Review: Luster by Raven Leilani

Hi Everyone,

Two reviews in as many days. I have been busy reading of late and loving it. Granted that the last two books have been audio books meaning I am able to do other boring tasks at the same time but it’s still reading!

Book πŸ“–

I feel like I requested this book quite a long time ago and when it wasn’t approved, I assumed it wasn’t going to happen. So when the email popped up for it I was so happy. It was initially the beautiful cover that drew me to this book and then once I read the description, I was sold. Thank you to @RavenLeilani and @panmacmillan for this audio copy of Luster in return for an honest review. Luster is out now and you can get a copy here.

Description πŸ”–

Edie is in her early twenties, struggling and lonely. The office in which she works employs predominantly white people and she’s hanging on to the job by the skin of her teeth whilst sleeping with her co-workers. She’s messing up her professional life and her private life. She meets a middle aged white man who just to happens to be married with an adopted daughter. He and his wife have an agreement regarding the openness of their marriage and therefore Edie is thrown into their suburban life.

General Thoughts πŸ€”

Well this book certainly slapped me in the face and caught my attention right from the beginning. It’s raw yet funny and I felt like I could feel every emotion Edie was feeling through the words. I am not averse to feeling uncomfortable when reading a book and this book did just that.

One thing I definitely took away from this book is that I really do not miss my twenties. Edie didn’t know who she was, what she was worth and felt like she was consistently failing at life. Add on the additional pressures that being a black woman in her twenties brings and (to be blunt) it’s f**king hard!

Characters πŸ‘¬πŸ‘­πŸ‘«

I laughed with Edie and I wanted to yell at her at the same time. Her decision making was at times awful but that is easy for me to say from my own perspective. Just when I thought that maybe she was pulling it together she’d do something stupid. Her vulnerability was masked with a blasΓ© attitude that really made me feel quite sad.

Eric made my blood boil and I don’t know if that’s a rational feeling towards this character or not. I felt like he took advantage of Edie’s neediness to fulfil his own lust. I thought he was selfish but then the argument could be made that Edie walked into the situation with eyes wide open and not only did she not discourage it, she initiated aspects of their relationship.

Writing Style ✍️

The writing is what made this book special in my opinion. It’s so impressive not only for a debut but just overall. I can’t remember the last time I read a book that delivered such dry humour that also made me tear up at the same time (and not from laughing). I’ve read some other reviews that felt that the writing was distant and they weren’t able to connect. I’d agree that it is distant, but personally I thought that that was what made it brilliant and uncomfortable.

The whole book is written in first person through Edie’s perspective and I thought that was perfect. The narration in the audiobook captured Edie’s voice so well and I wonder if this added to how much I thoroughly enjoyed the writing.

Conclusion & Scoring πŸŽ–οΈ

If you don’t mind feeling uncomfortable and reading about feelings and emotions that aren’t necessarily in line with your own but you can understand then you will love this book. I adored it and I don’t think I need to add any more!


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