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The Regrets
The Regrets | Amy Bonnafons
18 posts | 3 read | 21 to read
Reality and dream collide in Amy Bonnaffons' dazzling, darkly playful debut novel about a love affair between the living and the dead. For weeks, Rachel has been noticing the same golden-haired young man sitting at her Brooklyn bus stop, staring off with a melancholy air. When, one day, she finally musters the courage to introduce herself, the chemistry between them is undeniable: Thomas is wise, witty, handsome, mysterious, clearly a kindred spirit. There's just one tiny problem: He's dead. Stuck in a surreal limbo governed by bureaucracy, Thomas is unable to "cross over" to the afterlife until he completes a 90-day stint on earth, during which time he is forbidden to get involved with a member of the living-lest he incur "regrets." When Thomas and Rachel break this rule, they unleash a cascade of bizarre, troubling consequences. Set in the hallucinatory borderland between life and death, The Regrets is a gloriously strange and breathtakingly sexy exploration of love, the cataclysmic power of fantasies, and the painful, exhilarating work of waking up to reality, told with uncommon grace and humor by a visionary artist at the height of her imaginative power.
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monalyisha
The Regrets | Amy Bonnafons
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Recommendations for works with a similar vibe but a completely different tone/voice:

•Watch Beetlejuice (film)
•Watch Ally McBeal (tv)
•Listen to Ashes of American Flags by Wilco (song)

Respectively, you‘ll get:
•A glimpse into the bureaucracy of The Afterlife
•The inner machinations of a self-involved woman obsessed with The Daydream
•The heartbreakingly-painful sentiment, “All my lies are always wishes...I would die if I could come back new.”

review
monalyisha
The Regrets | Amy Bonnafons
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Panpan

One of my most anticipated reads of 2020. I love it when ghost stories wear literary fiction as a sheet, with holes cut out for the eyes. Something about the synopsis reminded me of The Waiting Room from “Beetlejuice,” & I could not have been more excited about the perceived resemblance.

Despite my negative rating, I have to admit: conceptually, I continued to find the story interesting. 👇🏻

monalyisha 1/5: I was invested in the plot & in the mechanics of the metaphysical world, or, as Bonnaffons calls it, the text‘s “cosmology.” But I downright hated almost all of her characters, & the personality & tone of her writing. (edited) 5d
monalyisha 2/5: It‘s painfully hip & pretentious. She name-drops Almodovar, Mishima, & Proust, as if discussing directors, Japanese Literature, & six-volume sets will make her book instantly cool. It‘s set in Brooklyn. She uses the actual phrase, “I was fucked by the void” & means it quite sexually & literally. (edited) 5d
monalyisha 3/5: I found many of her attempts at humor & progressiveness to be ham-fisted & honestly, a little bit offensive. She over-categorizes the sexual activity of her gay friend, unnecessarily using the term “butt-sex.” And, she gets the role & essence of librarianship pretty goddamn wrong, implying that Children‘s Librarians aren‘t actually interested in books, on top of making light of heroin overdoses in public spaces. (edited) 5d
See All 17 Comments
monalyisha 4/5: I got the feeling that she thinks that both of these examples make her edgy...but I think they just make her rude & hard. (edited) 5d
monalyisha 5/5: In the following passage, Bonnaffons describes her own book perfectly: “I slid my hand down between my legs & began to vindictively masturbate...going back to my default fantasy, in which I made love to a woman physically identical to myself.“ I know the overall message of this book is meant to be beautiful — about living with depression & still learning to love the world. But for fuck‘s sake, it‘s the textbook definition of masturbatory. (edited) 5d
vivastory Is there a doctor in the house?! We have a sick burn! Yeah, I'll definitely be skipping this one. 5d
monalyisha @vivastory I do hope the author never reads my review. I‘m honestly considering editing it for Goodreads. I feel like a jerk but it‘s such a weird, harsh book. It left me feeling so bothered...not hot & bothered (much to her chagrin, I‘m sure). Just bothered. 5d
Suet624 Quite the review! I‘ll surely be skipping this one. 😀 5d
angielackswings That bookmark 😆❤️, it matches this review so well. Yes I agree, quite the review 👍🏻👍🏻 5d
Soubhiville Really good review! I often have a very difficult time putting in to words what exactly bothers me about a book. I appreciate your clarity and honesty. 5d
JackOBotts Excellent bookmark 5d
Clare-Dragonfly Vindictive masturbation sounds… unfeasible. 🤨 5d
monalyisha Thanks @Suet624 @angielackswings @Soubhiville @JackOBotts ! @Clare-Dragonfly Ha! “Feasibility” is definitely not her main concern. 5d
Librariana Love the review! Had added it to the TBR based on the synopsis, but will be removing it now 😊 Thank you for your honesty! 5d
monalyisha @Librariana Phew! Close one. 😅 (I know everyone experiences books differently...but I had to put my feelings out there & try to save others the disappointment.) 5d
Librariana Oh, absolutely on the experiencing books differently front! But I went back to look at other folks' posts on the book (including the "Fingers of the eyes" post!!) and can safely say you did all of us a kindness. So thank you! ?? Hope your next read is tons better! 5d
89 likes17 comments
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mdemanatee
The Regrets | Amy Bonnafons
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This is a weird little book so far and I‘m not sure how I‘m feeling. Would definitely recommend for friends of the Pisces. But the cover is great.

