A review by carbs666
Disorientation by Elaine Hsieh Chou

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


This book was genuinely so smart and funny and weird and if you've spent any time in the ivory towers of academia (especially studying the humanities) or have been to grad school it will hit especially hard!

Ingrid is such an interesting character - the way she wakes up and looks around her life one day and wonders how the fuck she got there is extremely relatable, and while her inability to decide for much of the book if she's going to bury her head in the sand (or in over the counter narcotics) or stay painfully, horribly awake is a bit frustrating it's also realistic and understandable. Who among us hasn't debated with ourselves whether we really want to see what going on or pretend we can't - because once you see something, it's harder to do nothing about it. Additionally Ingrid's awakening to the experiences of racism in her life and the lives of her peers (and her hilarious learning curve of social justice terminology) felt extremely real in the context of a small liberal arts college campus. I loved it. 

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