal experiences in adolescence. Cathy was a lot more kindhearted than I would be though. I couldn't stand Ruth as a character. Wanting so badly to be liked and important, lying about dumb things, purposely manipulating those around her. I know those people and dislike them, so it was kinda hard to see Cathy giving in over and over.

Perhaps the lack of emotional response stems from the closure offered. Yes, for real, the doomed lives of these children was sad. It's a depressing setting. But by the end of things, things had basically gone as well as they could have. There wasn't a heavy "if only" looming over them. So kinda a happy ending, tbh.

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lilifane's review against another edition

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dark mysterious reflective sad slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

2.0

This book centers around a really interesting topic with lots of possible discussions... in the most boring and unimpactful way possible. 

I usually like literary fiction with speculative elements, but I was really bored here. I liked the school setting at the beginning, and I was intrigued by the premise (never surprised, though. I think this was all obvious and predictable) and some details and questions. But I really didn't like the characters, their toxic friendships and relationships, their boring everyday problems when there was such a huge thing looming over everything. The writing style was fitting but didn't contribute much to my enjoyment of the book, same as the bleak and depressing atmosphere. 

I'm really glad I read it, though, and I'm still interested in the author's other works. 

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eve_o's review against another edition

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challenging mysterious medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

4.5


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jodieworton's review against another edition

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

3.0

First book of July and it was a good one.

This book was recommended by a good friend and have had it on my TBR for a few months. This is an adult dystopian sci-fi novel.

How this book starts is an interesting one, the narrator speaks as if the reader knows who they are and about the world they live in. You are expected to catch up. Through the first half of the book I was guessing for the plot and what was happening in their lives and how was it different to our world. 

When its revealed, there is no big ta-da moment, it’s just this is the world we live in and this is normal. I don’t want to ruin the plot for those of you who will read this book, which is why I am skirting round the point. 

The book was an easy read and written beautifully, I enjoyed how the story unfolded and at times really felt for one of the main characters. This book is complex and emotional and does raise a few questions, there was some elements that I would have liked answered in the ending, but I don’t think we are meant to know and I’m ok with that.

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dancefever's review against another edition

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emotional mysterious reflective sad slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

4.25

oh.....my goodness this was a lot. intense, brooding, sad, mysterious... took me a while to get into the sort of conversational style its written in, but once i was in i was IN. the book somehow reminded me a bit of jane eyre? maybe the POV, the "stages" it is in, the reflection on a past life in a boarding school and the constant sense of foreboding and mystery all the way through. maybe its a personal thing but i found the whole mystery of the novel quite frustrating at times. i know that was really the point of the book, but it just felt like cathy was going to reveal a bit more every so often, and then she'd just change the subject, which left me feeling a bit short changed by all the parts that went unanswered.  like......
if the other teenagers at the cottages weren't from hailsham, where did they come from? if they were from similar schools, why were they so mystified by the hailsham students? were the carers allowed to be part of society before being called up to being donors, or not? what is the whole system around leaving the cottages, who is the "they" who enforces the rules around carers and donors, why are we never introduced to them? i know we get reintroduced to miss emily and madame at the end, but surely there were other forces at play?
all in all a really gorgeous book: not the kind of thing i'd usually read, but would be up for reading another by ishiguro some point soon. 4.25 stars

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elefantino's review against another edition

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challenging dark emotional mysterious reflective sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

4.0


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wellfedpages's review against another edition

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challenging dark mysterious reflective sad tense slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes
Never Let Me Go or Let Tommy Go And Live Your Life Girl

How do you know you are real?

What makes someone human?

What is humanity?
Consciousness?
Soul?

If you can raise animals to slaughter, why not humans?
If not to slaughter, to use in other ways

Where is the line?

Dystopias just take reality one step further
A step we are heading towards
Perhaps a step we have already half taken

Like here

But what has that got to do with Tommy?

Well other than exploring the above dilemmas, it also shows how an unreliable narrator leads to a tinted truth

SPOILERS

We only see things through Kathy's eyes

Tommy is the good guy, even though he seeks constant validation
Ruth is the villain, because she does not care about his ego

But is that the truth?

Ruth does many careless & hurtful things
But Kathy is mean to Ruth too
So is Tommy and he hurts Ruth in his own way

But we never hear from Ruth
Or Tommy for that matter

Kathy is clearly in love with Tommy and feels Ruth came between them
Ruth admits this eventually, tries to undo the harm
But Tommy says nothing
Nobody forces someone to be with another person
Even if Ruth did come between them, why did Tommy choose to be with her? Twice
Because she is more attractive?
Or because he felt something for her?
Why does Tommy only choose Kathy after Ruth is almost dying?
And even then why are certain things amiss in their relationship?
Are they simply beaten down by life?
Or is he not attracted to her in the same way?
Does he still feel something for Ruth?
Is it guilt?
Does he choose Kathy because there is no future with Ruth?
Is Kathy his ticket to a few more years?
Does he like Kathy more because she validates him? 
Or does he just like the validation and not Kathy at all?
Does he hate Ruth because she does not validate him? 
Or does he hate himself because he doesn't know what he wants?
Is he just a selfish piece of shit, or is it more complicated than that?
Isn't he really the person who came between Kathy and Ruth?
Is Ruth a better person because she ultimately chooses her friend?
Or is it too little too late?

The mess that they make of their lives is what makes them human

Kazuo Ishiguro simply raises the questions

The answers are all ours
We are left wondering about these flawed characters.

The book beautifully captures how humanity is a murky construct, 
how we are all just tiny driftwoods clinging to each other in the endless stream of time, 
and how female friendships are incredibly fragile, especially when a man comes between them.

Sadly, the women here do not put their friendship first and dump him, that is a feminist approach I'm still waiting to see in stories like this

But perhaps women in real life rarely do that, and Ishiguro simply shows us the mirror

Even if the shell of their friendship remains, it's hollowed out by time
Perhaps that is closer to truth

Maybe there are a few Ruth's in the end
But that is the problem, it's almost always in the end

Started this for Dystopian December but completed this in Jan

Did I like it?
Of course
Confused people and complicated relationships are great, on paper

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