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5.0 out of 5 starsWonderful
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 15, 2017
I can't decide on words to describe this book. It's different to anything I've ever read, a truly unique story, you won't be disappointed.
Wow!! Reading OOLA makes me feel like they don't make books like this anymore, books that are this PACKED with poetic language and poignant observations. OOLA is such a phenomenal read, with some truly innovative use of language and sharp insights into modern life. It tells the tale of a writer named Leif who wants to create a 100% accurate character based on his girlfriend, Oola. Most of the book takes place in Big Sur and it's very much a California sort of book. The excitement of the novel mainly comes from the tensions between Oola and Leif as Leif starts to go off the rails with his obsessive project. Because of its structure, Nylon called this book "the millennial Lolita," which is pretty apt! There's also some elements of magical realism, with some surreal plot points that will leave you wondering whether Leif has lost his mind. The book is told from Leif's perspective so of course you can't really trust anything you learn about Oola - the book is mainly about the narrator and his obsessive (destructive) tendencies, but it's also about the way that love, desire, and sex work in 2017. All in all, it's a book that you should savor, not read too quickly, so that you don't miss any of the rich language. But it's sexy and surprising, and would make a great movie - OOLA is a love story that turns into a psychological thriller. If you wanna be savvy to what's going on in 2017 - read OOLA now.
I devoured this book, and completely loved every page. I am buying it for everybody I know. Newell's mastery of language is completely unparalleled in anything I have read by a contemporary author. Even though the book is quite dark at times (which makes it even better in my mind), Newell strikes such a raw and meaningful cord on the confusion and delicacy of the post college years. She writes about moments often overlooked by authors and screenwriters but that every reader can relate to. This brings so much humor into the plot. This book is for anyone who wants to feel shocked, embarrassed, entranced, challenged, and certainly entertained (I laughed out loud many times while reading). I see Newell rising fast and I have no doubt that one day she will be considered the voice of our seemingly disenfranchised generation.
5.0 out of 5 starsWritten by a woman from the perspective of a man about love for a woman
Reviewed in the United States on June 18, 2017
Impressive debut novel that's stuck in my mind since I read it. Written by a woman from the perspective of a man about love for a woman, it makes you feel just how thin the line can be between what we perceive as romantic in art and what is unhealthy obsession in practice. The prose is gorgeous, the story is uncomfortable in a piercing way. Excited to see what she writes next.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this novel recommened by my friend. Brittany Newell puts an interesting spin on a "stalker" that thoroughly absorbs themselves with the "victim". I look forward to following the career of this young and talented author.