Book Spotlight: The Vanishing Half

  • Title: The Vanishing Half
  • Author: Brit Bennett
  • Narrator: Shayna Small
  • Genre: historical fiction
  • Intended Audience: adult
  • Format read: audiobook
  • Publisher: Riverhead Books
  • Pub date: June 2, 2020
  • Trigger warnings: domestic/spousal abuse, racism, lynching, sexual assault, transphobia, mentions of death
  • Rating: 5/5 stars

So this is a book spotlight instead of a book review because, let’s be real, it is so much harder to write a book review for a good book than a bad book. The Vanishing Half had all the makings of a five star story for me: a compelling storyline, good writing, and something that made me think. I absolutely loved this book, and wanted nothing more than to continue living with these characters. Although I honestly still can’t pinpoint what exactly made this book so compelling to me.

It was clearly well-written, the storylines were interesting, and the characters were excellent. As I said, The Vanishing Half was incredibly thought provoking. It gave me a lot to think about in terms of race and racial identity, family, and how we develop our own sense of self. I think it would be so fascinating to pair this book with some texts about passing and double consciousness (I want to take that class).

Like I said, I just found this book ridiculously compelling. I keep using the word compelling because I don’t know if there’s any better word to describe it. I was almost immediately wrapped up in the story, and I wanted to stay there forever. The characters were all these incredibly flawed, interesting people who were ultimately just trying to do what was right, and I wanted to give them all a hug. The storyline moved along beautifully, interweaving different timelines.

Hopefully you can see what I mean when I said there was a reason I’m not writing a full on review. It would just be me, incoherently gushing about this book for paragraphs on end. So instead this is just a girl, metaphorically standing in front of you, asking you to please read this book if you haven’t already because I think everyone should and it’s my new go-to book rec.

If you have read The Vanishing Half, let me know what you think about it in the comments! God, I would love to talk about this book with somebody. Add The Vanishing Half to your tbr, and have a lovely day!

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