Reviews

Disorientation by Elaine Hsieh Chou

vernlepa's review against another edition

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funny medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.25

jessjacko's review against another edition

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

4.0

gloomyboygirl's review against another edition

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5.0

A lot of critiques I agree with- it has a light fluffy tone and pacing not conducive to a darker political satire, a story that would better fit a stylistic movie, and the caricatures are just that, caricatures. But, for me, this all worked! The visual aspects made reading feel like watching a movie, the exaggerated aspects of the characters made the subtle microaggressions be seen for what they are, and the tone made the whole thing feel dizzying and disorienting. Reading the book, you are a sheltered self hating woman discovering the darkness and corruption all around you and within you that you thought just didn't exist before. To say people like Ingrid don't exist is short sighted, and saying it's ridiculous to imagine a POC being sheltered or against terms like whiteness or white supremacy is naive-- her internal monologue is exaggerated, but VERY indicative of reality. No one questions characters like Timothy or Cixi and I can't help but think it's because of people expect different behaviors between MOC and WOC and only expect WOC to not be the Outspoken Warriors Of Justice if there's extensive extenuating circumstances, like in Cixi's case. Being purposefully ignorant for self-preservation is a real phenomenon that manifests itself not that differently from what is described in Ingrid and Eunice. Similarly, people just as bad if not worse than Stephen and Michael and Thad are everywhere-- yes, they're exaggerated, but I've met at least 3 of them. This won't be everyone's cup of tea, given the op-ed type writing and almost surreal approach to internalized racism, but to say these people are nonexistent in the real world is a really shortsighted critique! They do! Unhappy people who stake their self worth in saying the right thing are RAMPANT in academia, so are fetishizers who hide themselves behind cultural exchange, so are people who avoid questioning the status quo out of fear for the consequences, so are well meaning Reddit bros, etc etc etc. Seeing these types of approaches to life and race helps to illuminate internalized issues in our own thought patterns, see how internalized racism effects people differently, and see how vulnerable people are lead towards hate. Also, it was funny.

victoriacampbell28's review against another edition

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adventurous funny mysterious fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

alexandrabelze's review against another edition

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funny reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.5

omfg i don’t even know where to start. very funny, super dramatic, and at times satirical. it was not AT ALL what i was expecting, but then again i didn’t read any type of summaries before starting it lmao. it didn’t have me hooked until the first major plot twist, but after that i was dying to see how it ended. kind of an anti-climatic ending, but sadly realistic. ingrid + eunice besties 4 ever <3 stephen is the bane of my existence. every time he spoke i wanted to rip my hair out. i WISH he knew when to shut up. 
Spoilerthe SCHOOL GIRL COSTUME??? oh my god i was gagged. nothing could’ve prepared me!!! i had to put the kindle DOWN and reflect.

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qqchelsea's review against another edition

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4.0

was not feeling this book until the first major plot twist was revealed, after that i was totally on board - the chaos is sometimes forced but it was fun and easy to read, which is what i need rn

annanaim's review against another edition

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funny slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character

3.5

evemaye's review against another edition

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emotional informative reflective

4.25

tcarg's review against another edition

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5.0

What a joy/horror to spend some time in the mind of not quite a Dr. Ingrid Yang. This book is about a lot of things, all with various levels of import and seriousness. Chou (the author, not the fictional poet from within the book) handles all of it with grace and humor. A lot of that is owed to her narration of Ingrid’s thoughts. The narration style can be (sorry) disorienting and I understand it’s not for everyone, but I think it allows the audience to better understand Ingrid and witness her growth.

I laughed a lot and I learned a lot and if I resort to dating something that corny about a book, I think that’s a good sign.

samreads97's review against another edition

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funny mysterious medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0