Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Review: COMFORT ME WITH APPLES by Catherynne M. Valente


Rating: 3.25/5 stars

Sophia is the perfect wife to the perfect husband in the perfect neighborhood where all the neighbors are perfect and everyone is happy. 

Right off the bat, I was reminded of the episode called “Community” on the show Fear Itself. It has been a long time since I’ve seen that show but I always remember that episode. The idyllic community isn’t always what it seems. There is an air of discomfort and unease, that something wasn’t right, and you get that sense as soon as the book starts. Read just the first chapter to understand what I mean.

Catherynne M. Valente is a beautiful writer—this was clear early on as she wove intricate and imaginative sentences that I enjoyed reading. I like how each chapter is named after a different variety of apples. 

Karis Campbell did a hauntingly good job narrating the audiobook. Her voice was very soft and melodic and almost made me feel like I was in a trance, which goes perfectly with the story being told here. This is the first time in probably ten years that I listened to a story on 1x speed. Normally I listen on 1.25x to 2x speed, depending on the book, but when I started this book sped up, it just didn’t feel right, so I returned to 1x, and the narrator’s voice has a much bigger effect that way. If you, too, like to speed up your audiobooks, I recommend you try listening to this book on 1x speed because it makes for a better experience with this specific story, in my opinion. Plus the book is only two hours long anyway.

The reason later revealed why everything was so perfect is genius. I enjoyed the story and the message Valente was trying to communicate and how it was all done. The ending really made me go “Ahhh!” with understanding as the realizations dawned on me. 

This is my first book from Catherynne M. Valente, but it won’t be my last. I really liked the writing style and how she uses language, and I also enjoyed the storytelling. I believe she writes in a wide range of genres, so I am excited to see what else she has to offer as Comfort Me with Apples was a treat. It was weird as heck but I loved the ending. 

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