I don’t think I have seen anybody do a Favorite Friday book tag (if they have let me know so I can credit them), so I wanted to start one up! Every week I will be picking a different bookish favorite of mine–whether it be favorite main character, genre, author, or something else. This is mostly just for me to have more meaningful weekly discussion on my blog, but feel free to tag me in your favorites as well!
So without further ado, I present to you my favorite book of 2020 so far:
The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern
I read The Starless see a couple of months, and dozens of books, ago but I still can’t get it out of my head. The level of mystery and whimsy in this book is absolutely unparalleled; if I could choose to live in the storyline of one book, it would probably be this one.
Throughout the novel we mainly follow Zachary Ezra Rawlins after he discovers a book in his school library with impossible contents; including a chapter from his own life. He follows the mysterious book to the Starless Sea, a type of archive between time for all manner of stories. There he discovers a world of love, friendship, and storytelling that he must fight to keep alive.
Personally, one theme I will never get tired of is books about books, and boy does this take the trope to a whole other level. Morgenstern’s imagination is absolutely astounding in the way that she weaves stories together. Both how she connects the short clips between chapters, and intertwines them into Zachary’s narrative are so magical. I think I could read the novel a thousand times and never fully understand how it all fits together (but in a good way).
I very much believe that you are doomed to love one and hate the other of Morgenstern’s works. Personally, The Night Circus wasn’t for me. It didn’t have much plot, and the bits between chapters felt pointless. But everything that book lacked, this one had. In fact, at the end I thought there was just the tiniest bit too much going on (which is why I gave it 4 instead of five stars on Goodreads). The last one hundred pages got a little too chaotic for my liking. So, the fact that this remains my favorite of 2020 really says something about the work as a whole. I was truly surprised with every page turn, and immersed until the end.
If you aren’t a fan of writing based in beauty, wonderment, and mystery, this may not be for you. A lot of the critiques I read commented on how it wasn’t cohesive enough, and that it felt like a lot of beautiful words randomly strung together. In my opinion though, it is a work that speaks to the joy of journeys, fate, and how all of our stories are more connected than they seem.
So if the glowing review of a bibliophile who seldom gives praise and the enchanting description aren’t enough for you to pick this one up, I don’t know what is. I hope you guys enjoyed my first Favorite Friday! Feel free to tag me in your own, or leave a comment.