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Acts of Desperation
Acts of Desperation | Megan Nolan
Sure to resonate with anyone who has ever degraded themselves in the pursuit of love, Acts of Desperation is narrated by an unnamed young woman caught up in a toxic romance with a beautiful but cold and distant artist named Ciaran. Alternating between direct confession and lucid critique, she speaks as though on a witness stand before a panel of judges (us), her account interrupted at intervals by new evidence from her past, or cross-examinations by her present self, older but perhaps not wiser or more mature. Taking us past the first violence of obsession to explore what might happen if we got the forbidden thing (or man) that we yearn for, Nolan engages enormous questions that pulse in the background of many lives. What does it mean to be a woman today? How do we make sense of regressive desires-the desire to be overpowered, possessed, hurt, ignored? To get what we want, romantically and sexually, do we have to submit to degradation, to a more traditionally "female" existence? Like Sally Rooney, Nolan makes a study of how our most intimate relationships express the enduring imbalances of power that trouble our age. Written with chilling, electric precision, Acts of Desperation is not just about obsession and the oppressiveness of an uneven relationship; it is also about the bravery of asking someone to love you, and the ways that love and sex can transform our ordinary lives and bodies into something spectacular, even if only for a moment.
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Acts of Desperation | Megan Nolan
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I read good reviews of this one, but I had to bail on it. Beautifully written, but it was too painful for me to endure the character‘s way of seeing herself. Maybe it‘s a sign of Nolan‘s talent that the book had such an effect on me.

merelybookish Oof. I just read the description. Sounds kind of brutal. 6mo
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Acts of Desperation | Megan Nolan
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Here‘s my February wrap-up! I‘m tagging the book that stayed with me the most, not counting The Wicked King, as we all know it‘s one of my all time favorites and this was just a reread.

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Acts of Desperation | Megan Nolan
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Quick #bfc22 update. I‘ve done pretty well at staying motivated January and February - few days when I was ill aside.

The first week of feb I‘ve managed a nourishing breakfast every day, two HIIT workouts, one yoga class and a lot of books. Tho tbh the books were never gonna be the difficult part of the goal.


wanderinglynn Yay! Way to go! 🙌🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 10mo
bthegood You make me smile - great job 🙂 10mo
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Acts of Desperation | Megan Nolan

First book in my reattempt to read a book a week for the year.

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Acts of Desperation | Megan Nolan
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Not for everyone but I loved this.. so much! Perceptive and raw. Yes it was uncomfortable, as I saw my younger self in this unnamed protagonist. A dark psychological portrait of an insecure young woman, and it really got under my skin. She defines herself by a love unrequited, a toxic relationship with a beautiful cruel man. So many TW, for self harm, disordered eating, verbal and physical abuse. This girl felt familiar and alive.

Andrew65 Looks good. 11mo
Ruthiella Stacking. My 20s weren‘t terrible but I know they could have been when I read books like this. I think that “could have been me” feeling is what draws me to this kind of narrative. 11mo
KarenUK @Ruthiella me too… I‘m definitely drawn to books like this. 11mo
Cinfhen Unfortunately this one wasn‘t for me. XX 11mo
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Acts of Desperation | Megan Nolan
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This book is written well and there‘s no plot to speak of so I think many will judge it on how it resonates with them. I could relate to the narrator in how her body is responsible for her self esteem. In the toxic relationships I recognize the stories of many a friend and reading about it l made me think that I‘ve heard it all before (I‘m really getting old 👵🏼😂). ⬇️⬇️

(Pic: Paros, Greece)

