When I read the premise of Aquarium I immediately decided it was most definitely NOT. FOR. ME. A 12-year old latchkey type of kid who spends her after school hours at the local aquarium and befriends an old man???? Uhhhhhh . . .
But damn this book was persistent. It would not stay off my feed. I finally decided to give it a go based on my buddy D.J.’s 5-Star review. (She’s waaaaaay nicer than me, but she’s still stingy with the handing out of all the stars.) She assured me the story would not go down the path I was trying to avoid, but that it was still extremely dark. Boy she wasn’t kidding . . .
(^^^Me getting skilleted by this book)
This sumbitch was HEAVY. If you’re like me and occasionally enjoy reading something that makes you think about how long you should stick your head in the oven or if you have enough rubber tubing to go from your exhaust pipe into your car window, this one might be a winner for you too. I’m not going to go into great detail about the plot because I think this is a book you need to read without any idea of what is to come. I’ll just say it’s the most depressing thing since . . . well, since this . . .
Yet somehow while you’re mired down in all of the gloom and darkness, there are glimpses of light and exquisite beauty . . .
that propel the reader through and offer some hope . . .
“We never know what will happen next, our lives unshaped.”
One final thing that deserves mentioning before I end this rambling mess of a review: I’ve spent a lot of time on Goodreads seeing warnings about triggers and have always tried to post the same – but believing I did not have any of my own. Until I read Aquarium, that is . . .
This book took me to a place I don’t want to go back to. Ever. And yet I still loved it. I encourage you to branch out of your comfort zone and give David Vann’s beautiful book a try. Just go in with the knowledge that you might need to cry, or drink a bottle of wine, or lock yourself in your bedroom for a bit until the roller coaster of emotions subsides.