Pages: 76 / 324 ; 23%
The Reason for the Reaping: Ok fine. This is another book from the Tournament of Books. However, this is also about a primate, which is the third novel this year to feature one, oddly (Mister Monkey and The High Mountains of Portugal). A weird tangent that needs to be pointed out.
As I Lay Summarizing: Charlie Freeman is a chimpanzee living at the Toneybee-Leroy Institute. A typical black suburban family moves in with Charlie into an apartment within the institute in order to teach Charlie sign language. Yep that’s it. Sounds sketchy? Because it is. mhmm.
The Line That Killed Me: “Because I do not wish my own skin was white. What I envy is not their skin but their insouciance. I envy the freedom to sin with only a little bit of consequence, to commit one selfish act and not have it mean the downfall of my entire people. Where indecency and mischief do not mean annihilation. I envy that their capacity for love is already assumed, not set aside or presumed missing, like it is for us Negro women” (52). Death by…those powerful words.
Best Character: Nymphadora
Why [As] You Like It: There is this creepy af undercurrent that keeps the story moving forward. You couldn’t place your finger on it, but there are some sneaking suspicions that things are not as they should be. I could be making it up, idk. But what is actually happening right now? Also, there’s a story taking place in the past (shoutout to Nymphadora) that is real intriguing. But, you know, spoilers.
Why I’m Gone, Girl: This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but so far, the novel is not blowing my mind. There are certainly beautiful gems of insight (see The Line That Killed Me omg), but at this moment we are just chugging through the story. It seems the good stuff is just around the corner, we just need to get through the exposition first.
Last Line, Last Chance: “‘…to us,’ she said. ‘Then he’ll be better.'”
Will I turn the page, or toss it into Mount Doom?
Yes, he will be better. I’m looking forward to turning the page. What is actually up with you, Charlie Freeman? Let’s find out.