The Cranberry Hush by Ben Monopoli

the cranberry hushBlurb: Vince Dandro might be going through the quietest quarter-life crisis of all time. He lives alone, works in a comic book shop, and has a crush on his coworker he can’t seem to act on. Like an old comic book, his life’s colors have started to fade. Everything brightens when Vince’s long-lost friend Griff appears on his doorstep in the middle of a blizzard. They were roommates in college, so close back then that Griff’s girlfriend called them “lifebuddies” — but Vince’s love for Griff had ended the friendship, he thought, forever. They haven’t spoken in years. Why has Griff shown up again? And, more importantly, can Vince handle his return?

Vince and Griff are two twentysomethings struggling to find their places in the world and in each other’s lives. This is a story of friendship and love, both unrequited and requited, and of learning how to fly through the post-college void, which just might hold more than a cranberry hush.

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Favorite quotes

The tiny pessimistic devil who usually sat on my shoulder and who’d warned me not to even bother with Griffin in the first place suddenly conjured himself in my stomach and began crawling up my throat, making it tight.  I wasn’t sure whether to cry that fucker out or throw him up.  I thought I might do both, and collapse in a puddle of tears and puke.

“But doesn’t it feel weird to have the potential to fall in love with every person you meet?  All your friends?”  “I don’t think so,” I said. “I think it’s weirder to only be able to fall in love with half the people you meet.”

I lived in tones and inflections, in glances and winks and stupid little taps.  I analyzed and sought meaning from stupid meaningless things.  It was a constant tug-of-war between what I wanted and what was reality

3.75 Stars 

This book is weird. This book is about nostalgia and basking in what could have been. It’s also about not being able to move forward until you deal with what’s behind you. It’s also about love.  It’s kind abstract honestly.  All these words are floating through my head, you know, and none if them are really tangible. Its not like one event or a turn of events you can pinpoint and say, “Oh, thats what this book is about.”  Its not like that at all.  The whole book itself is about the intangibles, and being able to move past them. It’s just very weird for me because I am not used to reading these kinds of books.

This book is about everything and nothing at the same time for me.  The love that was written into the story was just very oddly worded for me. I didn’t become emotionally involved with it.  I was kind of detached while reading because the way this was written came off as clinical to me.  I had a hard time getting into the book because of that style. But for some reason I could not put it down.  The transitions between flashbacks and present day were choppy to me.  I found myself going back and having to re-read them to make sure I was in the right time frame.

It seemed that every character had dual representations for Vince.  Griff repesented his past, comfronting it and moving forward.  Zane represented his present and not being able to move forward with it until he dealt with his past. At least that’s how it came across to me.  I’m glad I read it, I just don’t know if I would recommend it. This is one of those books that you have to be very clear on what the persons reading interest are.

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3 thoughts on “The Cranberry Hush by Ben Monopoli

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