Helena Conway has fallen in love.
But not unprovoked. Kit Isley is everything she’s not—unstructured, untethered, and not even a little bit careful.
It could all be so beautiful…if he wasn’t dating her best friend. Helena must defy her heart, do the right thing, and think of others.
Until she doesn’t.
F*ck Love by Tarryn Fisher
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
There are so many reasons this is a 5 star read. My favourite reason is the layered eccentricities of the story. they brought out so many angles to the story. If you were to read this story more than once, it would be an entirely new read each time. You can always read a story literally and do the whole yep, good story– boy meets girl, they fall in love, they deal with a bunch of sh*t and then fall more in love. But if you’re really going to read this story, then you need to open your mind a little and channel your inner TF. Her writing style is smart and quick witted. What appears to be random isn’t random (here’s where the quirkiness comes into play). I love that Fisher’s writing style is very honest and at times odd– you stop to think about what she might mean or what as a reader can I get out of a particular quote. Sometimes, it’s a good laugh and other times I was actually awed.
If you read Mud Vein and enjoyed it, you will most certainly like this even more. I really felt like Fisher put her own heart and mind out there mores than ever before. Again it’s the honesty of the story that had me invested in F*ck Love.
If you’re looking for a straightforward story this isn’t the one for you. There are times you will feel like a tourist in a foreign city, looking every which way and never really getting to your destination. However, I’m not so sure that the point of this story is to be final or absolute, rather it is that Helena (or women) really take control of her (their) beige life and to be reflective on wants and needs for love–at least in my opinion. Love is never straight forward. There’s always a lot to navigate through.
The dry humour of the story sets the pace and is very Tarry Fisheresque. I adored that part of the story. Helena’s unconventional and almost neurotic personality made the story light and playful while it still showcased her vulnerability and womanhood.
While this story is not for everyone it is definitely a read worthwhile for the style and artistic qualities. What I love most about a Tarry Fisher story is that they are unique and cerebral– they get me thinking.
“You are supposed to be with me.”
What words are these? They startle me, and at first I think I’ve heard him wrong. He’s leaning across the table while our significant others are twenty feet away, waiting in line for our food.
“You and me,” he says. “Not us and them.”
I blink at him before I realize he’s making a joke. I laugh and go back to looking at my magazine. Actually, it’s not really a magazine. It’s a math journal, because I’m super cool like that.
“Helena…” I don’t look up right away. I’m afraid to. If I look up and see that he’s not joking, everything will change.
“Helena.” He reaches out and touches my hand. I jump, pull back. My chair makes a horrid scraping sound, and Neil looks over. I pretend that I dropped something and reach under the table. Under the table are our shoes and legs. There is a blue crayon lying at my feet; I pick it up and resurface.
Neil is at the front of the line ordering our food, and my best friend’s boyfriend is waiting for my response, his eyes heavy with burden.
“Are you drunk?” I hiss. “What the fuck?”
“No,” he says. Though he doesn’t look so sure. For the first time, I notice the scruff on his face. The skin around his eyes is sallow. He’s going through something, maybe? Life is being bullshit.
“If this is a joke, you’re making me really uncomfortable,” I tell him. “Della is right there. What the hell is wrong with you?”
“I only have ten minutes, Helena.” His eyes move to the blue crayon, which is resting between our hands.
“Ten minutes for what? You’re sweating,” I say. “Did you take something, are you on the crack?” What type of drugs make you sweat like that? Crack? Heroine?
I want Neil and Della to come back. I want everything to go back to normal. I spin around to see where they are.
“Stop saying my name like that.” My voice shakes. I make to stand up, but he grabs the crayon, then my hand.
“I don’t have much time. Let me show you.”
He’s sitting very still, but his eyes remind me of a cornered animal: frightened, panicked, bright. I’ve never seen that look on his face, but since Della’s only been dating him for a few months, it’s a moot point. I don’t really know this guy. He could be a druggie for all I know. He turns my hand over so it’s palm up, and I let him. I don’t know why, but I do.
He places the crayon in my palm and closes my fist around it.
“You have to say it out loud,” he says. “Show me, Kit.”
“Say it, Helena. Please. I’m afraid of what will happen if you don’t.”
Because he looks so afraid, I say it.
“Show me, Kit.” And then, “Should I know what this is?”
“No one should,” he says. And then everything goes black.
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