“Books are good. I can live life safely and without peril in a fictional universe.”
Here is what happens when your mother dies.
It’s the brightest day of summer and it’s dark outside. It’s dark in your house, dark in your room, and dark in your heart. You feel like the darkness is going to split you apart.
That’s how it feels for Tiger. It’s always been Tiger and her mother against the world. Then, on a day like any other, Tiger’s mother dies. And now it’s Tiger, alone.
Here is how you learn to make friends with the dark.
I was kindly sent this book from Rock the Boat in exchange for an honest review. Firstly I want to say thank you to Rock the Boat and the wonderful author Kathleen Glasgow for giving me an early opportunity to read this book.
I have never read a book that has given me so many different emotions. I laughed and I cried. It made me happy, sad and angry, sometimes I felt all those emotions at the same time. Honestly, this book has had such a profound effect on me. I will not EVER forget the time I spent reading this book, it was truly fantastic.
At times this book is raw and heart-wrenching, but also powerful in the way that it portrays it. Kathleen shows that even in the darkest times of your life, light will always appear when you least expect it. To me, that is so important. Grief and loss is something people experience everyday, but coping with the said emotions is stigmatised in society and we really do not speak about it enough. If anything this book teaches you that it is okay to not be okay; it is okay to feel sad, lonely, lost .. even angry. It shows you that it is okay to be yourself, to show how you feel and that those that judge you for that are not worthy of being in your life. How to Make Friends with the Dark really made me realise how sometimes I take my life for granted and that sometimes I do not understand how lucky I truly am. I am fortunate enough to have not experienced the events conveyed in this book, however that doesn’t mean it didn’t hit home and have the desired effect on me whilst reading.
I’m really struggling with this review because I loved this book so much and I really want to give the book the justice that it deserves. Words are not enough to express what reading this book did to me, the feelings that it gave me and the emotions that I felt.
I felt such a connection with the protagonist. I truly felt like I was experiencing the emotional rollercoaster that is her life with her. When she was sad, I was sad. When she was angry, I was angry. I could relate to her so easily and that is due to the wonderful writing style that Kathleen adapts. Her character building and poetic prose really immerses you into the story and helps you to effortlessly make a bond with her characters. I felt really satisfied with the conclusion of her story and for me that is very rare, I cannot pick fault in any part of this book.
I loved reading about the people in Tiger’s life, particularly the way they reacted to her personal situation. It really portrayed that whilst peoples behaviour towards her differs, there is no set way one should conduct themselves if faced with this situation. People make mistakes and say the wrong things, even adults which I think is so important to realise. However, a key message for me that I picked up from this particular point is not to walk away. If you truly care about somebody, do not abandon them when they need you most in life just because you don’t know what to say. Know that your presence and a caring ear is all somebody wishes for. AHEM, Kai. I love the relationships that she formed throughout her situation and the way they grew for the duration. It was really heart-warming to see that during such a tragic time of loss, Tiger gained so many life long friends and built stronger existing relationships with those that have always been there.
I also love a book that makes any kind of mention about Harry Potter, this book did that several times however the quote I am about to include may be one of my favourite.
“How many times will I have to move now?
Harry Potter went to his aunt and uncles but he had to live under the stairs. He got Hogwarts, but he still had to go home in the summers. My mother always thought that was bullshit. Dumbledore sending Harry back to a horrible house. He could’ve kept him at Hogwarts, or even with Hagrid. He thought he needed to deprive him of love if hew was going to do what he needed him to do. But I don’t believe that. Not at all.”
This quote made me see Harry Potter in a whole new light and I love it.
All in all I really did love this book and if you haven’t picked that up from this review you’ve definitely been reading it with your eyes closed. But now open your eyes and GO AND BUY THIS BOOK. You will not regret it. I would recommend that everybody reads this book at some point in their life, it has so many important lessons to teach and it is just so beautiful.
A lesson that I will really take away from this book is that no argument is worth falling out with your loved ones for. Do not hold a grudge, move on immediately and remind them just how much you love them. You do not know what will happen tomorrow.
“You must go on. I can’t go on. You must go on. Because what other choice is there, really? You have to make friends with the dark.”
Again, thank you to Rock the Boat for giving me this fantastic opportunity.
How to Make Friends with the Dark by Kathleen Glasgow will be released in the UK on Thursday 11th April 2019. You can find out how to purchase it here.