Book Reviews · Books

NetGalley Book Review – God-Shaped Hole by Tiffanie DeBartolo

Hello, fellow lovers of fictional worlds! While I usually don’t post two book reviews in a row, I also don’t usually post so infrequently and let my book blog fall to the wayside… Oh, wait… Yes I do.

Anyways, today I’m posting another book review, this time for a novel by Tiffanie DeBartolo. This Renaissance woman is a screenwriter & director, record label founder and CEO, and author extraordinaire. Have you ever heard of a more badass chick? No? I didn’t think so.

Apparently I’m sassy today, guys. Sorry. It’s probably mostly due to the fact that I’m working far too much and have no time for blogging or writing. Even finding time to read is a struggle, but I’ve been making slow progress on my massive TBR. If anyone has tips on fitting blogging and other creative pursuits into a busy lifestyle, please let me know.

To be honest, though, I had very little trouble making time to read God-Shaped Hole by Tiffanie DeBartolo; I had much more of an issue putting it down. First published in 2002, God-Shaped Hole was recently re-released with an awesome new cover on May 16, 2017 in honor of the book’s 15th Anniversary. Read on for a brief synopsis (found on Goodreads), as well as my personal rating and review.


Book Review – God-Shaped Hole by Tiffanie DeBartolo

 

Synopsis:

When I was twelve, a fortune teller told me that my one true love would die young and leave me all alone.
Everyone said she was a fraud, that she was just making it up.
I’d really like to know why the hell a person would make up a thing like that.
Written with the snap, glitter and wit of The Girl’s Guide to Hunting and Fishing, God-Shaped Hole is a memorable, poignant love story that will leave you weeping with laughter. It is told in the wry, vulnerable voice of Beatrice “Trixie” Jordan who replies to a personal ad, “If your intentions are pure I am seeking a friend for the end of the world.”
In doing so, she meets Jacob Grace, a charming, effervescent thirty-something writer, a free spirit who is a passionate seeker of life. He possesses his own turn of phrase and ways of thinking and feeling that dissonantly harmonize with Trixie’s off-center vision as they roller coaster through the joys and furies of their wrenching romance. Along the way they try to come to terms with the hurt brought about by their distant fathers who, in different ways, forsook them.
This story will prove so touching you will rush to share it with a friend or loved one or even a stranger.

 

My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

 

“If your intentions are pure

I am seeking a friend

For the end of the world”

My Review:

If you, like me, can’t resist a book that rips your heart to shreds, God-Shaped Hole by Tiffanie DeBartolo is your next read. Close your laptop, put down your phone or tablet and get to the bookstore. If you’re not yet sold, read the rest of my review and then get to the bookstore. You’re going to want to read this book.

From the first sentence of the prelude, God-Shaped Hole captured my full and undivided attention in a world where distractions are everywhere. The novel is exceedingly well-written, and the plot is compelling and stunningly raw. The characters and relationships feel authentic, and Beatrice (“Trixie”) and Jacob are the type of quirky, philosophical creatives that I would hope to befriend in real life.

The relationship between Trixie and Jacob is a special one. They meet when Beatrice answers a personal ad that Jacob places in a newspaper. “If your intentions are pure / I am seeking a friend / For the end of the world.” The pair’s connection is immediate and it isn’t long before Trixie and Jacob shack up and become inseparable. The novel is littered with raw and sometimes raunchy sexual encounters and descriptions. At first I was slightly put off, but I came to accept that the raw sexuality of Trixie and Jacob’s relationship truly complements the novel’s edgy tone.

Trixie and Jacob are many things: playful and fun, deep and philosophical, brilliant and creative, fiercely sexual. They make for fantastic characters that are easy to connect with, and both make finishing God-Shaped Hole a bittersweet experience as leaving them behind feels like losing a close friend.

There were so many things I loved about this book, but I’ll only delve into a few of them for the sake of time (And for the sake of not ruining your reading experience, of course). I’ll also quickly add that while I won’t get into it here, I loved that God-Shaped Hole contained so many allusions to art. Literature, photojournalism, art, and music all figured prominently into the plot of the novel and into Trixie and Jacob’s relationship.

To enhance the edgy tone of God-Shaped Hole, the language is raw and spunky. Together with Tiffanie DeBartolo’s equally fresh writing style, this spunky diction results in wonderful descriptions like “she tossed her hair around when she laughed like the glamorous android slut monster I knew she was” (Chapter 7). There is also some vulgarity – for example the colorful line of expletives contained in this quote from the end of Chapter 5, “mother-fucking,shit-ass, dickhead, piece-ofshitforbrains, it figures.”

Beyond the romance and sex and colorful language, God-Shaped Hole is a satisfyingly thoughtful read, full of philosophical musings and complicated family issues. Trixie and Jacob talk about everything, including their fears and the fact that “we’re all searching for something to fill up what I like to call that big, God-shaped hole in our souls.” Because of the characters’ personalities and deep conversations, God-Shaped Hole satisfied my head just as much as it satisfied my heart (or broke it, I’m not sure which – read & get back to me on that).

Speaking of satisfying/breaking the heart, one of the greatest aspects of God-Shaped Hole is the emotional power it wields. Due to the raw and real feel of the novel, and because of the deep connection created between Trixie, Jacob and the reader, the emotional response to God-Shaped Hole is immensely powerful. Or, at least, mine was. At one point I had to shut off my eReader and just ride out my insane weeping while my confused husband rubbed my back and tried to simultaneously soothe and shush me. (Silly husband, don’t you know that a fictional world just ripped my heart out? You can’t rush the feels.)

Clearly, I loved reading God-Shaped Hole by Tiffanie DeBartolo. I would highly recommend the novel to adult and mature young adult readers who are interested in discovering a raw and edgy love story with humor and depth. Those who love books that elicit a strong emotional response (like my uncontrollable weeping) would also likely enjoy Tiffanie DeBartolo’s recently re-released novel.

Seeking a friend for the end of the world


 

Thank you for stopping by and reading my review of God-Shaped Hole by Tiffanie DeBartolo. I received an eARC of the 15th Anniversary edition through NetGalley and Sourcebooks Landmark, but this is my honest review and all thoughts and opinions in this blog post are my own.

If you read (or have read) the novel, let me know your thoughts in the comments of this post. But please – no spoilers! Instead of my usual questions (to which I get little to no response), I’ll leave you with this somewhat ironic, but entirely valid, quote from God-Shaped Hole.

To Jacob, the act of critiquing art was essentially imprecise. That’s why he didn’t read reviews on anything he liked, be it a book, a movie, or a record. He believed that any work an artist puts forth which contains the truth as he or she sees it is worthy of consideration, and any commentary of the work beyond that is nothing more than pure individual opinion and should not be considered relevant to the work itself.

Happy Reading!

Erynn

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