My rating: 5 of 5 stars
It’s friday and turned out to be a holiday yet I still expected to follow the established norm of my days. I got up not early enough to have to feel like compensating for it in the afternoon, nor late enough that my breath turned stale. Deep foreboding clouded my brows when I realized I had to crack open my scribble over physics textbook for the upcoming test but lo! miracles of miracles, mysteries of mysteries, the words were soaked up by my brain easily as if I’d been partaking of that magic bread of Doraemon’s(don’t judge me!).
Doraemon has appetizing gadgets and Nobita can’t even appreciate that! I remember this episode. Basically, what happened was that, as is his way, Nobita turns up crying and ugly-pouting to Doraemon and demands a gadget that would help him prepare for his test. How it works: Place it on your notes, the bread will copy it and all you gotta do is snarf it down. What I hated was that Nobita didn’t even put in an effort. He could have made a sandwich, hell he could have eaten it with jam or butter! But no, the lazyass only cares about misusing and, ultimately, losing the gadgets. Idiot.
I missed this other omen of things to come. Moving on, I somehow managed to cram it all in just an hour and kicked up my legs, smiling an extremely smug smile at having shown up to imaginary physics god, with hair distinctly reminiscent of Einstein, who purportedly had nothing better to do but whispering sinister nothings of discouragement in my ears. Cutting back on digressions, my hands fell upon The Whole Stupid Way We Are and I fell into Winter, Maine in one clean swoop.
The day passed amiably enough, or so it seemed on the outside. Until I was behind fifty pages of the ending and my sister and mother decided to flip a figurative to my father for taking my sis’s vehicular transport instead of his own to go to places where only her vehicular transport can take her and yada, yada with the family shenanigans. We went out and it was a clear sky, total unreflecting of my inner turmoil. Then somehow, I was at the last page and it was still a blue with white icing. Then again somehow, my eyes were brimming and my sister was eyeing me uncertainly. And she provoked me. And it literally started raining cats and dogs! And my eyes literally flooded! And my brother swore he won’t talk to me if I cried ever again and brought down the rapid dum-dum-dum of rainwater tapping away on the car’s roof. And my mother literally went, ‘awwwwwwww’ and my sister did say she had been waiting the whole day for that as her go-to sign to read the book.
And that is the story I have for today that I typed out because I am really very scared to review this book.
I have many references for The Whole Stupid Way We Are. About the form of my crying: it wasn’t The Piper’s Son bad/good where I cried throughout, but The Angels Take Manhattan bad/good where my stream started soon after the Amy’s afterword, after the episode ended(and still hasn’t stopped) and I was alone. So, so alone. About the peculiar kind of hollowness inside me: the way it was with Friday Brown. The only reason I’m not wailing still is because I’m in the same room as my siblings.
This is the story of two friends, Dinah and Skint. Skint refuses to wear coats and Dinah can’t stop feeling the cold, for herself, for him, especially. I love these two within an inch of their lives. Dinah is after Skint who’s after everybody else. The poor people are being conned, KT wants to bake with his mum, the donkey doesn’t dance to the rhythm, the choir sings horrendously and so many instances comprise this book. The setting is a snowy holiday and sad, glorious, troubled adolescence. It’s written in third-person present from mostly Dinah’s perspective and the narration is fabulous. I love how every portion/chapter ended on melodious lines. It’s a character-driven story and the characters make me weep for them, in a good way. Not really good because of their stipulation, but they are so great- you know what I mean. The story fills me up with vacuousness and breathlessness. It had laughter and blows doled out perfectly. It did not manipulate my emotions, just let me be in my misery and it wasn’t gratuitous with the feels and the bad stuff. Seemed like as if the book were itself crying and howling, telling this story, with silent wind whistles and old snow. I love its softness in the most brutal parts, its gentleness and the snow inside and outside.
This is youth in its shittiest and friendship at its loveliest and most-trying-est. It’s a beautiful, austere story that I just can’t talk about more- and yes, I’m crying again(my sister is busy with her studies and my brother’s out).