review
Palimpsest
The Regrets | Amy Bonnafons
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Mehso-so

I don‘t know if a so-so rating is fair other than it wasn‘t what I was expecting. I can tell that a lot of thought and time went into this book and the cultural references point out that the author is well read/ educated. I felt like there wasn‘t much distinction between characters, male or female. Perhaps it was intended or I was just seeing the author in all of her characters. I thought this book would be more philosophical or psychological 👇

Palimpsest ...and I thought that if I were reading about a relationship with a ghost that everything wouldn‘t feel so embodied because there is sex, lots and lots and lots of sex, which to me screams of embodiment, but in this case not entirely so. That must be intentional also, but while sex is great, it‘s also a base Maslow needs thing that practically all living things do, so I‘m not sure what difference having sex with a ghost is. Still not sure how I 🤔 1w
Palimpsest For me, all the sex and referring to hard dicks and being wet, and cupping breasts and latte art with sexual undertones detracted from the other bits about imaginary love( which I can relate to) vs reality of love. I hoped to see a lot more of the “dreams” of the character Rachel, of a created vision of a perfect man. Something elevated beyond what sex gives and even the spiritual parts, for lack of a better word, didn‘t deliver that for me. 1w
monalyisha @Palimpsest “He had my favorite kind of male body: lean and wiry, no extra bulk. His penis was straight and graceful.” 🙄🙈 If only her writing was as graceful as Thomas‘s penis, amiright? 😅 5d
Palimpsest @monalyisha haha yeah it certainly didn‘t meet my expectations especially since I read an interview with the author in BookPages where she talked about failed relationships and the idea of imaginary love. I returned my copy to the library before I wrote my review so I had to go by memory. I‘m certainly not a prude, but the sex didn‘t match what I thought Rachel‘s vision for a perfect relationship was besides the silence. I‘m glad it was short. 😆 5d
45 likes4 comments
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monalyisha
The Regrets | Amy Bonnafons
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I‘ve never been more “Me”: (ghost) book in hand, bun in lap, smile on my face. 👻📖🐰😍

monalyisha Out of frame: coffee in a Garfield mug. 1w
IamIamIam 😍🐇😍🐇 1w
DaveGreen7777 Awww! 🥰🥰🥰 1w
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TheSpineView Sweet! 💓 1w
Puredragonstar What a big bunny! So cute!!! 🐇🐰😍🥰 1w
Mrs_B So adorable!!! 1w
Eggbeater What a great picture! Your rabbit is precious! ❤ 1w
ljuliel That is a whopper ! What a big bunny. 1w
BarbaraBB You look so happy 😍😘 1w
diovival Aww!! Great pic! 1w
rabbitprincess HEWWO majestical bonneh 😍😍 1w
Tamra 😄 Super cute! 1w
angielackswings Bunnnyy 😍😍 6d
112 likes13 comments
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monalyisha
The Regrets | Amy Bonnafons
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To date, this book was on my Top 3 Most Anticipated Reads for 2020. It‘s not going as well as I expected. I keep vacillating between like & dislike. Sometimes, it‘s so painfully hip & judgmental. See:

“He seemed to have many fully developed theories about me, most of them now confirmed...”It makes total sense that you grew up in Maine...I bet you can knit. Of course you like Almodovar...Who‘s your favorite Japanese writer? Let me guess, Mishima.”

kyraleseberg Oh noooo 😒 1w
MommyWantsToReadHerBook Oh my gosh, we get it, you know who Almodovar and Mishima are... 1w
Hooked_on_books I hate it when this happens! Anticipation can sometimes really kill a book. Hopefully you end up liking it in the end. 1w
60 likes4 comments
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monalyisha
The Regrets | Amy Bonnafons
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“The wheelchair?
“Yes.” My mother hadn‘t forgotten the word; she simply considered it indecent to speak aloud of misfortune (or sex, for that matter) & angled whenever possible for others to do it for her. When it was necessary to speak these words, she did so in a whisper. “You know,” she‘d say, “he has *cancer,” or “she got *pregnant.” To this day, as far as I know, she still has never fully voiced a wide range of words, from “suicide” to “wig.”

Megabooks Wow 1w
60 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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monalyisha
The Regrets | Amy Bonnafons
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“I looked at him a lot. I touched him all over with the fingers of my eyes.”