BarbaraBB ⬆️⬆️ That makes this book between a pick and a so-so for me. Right in the middle between @Cinfhen @Megabooks and @KarenUK 😀! I am glad I read it though and that you sent it my way Karen 🤍🤍
(edited) 1y
Cinfhen I know @KarenUK and @Megabooks LOVED this one but it didn‘t work for me…I can‘t even remember why anymore 😅Im glad it was a pick for you!!! You‘re on a good roll 🥰 1y
Cinfhen Stunning photo 😍😍 1y
See All 16 Comments
TheAromaofBooks Great review!! 1y
BarbaraBB @Cinfhen A light pick. I reread your review and can relate to that a lot. 1y
BarbaraBB @Cinfhen @KarenUK @Megabooks You were comparing her to Rooney. I love Rooney and when reading her I don‘t feel old. That‘s interesting don‘t you think? I can‘t pinpoint why not! 1y
Velvetfur Gorgeous photo! I love how the book cover compliments the colour of the water 💙 1y
IuliaC Great reviews and gorgeous Greece photos 😍💙 1y
Cinfhen Off to see my review…. 1y
Cinfhen I don‘t remember the Athens section anymore @Megabooks 😁😜😂I do remember being frustrated with the young woman and the lack of storyline 1y
Megabooks I agree that I judged it based on the feelings it elicited. Smart observation!! I‘ll miss the pictures of Greece when you go home. 1y
KarenUK I totally agree this book fails or succeeds on how much you relate to the protagonist. It‘s so in her head… She reminded me of Rooney with the young woman/inner monologue angsty stuff, with both authors tapping into something that made my twenties rush back to me! Rooney defy does it better I think, but this one got under my skin…. 1y
BarbaraBB @Megabooks I‘ll miss Greece too! Five more days to go though! 1y
BarbaraBB @KarenUK I can see how this book can get under your skin and read in your review that the mc reminded you so much of yourself. I love it when that happens. And when the mc can describe it in a way you yourself weren‘t able to a the time. So I see why you loved it! 🤍 1y
Megabooks And also, I think a reason I loved this is that it created such clear pictures in my head. Books either do that or don‘t, and ones that do tend to create a more lasting, favorable impression, even if the images or writing is dark. 1y
Megabooks You know me and needing to make words into pictures! 😉 1y
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Acts of Desperation | Megan Nolan
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2 recent releases for 99p each. #UKKindleDailyDeal Tagging the Brits whose handles my Swiss cheese brain can remember right now. ☺️

TrishB Strange Flowers is lovely ❤️ I‘m on the fence about the other one and not sure I‘d enjoy 🤷‍♀️ this may just be me pre- judging! 1y
squirrelbrain Thanks for the tag! @oryx texted earlier about Acts of Desperation so I bought that. Might go for Strange Flowers too @TrishB , if you say so! (Not easily influenced or anything!) 1y
squirrelbrain Ooos sorry, just realised it was Jess @jhod who texted and Emma @oryx already had it! 🤷‍♀️ 1y
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TrishB @squirrelbrain I‘m not easily influenced either, never 😁 1y
MicheleinPhilly @squirrelbrain Oh just buy them both. ☺️ 1y
squirrelbrain Already did Michele! 😜 1y
jhod Oooh now I might have to go back and buy strange flowers! @TrishB @squirrelbrain 1y
squirrelbrain You know you should @jhod ! 😘 1y
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Acts of Desperation | Megan Nolan
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#Midyearfaves #Day2 of 10
Loved this.. so much. Perceptive, raw and uncomfortable. I saw my younger self in the unnamed protagonist. It‘s a dark psychological portrait of a girl, heart-breakingly insecure in her own skin, self-destructive, lonely, damaged. She defines herself by a toxic relationship with a beautiful cruel man. So many TW, for self harm, disordered eating, abuse. Yet I couldn‘t stop reading.....This girl felt familiar and alive.

Soubhiville If there were a prize for most disturbing book cover of the year, I‘d give it to this book. Sounds like it‘s completely fitting though. 1y
KarenUK @Soubhiville I know, right?! Such a weird but definitely fitting cover. 1y
vivastory This one wasn't really on my radar, but it sounds interesting. Adding to my TBR! 1y
BarbaraBB You sent me this one! I‘m definitely going to read it in the second half of the year! 1y
squirrelbrain I didn‘t catch previous reviews of this book, but sounds like my kind of read - stacked! 1y
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Acts of Desperation | Megan Nolan
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"The pleasure wasn't often pleasure; it was release from pain."

