Hey girls, gays, and theys! I am so excited to finally be posting again, and it is even with an actual book review! I have been MIA for the last year and a half or so because I have been trying to finish my degree, and I am excited to let you all know that I have graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English from The University of Akron, and this means I will have more free-time than ever before and can thus start prioritizing this blog again!
Beyond all of that, I am so excited to talk about this book because it is one of my favorites I have read this year! It has an intriguing story line, characters I can relate to and adore, and so much representation. But let’s go ahead and get into it!
When Hazel Stanczak was born, an interdimensional rift tore open near her family’s home, which prompted immediate government attention. They soon learned that if Hazel strayed too far, the rift would become volatile and fling things from other dimensions onto their front lawn—or it could swallow up their whole town. As a result, Hazel has never left her small Pennsylvania town, and the government agents garrisoned on her lawn make sure it stays that way. On her sixteenth birthday, though, the rift spins completely out of control. Hazel comes face-to-face with a surprise: a second Hazel. Then another. And another. Three other Hazels from three different dimensions! Now, for the first time, Hazel has to step into the world to learn about her connection to the rift—and how to close it. But is Hazel—even more than one of her—really capable of saving the world?
This book was much more than I was expecting. I’ll be honest; most books with concepts like this don’t work. Most of the time they’re bland and quite boring. The story doesn’t really click and the characters are unrelatable. This book is very different from what I was expecting. I actually was incredibly interested in the overall plot of the story. I wanted to know how they would figure a way out of it, what something meant and how that could impact the story later, etc. But beyond that, I loved all of the representation we see in the book. Five doppelgängers does not mean five people who are the exact same person (hello? Have you seen The Vampire Diaries?) and while they all had elements of each other, each was their own unique person, which I honestly would not have expected.
There was representation for anxiety and the panic attacks that come along with anxiety. As someone who suffers from chronic panic attacks and generalized anxiety, I felt exactly how they felt when having a panic attack, this feeling of suffocating, not able to get breath in, needing air and to get away from everyone. That is my life every single day. This is a book that perfectly encapsulated that feeling, that experience. I haven’t had that in a book in a long time.
Beyond that, there is also LGBTQ+ representation in this book, one of which is so incredibly uncommon, especially in fantasy and science fiction novels, I think this might be the first book I have personally read featuring a character who identifies as this. We had some asexual representation in this book with an explanation on the spectrum that makes sense to people. I am ace, so I identified with this a lot, and it made me feel so seen and validated. Even though I am non-binary, I am also romantically attracted to women, and you saw this representation in the book as well. There was even a conversation about the difference between gender and sexuality and how those are two separate things, which I don’t think a lot of people seem to get.
Continuing with the LGBTQ+ rep, you saw both sides of the same coin when it comes to figuring out your sexuality, how terrifying that can be, and the process of coming out. I identified with that feeling of being terrified you will do or say something that will make people think you are gay (a stark contrast to me now who will do anything to be seen as gay and not hetero, but I digress). There’s this fear of other people’s reactions to you coming out, and after a certain point, you just have to do your own thing and say screw it to whatever anyone else thinks. It is your life, and you can choose how you want to live it. If someone has a problem with it, and you are in the position to do so, just cut them out of your life because you don’t need that level of negativity anywhere near you. That is something that one of the doppelgängers eventually figures out, and that is something the main doppelgänger eventually will figure out. It is something everyone can relate to who has faced something like the fear of coming out and being your authentic self.
I know I didn’t even cover half of what goes down in this book, but I could literally just keep going on and on about this book, and I need to stop. Overall, I really loved this book, I highly recommend it, and it will probably be on my list of favorites for this year.
And there you have it! That was my review of The Art of Saving the World by Corinne Duyvis. What are some books released this year that you would recommend I read first? I am really behind on releases and want to catch up. But that is going to be it for this review, I hope you have a fantastic day, and I will see you next time!