Guess if I like the above phrase?
That‘s a hard “no.”

julesG 🤢 this has major 50 Shades vibes. 1w
avgeyer What does this even mean 😭🤢 1w
mcctrish Serious blouse ( pronounced bloughssss) slacks and moist feel writing 😬😜 1w
See All 21 Comments
IamIamIam 🤔😐😑😅😬😩 1w
Foxyfictionista Oh wow i hate that 1w
Meaw_catlady Eww David. 1w
8little_paws OMG I am LOLing at your response!! 1w
audraelizabeth Eww yuck 1w
PurpleTulipGirl When read before caffeine kicks in, this leads one (OK, me) to all sorts of weird thoughts. Like, if your eyes have fingers, shouldn‘t you make sure you‘re no pointing at something before blinking? Also, wouldn‘t it make it easier to poke yourself in the eye? 1w
AJBowers THE FINGERS OF MY EYES 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣 1w
kyraleseberg 🤔🤣 1w
Clare-Dragonfly Nooooooo no no no no 1w
TooFoo Ewwww! I wish it was possible to unread that line. Now the image is stuck in my head 😣 1w
Tamra Yuck! 1w
Megabooks Gross!!! 1w
diovival But, whyyyyyy??? 🤢 1w
angielackswings Lololol everyone‘s response 6d
Librariana I just keep picturing that scene in Beetlejuice where Alec Baldwin ends up with all those eyeballs on the tips of his fingers! 5d
monalyisha @Librariana This book left me wanting to rewatch that movie so bad! 5d
Librariana I say do it! You deserve it 😊 Treat 👏🏼 yo 👏🏼 self 👏🏼 5d
69 likes21 comments
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KarenUK
The Regrets | Amy Bonnafons
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#bookhaul When all your pre-orders arrived at once! 😳💸.... Thank goodness for my 40% employee discount! Now.... how to sneak them in the house?...🤫

LDuffN I have 3 of those on my TBR!! 2w
LeahBergen I was just reading about The Mercies; it sounds good! 2w
BarbaraBB Looking forward to 2w
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batsy Me too @BarbaraBB and I've had Dept of Speculation on the TBR for ever so long! 1w
BarbaraBB @batsy That‘s such a good one! I can send you my copy if you like? 1w
batsy @BarbaraBB That's so kind of you to offer! ❤️ I'd love to if you're sure you don't want to hang on to your copy :) 1w
KarenUK @barbarabb @batsy Dept of Speculation was so good! 💕 1w
BarbaraBB @batsy I‘d love to share it with you. Just send an email with your address. ❤️ (edited) 1w
batsy @BarbaraBB Thank you, you're too kind ❤️ I just dropped you an email. 1w
batsy @KarenUK I'm so glad to hear it! 1w
69 likes2 stack adds10 comments
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Palimpsest
The Regrets | Amy Bonnafons
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No! I‘m reading two books already that I own and I went to pick up my book hold from the library, The Regrets, and The Lost Book of Adana Moreau and A Bookshop in Berlin were both on their new release shelf! I couldn‘t leave them there, but I hope I can read them all within the next three weeks. Super excited to read these!

SilversReviews LOVED A BOOKSHOP IN BERLIN!! Enjoy all of these. 2w
54 likes1 stack add1 comment
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monalyisha
The Regrets | Amy Bonnafons
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re·grets
/rəˈɡrets/

plural noun

“Incursions of the past into the present. Threats to one‘s temporal integrity. An inability to coexist with oneself.”

73 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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monalyisha
The Regrets | Amy Bonnafons
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About to dive in. I‘m a little bit nervous. I‘ve been waiting so impatiently for this! 💖

MommyWantsToReadHerBook The description is intriguing - I hope it's good! 2w
reader_in_april This sounds neat! 2w
79 likes1 stack add2 comments
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monalyisha
The Regrets | Amy Bonnafons
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I don‘t normally do a #weeklyforecast post; I‘m too much of a mood reader to come up with such an organized plan of attack.

BUT. The Regrets came in for me at the library this week & there‘s *no way* I‘m not reading it next. So:

•FINISH Such a Fun Age
•START (& finish) The Regrets 👻
•FINISH Lady from the Black Lagoon (audio)
•START Little Women (audio)
•Recommit to poetry in the morning & try to come close to finishing Spell (by Lauterbach) 🔮

TheLibrarian I‘m so excited for The Regrets! 2w
80 likes1 comment
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Moonprismpower
The Regrets | Amy Bonnafons
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On page 46 and already in love with this book.

review
GirlWellRead
The Regrets | Amy Bonnafons
Mehso-so
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monalyisha
The Regrets | Amy Bonnafons
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76 likes8 comments
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KarenUK
The Regrets | Amy Bonnafons
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I thought I‘d start a hashtag for books we are looking forward to reading next year....
I‘d love to see what new releases you are excited about... these are the beauties at the top of my list 📚

Tag me and use the hashtag #mostanticipated2020
I‘d love to see your lists 👍😊💕

marleed I spent most of December pulling from my own physical TBR because I know I can‘t resist the new releases beginning in January! 2mo
BarbaraBB Great idea! I‘ll have to think about mine! 2mo
Cinfhen Like we need more books 😬Of course we do❣️❣️❣️❣️❣️❣️ 2mo
KarenUK @cinfhen You know it! 😍 2mo
47 likes4 comments
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TheLibrarian
The Regrets | Amy Bonnafons
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Day 5 (a day late) - #7days7covers #coverlove

gossamerchild That looks fascinating! Stacked 😁 5mo
77 likes3 stack adds1 comment