A review by socialpsysteph
Disorientation, by Elaine Hsieh Chou

challenging funny mysterious reflective tense 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


This book was recommended to me by my friend Emily because she said as soon as she started reading it, she knew it was something that I would enjoy. Given that, I had to pick it up. And she was right; though it was the kind of enjoy where I was mad and anxious the whole time but still couldn't put the book down. Elaine hits the nail on the head with what graduate school is like so if you have any trauma surrounding that, just beware. The anxiety, imposter syndrome, helplessness, depression, but also excitement and fulfillment, she got it. 

What I thought was going to be the main plot/climax of the book, turned out to happen pretty early on and then the story took a turn (in a good way). Characters started morphing and changing but in a bad (and realistic) way. I hate so many characters in this book; they are just awful people, but they are written so realistically (scarily so). 

Definitely check all of the trigger warnings on this one before picking it up, but if you feel up for it, highly recommend. 

This book counts for Popsugar 2022 for a book that starts with the last letter of my previous read (User TesteD -> Disorientation).

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