review: ‘The Lonely Hearts Hotel’ by Heather O’Neill

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5 stars

Guess who’s back, back again? Me. Simply cause I adored this book and need to share that fact everywhere, duh.

If ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’ and ‘Geek Love’ had a baby, then raised it on a combination of smack and ‘La La Land’, this book is the result.

‘The Lonely Hearts Hotel’ introduces us to two curious orphans, Rose and Pierrot, who meet as children and form a bond so transcendent they are doomed to be star-crossed lovers. We then follow them through the highs and lows of their eccentric, bittersweet lives. I found myself filled with wonderment and tenderness at their love for each other, and the whimsical moments throughout, and felt saddened and helpless as they suffered various tragedies.

A provocative, rather filthy writing style still manages to be playful, tender and heartfelt. Real emotions were evoked, and I was utterly endeared to the characters and their stories. I found the novel to be one hugely enticing paradox. The plot is not shy of drugs, abuse and violence on dingy streets but there’s also joy, fun and love. It manages to be full of life whilst maintaining a sombre hopeless fatalistic undertone throughout.

I loved every single word. You know these characters can’t get their happy ending, it’s not that kind of book. But I was completely enraptured as I read through these two precious characters slowly slipping deeper and deeper into darker waters. Despite saying this, I was more than satisfied with the ending. Just enough optimism, but with the signature slick grit that I grew to love.

There’s no way I can really do sufficient justice to this book, most of the beauty is in the experience you can only get by reading it for yourself. I also greatly appreciate that a writing style like this, and a story like this even, won’t be for everyone, but it was completely my cup of tea. Or shot of heroine, should I be more apt. All I can say is that if I were to ever be a writer, I would long to write like Heather O’Neill.

Thanks for reading!

sign off heart Jess


3 thoughts on “review: ‘The Lonely Hearts Hotel’ by Heather O’Neill

    • Ooh an audiobook sounds interesting! The choice of narrator would make or break it I think. I personally loved the experience of reading it but let me know if the narration is good!


  1. Pingback: some thoughts: Bailey’s Shortlist 2017 | an introverts adventures in reading

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