Sad Girls by Lang Leav | Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3.5)
A copy of this novel was provided through NetGalley by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my opinions in any way.
“You know, missing someone can sometimes be the best thing for a writer.”
You know when you finish a book by someone you truly admire and can't help but to feel a bit of confusion? It's almost like being let down by an unsatisfactory read. In a way, you know that something could have been so much more than the finished product. That's the best way I could describe Sad Girls by the incomparable Lang Leav. Leav is praised over for work amongst poetry and Sad Girls' prose is a definite confirmation of this.
Which is an odd quality to have--I found myself adding a tab to quite a few points in Sad Girls but even the way the novel opens itself to readers couldn't save what felt like a definite miss. Lang Leav creates something special within words--the sort of way poetry is meant to reach out and touch our hearts. And while this is very much alive in quite a few moments of Sad Girls, it's not something that translated very well within a full-length novel.
The first thing that you should know is that there are a lot of trigger warnings that need to be noted for Sad Girls. Mental illness, death/suicide, general topics of loss. It's all up front and portrayed accurately, so this will certainly stir up unwanted feelings for some readers and as always you must protect yourself from these things. In truth, my mind has been circling in on the topics that this book covers and I am unable to warn readers on every note. The best way to describe Sad Girls is that it is a life lived--all its glory and all its pain. Love, loss, the inbetweens--Lang Leav has a way of describing emotions that is in full colour.
I've been trying to pinpoint what I wasn't overly fond of in Sad Girls, because it did have an upside to everything, but there was something in the corner that was preventing me from truly connecting with the general premise. I had moments where my mind wandered despite its beautiful prose and the raw honesty. My mind kept circling in and around certain aspects, leaving me feeling cold and not aware of what I was supposed to actually feel.
It was kind of like reading something with all these expectations only to be blindsided by a feeling of aching dullness by the end. I wasn't fond of the ending. I wasn't sure where the story was going. I didn't know how to feel. Mostly, I felt that Lang Leav has an incredible mind and could have done so much more with Sad Girls than we actually witnessed. Perhaps it is merely that I am out of the age range and had too much expectations that clouded my interest in this one.
At the end, it just didn't do it for me and I felt disconnected in a way I wasn't expecting. It was a let-down but not of epic proportions. I still enjoyed quite a bit from Sad Girls and Lang Leav really has a way with words that it's easy to find good qualities to it. It was neither my favourite or least favourite book of the year and while I may not ever reread it in its entirety again, I certainly don't regret reading it.