A Little Life by Hana Yanagihara – Book Review

**Trigger Warning: Please note that this book contains graphic depictions of physical and sexual abuse. 

Let me just say up front this book gutted me. If you are looking to start the new year with a light fluffy read please look away now.

A Little Life is the epic(it’s 734 pages) story about the lives of four men who have been friends since college.  I think that you will recognize at least one of the friends from your own relationships. The ambitious one, the damaged one, the uncertain one, the liar.  The story is set mostly in New York and spans decades as the friends attempt to navigate their post college lives, while attempting to maintain the bonds they once shared.  The author leaves no emotional stone unturned as they experience dazzling highs and utterly, absolutely soul crushing lows. There were plenty of times I wanted to throw my phone(read it on my Kindle app) across the room in despair. So, did I like it?  Ultimately, yes I did. I tend to avoid anything that is not shiny and happy in my own life like the plague so there were sections of the book that were very draining to me.  But, when I finally finished it I couldn’t stop thinking about how much I had to be grateful for in my own little life. I also thought a lot about how important it is to get to a point where you can start each day without the weight of your past accomplishments or trials, and how for some that might be impossible.

According to the internet A Little Life was short listed for the Man Booker Prize and was a National Book Award finalist. If you have read it I would LOVE to hear your thoughts. I would also like to know what you’re reading now. I just started A Brief History of Seven Killings which won the Booker Prize in 2015.

Happy New Year from this little corner of the inter webs.  Thank you for reading.  All the best for 2016!




  1. Dee
    January 2, 2016 / 4:22 am

    Sounds like an interesting story, different than what I'm used to. I just finished reading Minutes to kill by Melinda Leigh which was an excellent mystery and full of suspense. Check it out if you get a chance.Happy New Year to you!Happy New Year to you!

    • Of the comely
      January 10, 2016 / 1:51 am

      Same to you Dee! Thank you for the book recommendation. I am pushing my way through A Brief Story of Seven Killings.

  2. Nerline Germain
    January 2, 2016 / 5:38 am

    I love stories that are set in NY because I lived there for a long time. Stories that make me question my own life are my favorites. What an interesting story! I love your brief review. No spoilers, I like that! I am currently reading PEACE FROM BROKEN PIECES by Iyanla Vanzant. I will let you know if I like it. Happy new year to you , my dear friend !

    • Of the comely
      January 10, 2016 / 1:53 am

      I didn't know that about you Nerline. I'm glad you liked my review. The plan is to do more. Can't wait to hear if you liked your book.

  3. ahhhsoNeo
    January 2, 2016 / 3:39 pm

    i dont do very well with books that detail abuse. It makes me extremely angry. Im currently reading "the millionaire from Nazareth" by Catherine Ponder, its a prosperity book that teaches that gives the Jesus story a new light.Happy New Year.

    • Of the comely
      January 10, 2016 / 1:51 am

      That's why I gave the warning to give people a heads up. I'll add your book to the list. All the best for 2016.

  4. Mimi's Life
    January 4, 2016 / 5:17 pm

    I’m not really a book person, but reading more have been my goals for the past few years. However; when I do pick up a book, it got to be about learning something, I could be about christianity, biography and memoire, how-to’s, and things like that. Great Read!

    • Of the comely
      January 10, 2016 / 1:54 am

      Hi Mimi! Blog reading counts :) I tend to stick to fiction but I'm going to try and read a least one memoir this year. I hope all is well with you.

  5. Beauty
    January 7, 2016 / 5:59 pm

    I do not have time to read books anymore except for occasional magazine articles. I am glad you enjoyed reading this. Happy new year..

    • Of the comely
      January 10, 2016 / 1:56 am

      I had a couple years where I couldn't squeeze any reading in either. Magazine articles and blogs definitely count. Happy New Year to you too!

  6. Mango and Fudge
    January 11, 2016 / 12:37 am

    Happy New Year !! … I'm not fond of depressing books either but like you said they do make me thankful for what I have. I have not been reading much lately but I did buy a new cook book based on Pasta which I've happily been flicking through :)

    • Of the comely
      January 11, 2016 / 1:14 am

      Ohh do tell. What's the name of the book?

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