Raw is the term that comes to mind for this book. The narrator's thoughts, the language & style of the writing, the way I was left feeling-all of it raw. The life issues that are addressed- codependency, substance abuse, depression, self-injury, attachment styles- provide a glimpse into the madness of humans. This was a tough read for me but absolutely worth it.

Acts of Desperation | Megan Nolan

this book is so RAW and i needed to take breaks from it & come up for air but honestly, feminine abjection & destructive sexual voracity are topics that keep on giving bc there truly is no bottom to the pain. ouch

Acts of Desperation | Megan Nolan
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#UnPopularOpinion This really wasn‘t for me. First, its difficult to read this novel, as the unnamed narrator makes so many terrible decisions, she‘s so self destructive and self loathing. While she‘s aware of her harmful behavior she does nothing to help herself or implement necessary changes. I‘m just to old to become invested in a narrative about a toxic relationship especially when there really isn‘t any storyline. 👇🏼

Cinfhen I think my expectations were wayyyyy too high and I had a BAD CASE of #FoMo. I didn‘t dislike this book, I just wasn‘t overwhelmed 2y
Megabooks @Cinfhen it was a lot of drama and toxicity, but I was in the mood for that. And yes, she definitely made horrible decisions, but I think the 2019 Athens timeline redeemed it a bit. 2y
Cinfhen Yes, that was a welcome change but I felt like she was jumping into a new bad situation @Megabooks 2y
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Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @Cinfhen is this book about me and my terrible relationship choices ?! 🤣🤷‍♀️🤦🏼‍♀️ 2y
BarbaraBB I believe you and will unstack! 2y
Kalalalatja Sorry it wasn‘t for you, I‘m waiting a bit with this 2y
TrishB I think I‘m way to old too! 2y
Cinfhen I hope not @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks !!!!! She allowed herself to be used and debased ~ it was heartbreaking to read, especially as the mother of a daughter, these books bring out the mama bear in me @TrishB @BarbaraBB I think we can all relate to being frustrated by young women making TERRIBLE CHOICES in the name of “love” ~ I do think you‘d like this book Barbara, but you can wait to read it. Misty & Trish you can probably both skip it 😘😘 2y
Cinfhen You‘ll probably appreciate this book from a psychological background @Kalalalatja if you can find audio, it was good!! 2y
KarenUK It‘s definitely not an age thing, as I‘m not exactly young!!!😂 Joking aside, this one really spoke to me, I related so much to the MC, I had so much empathy for her. My heart broke. I definitely made terrible choices in my twenties, had a lot of self-loathing at her age, and toxic is definitely how I‘d describe a number of my relationships. And as I couldn‘t be a mother, so maybe my mama bear is missing! And I thought the writing was excellent. (edited) 2y
KarenUK I had a feeling it wouldn‘t be for you Cindy, but I agree I think @barbarabb might like it.... 2y
BarbaraBB @KarenUK @Cinfhen I get more intrigued by the hour to find out how I‘ll think about it. Stacked again! Thanks friend 🤍 2y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @Cinfhen thank you ❤️ 2y
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Acts of Desperation | Megan Nolan
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So.... it‘s good not great for me...I‘m not relating to the young narrator/ I‘m old & I don‘t have a lot of patience anymore for obsessive longing/ love/ desire/ It‘s reminding me of Queenie ( a young woman who keeps making BAD decisions)

BarbaraBB That is interesting. I am very curious where you‘ll end up with this book 2y
Cinfhen #FoMo and #Hype works against me @BarbaraBB but I think you‘ll like this one..... 2y
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AmyG Oy....I did not like Queenie...so I get that. 2y
TrishB I knew it wasn‘t for me already! That angst ridden toxic relationship stuff not for me. Too old. (edited) 2y
mhillis Interesting, I wanted to read this but the library doesn‘t have it! 2y
merelybookish Haha, yes. 💯 on Queenie. 2y
BarbaraBB I admit I am a sucker for toxic relationships but I didn‘t like My Dark Vanessa much, which I saw this book bring compared to. 2y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks Is someone following me?! 😳🤪🤦🏼‍♀️ 2y
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Acts of Desperation | Megan Nolan
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Added #audio 👍🏽🎧Love the Irish accent 🇮🇪 💚so far, I‘m engaged @BarbaraBB @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @TheNerdyProfessor @Megabooks @KarenUK

