Author: Raven Leilani

Published: August 4th, 2020

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Where I picked up my book: Local Indie

My Rating: 5 stars

My Thoughts:

This was truly an intoxicating debut novel. I’m still thinking about it weeks after finishing it. Here are some thoughts I had:

  1. I LOVE characters that don’t have it all together and by definition, this main character (Edie) is far from having anything together.
  2. Leilani is beyond a talented writer. She creates sentences that often had me pause to think about the actual sentence structure. It is truly a work of art.
  3. This is not a light read. It’s definitely dark and gritty and at times, fell into the ‘this is a slightly uncomfortable situation for me’ pile, but nonetheless-I soaked in every word.
  4. I’m realllllll glad I’m not in my early 20’s and dating anymore (no offense to those of you that are, but oooof)
  5. NYC is almost a character in her own right. I LOVEEEEE when that happens in a book. Especially as someone who has only been to NYC a couple of times.
  6. Luster covers a lot of topics (being Black in America, being poor, being young and trying to navigate life, being an artist, growing up in an emotionally abusive home, alcoholism, self-harm…the list goes on) BUT there was not one second that I felt overwhelmed by how much was being confronted in these pages. I keep coming back to this-I think it was because Leilani’s magical writing made it happen with ease.
  7. There is a lot to unpack in this novel and I hope to get the chance to discuss it with someone asap! Sorry for the rambling mess-but that’d what this book has left me at.
  8. Go ahead and grab this book. You won’t be disappointed. Have I mentioned the writing?!?!

Bookishfolk…read instead.

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