I warn you now people, strap in! This could turn out to be a rambly one!
Initially I wasn’t going to put pen to paper (or thumbs to iPhone) on this one because…..well basically my mind was blown. As I am now a full 24hrs post-Peach I thought I would get a few thoughts down about it, even if it’s just to try and make sense of it in my own mind. I will preface this by saying I’m not one for writing negative reviews. I like to live by the old adage ‘if you don’t have anything nice to say then don’t say anything at all’. And this review/word vomit of thoughts I hope will not come across as too negative.
I’d seen Peach around on Twitter and IG. Read the blurb and thought it sounded very interesting. It was getting a lot of hype, hella five star reviews and I thought ‘I need me summa that!’ So I ordered it. It came. I read it. Mind. Blown.
I’ll start with a brief synopsis of the story. We have Peach a teenage girl who appears to have suffered a sexual attack. The book kicks off in the immediate aftermath. I mean it grabs you by the throat and then some!
It’s graphic. It’s visceral. It’s hard hitting, even in those first couple of pages. It certainly doesn’t pull any punches. We see Peach actually stitching her own vagina where it has been torn during the attack.
I start. Slip the pin through the skin. Start stitching. It doesn’t sting. It does bleed. White thread turns red. Red string. Going in. Going out. I pull. Tug. Tug the pin. In. Out. Out. Out. Blackout.
Awful right? Such an emotive subject that in lots of ways has to be hard hitting, has to force you to confront the real world and disgusting, heart wrenching events like this.
However the ‘real world’ falls away from this point onwards and herein lies the problem for me.
Let me (attempt to) explain! Peach has a baby sibling known only as ‘Baby’ who is an actual jelly baby. And I don’t mean it’s squishy and sweet and lovely, I mean it’s an ACTUAL JELLYBABY! When I read that she kissed it and had to wipe the sugar off her lips I thought ‘aye aye, what’s going on here? Have I read that wrong?’….
It doesn’t end there, her teacher is called Mr Custard and is made of….yes you guessed it, custard. Her boyfriend is a tree, his friend is a potato and she has a friend called sandy who is made of…..well….sand.
To top it all off her attacker, the person who has brutally raped her is a sausage. A sausage man called Lincoln.
Are you still with me?
There were times when I was reading this book that I thought ‘what on earth am I reading here?!’ I really struggled to wrap my tiny head around it. I felt almost like I wasn’t clever enough to ‘get it’. I felt left behind after reading all the glowing reviews. What were those people seeing that I wasn’t?
I should maybe explain that my reading tastes have changed vastly over the past twelve months or so and I have moved away from more ‘conventional’ literature and have started to dip my toe into ‘experimental’ literature, for want of a better word. For example George Saunders’ Lincoln In The Bardo was one of my favourite books of 2017 and there ain’t nothing conventional about that!
I think with Peach it wasn’t so much a case of dipping my toe in the experimental water as falling in way over my head and flailing around, desperately looking for someone to rescue me! I read the majority of this book at work on my lunch hour and so many times looked up hoping to find a face I could talk to about what I was reading…..but how do you explain to someone that your book is about a girl who had been sexually attacked by a sausage man?
I think maybe I missed the clever metaphors and hidden meanings, and if I’m being honest I think this says more about me as a reader than it does about the book.
I will say this for definite, it is beautifully written. I enjoyed the stream of consciousness element to the writing, it was very poetic. There is a lot of alliteration used which I’d seen some reviewers use as a negative but I thought this was one of the huge plus points:
Swollen. Swollen black from the slap. Smothered in grease from his slippery slimy sausage fingers.
I mean, come on! I love that!
There’s no doubting even for a second that Emma Glass can write. She can. Extremely well in fact. I’m looking forward to seeing what else she does. So in that respect she had definitely created a buzz.
Overall I’m disappointed that maybe I failed as a reader. Can you fail as a reader? I think Peach was a step too far in my ever evolving reading tastes and I have nobody to blame but myself. I should have done my research. I should have read more reviews before buying it. I shouldn’t have allowed myself to get so sucked in by the hype. But we do don’t we? That’s the whole point of ‘hype!’
I am super interested in your thoughts if you’ve read this one. It will definitely divide opinion I think and will stay with me for a long time to come!
I’d love to chat about it any old time. Come and find me on Twitter and Instagram where I am @bookishchat.
Sorry this was a ramble but hey-ho! I hope you made it this far!
See you soon.
Bookish Chat. Xxx