Review: I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness

I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness by Claire Vaye Watkins

Rating: 1.5 out of 5.

I didn’t connect with this book whatsoever. If it was supposed to be literary, I guess it was over my head. I didn’t understand the significance of her mother’s letters spersed throughout the book. I ended up glazing over during those parts. In the current day timeline, the main character was as pretentious and presumptuous as the rest of the book. It was very self-indulgent and felt like an art student’s tired masturbatory attempt at meeting a project deadline. I’m entirely grateful that I borrowed this from the library and didn’t actually pay for it, or I’d be furious at Claire Vaye Watkins.

I heartily do not recommend I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness.

Dates read: January 6-8, 2022

Okay, listen. Since this is my own blog, not Goodreads or Instagram or anything else, I’ll say this: I’m a mom. I get it. I’ve been a mom since I was 16. It’s a tough and pretty unforgiving role, especially when you’re trying to grow up alongside your child. This may make me a horrible mother, but I was actually looking forward to this book because I thought maybe it would be about a torn mother escaping from her overbearing life and running away. And you know what, it was! However, it was also so incredibly vain and unbearable that I could hardly tolerate it.

I wanted the main character (who, confusingly, is also named Claire Vaye Watkins) to run away from her kid, shirk all responsibility, and belly-dance the night away under the desert moon while high on ayahuasca. And, more or less, those things happened. But why on Earth did the protagonist (or antagonist, depending on how you see her) have to be so incredibly unlikeable?

Am I just seeing this all wrong? I’m probably just an awful mom and an awful interpret of literary art to boot, but whatever. I really didn’t like this book.

Til next time,

-Emjay

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