Sarah Ames-Foley's Reviews > The Pisces

The Pisces by Melissa Broder
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cw: animal abuse, animal death, suicide, domestic abuse, graphic sex

Let me lead this off by saying that this is an extremely divisive book -- the goodreads rating makes that pretty clear. I’ve been looking forward to reading this since October. As soon as it was on my radar, I knew that it was something I would enjoy. I mean, I am a pisces after all. If that’s not explanation enough, I also love stories that incorporate fantasy elements into an otherwise realistic setting.

I knew that what I wanted was something that couldn’t exist. But that didn’t mean it wasn’t something I wanted.

I found myself incredibly emotionally invested in the main character from the start. I connected deeply to her in a way that I haven’t connected to a fictional character in quite some time. She’s depressed, suicidal, lovesick, and a hopeless romantic. She is struggling with an addiction of sorts, and she does arguably terrible things to get what she feels she needs. She is an extremely flawed character and yet, I also found her to be one of the most sympathetic characters I’d ever read. I felt for her so hard that I continually had to take breaks from the book because I felt it would drag me down otherwise.

I have no desire to feel in a contained way. For me, it is all or nothing.

There were a lot of other uncomfortable elements to this book as well. This was by no means an easy read, yet for some reason I found myself thinking “I wish I could read this book every day for the rest of my life” the entire time. This was a really beautiful story of self-discovery through pain, and I think that provides some hope to those of us who go through similar pain.

And why would I choose to recover unless everything was total and complete shit? If there was one sparkle, one possibility of getting as high as I could off a person, why would I throw that potentiality away? You had to hold out for these moments until you knew for sure they were gone and never coming back.

Like I said, though, this book is truly not for everyone. This seems to be one of those books that you either really vibe with or really don’t. I was lucky enough to fall into the first category and I’ll be very surprised if read another book in 2018 that I love as much as this one. I’ll be recommending this to almost everyone I know, with an emphasis on checking the content warnings before going into it. If you can handle this book, it is absolutely worth picking up.

I hadn’t known that I‘d wanted joy either. I had not ever known that I could have it. Now I was crying because it felt like a miracle -- not only that I would want to live at all, but that I actually could.
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Quotes Sarah Liked

Melissa Broder
“I liked the Beats for a second when I was fourteen. By sixteen I realized they were mostly just good for picking out a douchebag. There was something about douche bros and the Beats. They just gravitated there.”
Melissa Broder, The Pisces

Melissa Broder
“I would say I'm less afraid of dying than I am of life.”
Melissa Broder, The Pisces

Melissa Broder
“I'd owned enough New Age tchotchkes in my lifetime to know that within a few days of purchase they just seemed like more crap. But as you were shopping, sifting through the stones and their meanings, there was hope that this was a turning point. It was the velocity of buying something that was the high, the potentiality of it. I could capitalist-believe in magic.”
Melissa Broder, The Pisces

Melissa Broder
“But I felt afraid of death, or at least, afraid of dying. Was there something that wasn’t death but wasn’t here either?”
Melissa Broder, The Pisces

Melissa Broder
“I don’t know that we are ever really okay in life, but there are times when we feel closer to it -- when we don’t remember what it feels like to suffer.”
Melissa Broder, The Pisces

Reading Progress

October 10, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read
October 10, 2017 – Shelved
July 5, 2018 – Started Reading
July 5, 2018 –
page 35
12.96% "34 pages read in 28 min, via @leioapp ("
July 7, 2018 –
page 67
24.81% "32 pages read in 25 min, via @leioapp ("
July 8, 2018 –
page 99
36.67% "32 pages read in 21 min, via @leioapp ("
July 9, 2018 –
page 129
47.78% "30 pages read in 27 min, via @leioapp ("
July 11, 2018 –
page 160
59.26% "31 pages read in 22 min, via @leioapp ("
July 21, 2018 –
page 200
July 22, 2018 – Shelved as: favorites
July 22, 2018 – Shelved as: mental-health
July 22, 2018 – Shelved as: fantasy
July 22, 2018 – Shelved as: contemporary
July 22, 2018 – Finished Reading
October 3, 2018 – Shelved as: adult
October 3, 2018 – Shelved as: what-just-happened
March 6, 2019 – Shelved as: womens-prize-2019
February 7, 2020 – Shelved as: dirty-boring-real-life-women

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