Some books keep living inside of my head even after I finish reading them. I like books like that. It means something in there spoke to me, disturbed me or made me wonder. There is nothing worse for a book than when the reader immediately forgets it after the last page. When I still keep thinking about characters’ choices and twists of a plot after finishing the book, I believe this book is worth reading.
‘X’ was like that for me. Just after a few first pages I was ready to say that it was one of the best books that I’ve ever received for the review. This is completely true. To be honest, I feel anxious when people send me books for reviews. What if I don’t like it? How can I be frank about my experience but not upset the author? In this case I was lucky.
‘X’ tells a story about Tamra, a young actress who just made her first big screen movie, and her best friends coming to LA for the premier and celebration. Coming together with her other star friends, they begin a crazy week of partying. Everything seems perfect in Tamra’s life and only one person knows the truth, her friend Lucas.
I won’t give away the plot, but I would say that book deals with the issue of sexual abuse and in the light of Weinstein’s story coming out and more others like his, I can say it is quite relevant. Instead I would list all the things I liked about this book.
The book is written in a very pleasant, simple but not too simple manner. Dialogues are fabulous and feel so real that sometimes I had an impression that I was eavesdropping on someone’s conversation. Because of the dialogues all the characters sound real. I believed everything that was happening. I could actually ‘see’ those people, and what can be more joy for the reader?
Role of social media in the story
I always feel a bit weird when reading about technologies in novels. Maybe because my mind is used to the romantic stories of old times, where girls wear long dresses and guys still ride horses. But there is something bizarre in characters constantly Snapchatting, Twittering, Instagramming and using tracking apps. It sounds like the future to me. I feel like I’m reading si-fi or a fantasy book. However, this is the reality that struck me pretty hard. I overlook how much space new technologies take in my life, and only when put on paper do they reveal their power. Our world was changed by media a lot. Nevertheless, as with everything it brings not only good in our lives but also a lot of stress and additional struggle. All this was perfectly described in the book. I think any who is active on social media will also like this about ‘X’.
Her hand twitched. She suddenly had the urge to check her phone. Two hours without it had to have been a recent record for Tamra. She contemplated making the treck up to her apartment to retrieve it, but quickly realized she didn’t want to. The onslaught of texts. Of calls. Of tweets and comments. Of false concern. Of excuses.
It made me wonder…
Following the story, I realized how shallow, how empty and stupid the lives of the characters were. None of them, except the main character, actually has real problems, none of them cares about anything important, none of them dreams about anything. All they do is they party, they take drugs and then party more. Isn’t that the type of life we all want sometimes to have? Just to live in L.A and go to a different club every day? But then when you read about it, when you look at this world as a reader, there is nothing warm there. It’s empty and full of narcissistic people who care only about who respects them, how many followers they have, if girls or guys like them or not and when is the next party. And yet they complain. I believe that for many that would make the book nice to read, but if you are smart you’ll make the right conclusions.
And one more thing…
Despite all good things, there were some issues too. To me ‘X’ seemed unfinished, and it asks for the part two. During the whole book the story was heating up and going towards the big resolution that didn’t happened. It didn’t have a clear full stop or even a high pitched conflict. I even thought that I had probably missed something important. The end was abrupt and unexpected and I still wanted more—which is probably not a bad thing on the other hand.
I also wanted to know more about some characters. In ways a lot of them were just drafts of real people and couldn’t become individuals. I mean Tamra’s friends. They take a lot of space in a book but I still didn’t get a grip of who they were. Maybe, these sketch-type people actually frame Tamra’s situation better, by showing how lonely she actually is. They never have any personal or open conversation, they never talk about anything important or ask Tamra anything, except Lucas. But isn’t that true to many people? When something happens, there are suddenly not that many people we can actually talk to.
…somtimes I feel like if I don’t act like I’m having the most fun at all times, people re gonna see how fucked up I really am, and they’re gonna start asking questions.
If you are interested in this book you can find it here