Megabooks You‘re going all in! I love it! 2y
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks 🖤🖤🖤 2y
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Acts of Desperation | Megan Nolan
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Like the title states...I succumbed #KindlePurchase #BlameItOnLitsy or more specifically @KarenUK @Megabooks @BarbaraBB #NextUp

Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks I want it after I saw it posted, but dang it‘s expensive !! Let me know how it is!! 2y
BarbaraBB Can‘t wait to see if you are as raving as our enablers! 2y
Megabooks Oooo!! I hope I didn‘t set you up with something you don‘t like! 2y
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Acts of Desperation | Megan Nolan
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The portrait of a dark, aching young woman. The book builds to a devastating crescendo. Quit comparing Irish millennials to Sally Rooney; however, I liked this better. Utterly brilliant!

FelinesAndFelonies This sounds so good. Stacked! 2y
Megabooks @FelinesAndFelonies I hope you love it! 2y
BarbaraBB What a recommendation! Stacked of course 2y
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Kalalalatja Every review of this make me more certain I need this book in my life! 2y
Megabooks @BarbaraBB 👍🏻💜😘 enjoy! 2y
Megabooks @Kalalalatja I almost tagged you. I think you‘d love it too! 2y
mhillis This sounds good! Stacked 📚 2y
Megabooks @mhillis I hope you enjoy it! 2y
Cinfhen Oh wow!! Definitely NEED to read!!! 2y
KarenUK I feel well and truly reprimanded for mentioning Rooney in my review!! @Kalalalatja @Megabooks 🤦‍♀️but glad you enjoyed it Meg! Hope you both do too.... @BarbaraBB @Cinfhen 💕 2y
Megabooks @Cinfhen yes, you do!! 2y
Megabooks @KarenUK every poor Irish millennial is trotted out as “the next Sally Rooney” as if people can‘t read a blurb (or look at a cover 😜) and figure out if they want the book. I think manuscripts similar to hers are purposefully being chosen (especially for international distribution) but also I feel it does a disservice to each author‘s unique perspective. *steps off soapbox* and I don‘t mean this purposefully against you. I think we‘re all set ⬇️ (edited) 2y
Megabooks @KarenUK up as readers to think this way by the publisher‘s marketing materials and/or blurbs. I hadn‘t reread your review and forgot you mentioned Rooney, but I find it frustrating that publishers push new British mystery authors as “the next Ruth Ware” or any book about musicians as “the next Daisy Jones”. Oh well. 🤷🏻‍♀️ 2y
KarenUK Oh Meg, I was teasing! I don‘t really feel ‘told off‘ 😊💕.... I totally understand how you feel..... I guess as a bookseller I find comparisons a way to sell under the radar books to customers who usually stick with familiar authors or books picked by celebrities. Any tool I can use to sell a book I love, I‘ll use! 😂💕 (edited) 2y
Megabooks @KarenUK oh fantastic! Glad you‘re not mad. 💜😘 And I hadn‘t thought about it from the perspective of people who don‘t read frequently. Have fun with @Cinfhen !! Jealous that y‘all get to hang out! 2y
Kalalalatja @KarenUK I‘m really glad when people mention an author I love when reviewing a book (or trying to sell it to me 😉). But like Meg says, some authors or type of books (I‘m looking at you Twilight and Hunger Games) get overexposed and it end up making me hesitant to pick it up. I‘m still here for the Rooney comparisons, though 😄🙌 2y
KarenUK @Kalalalatja 👍😊💕 2y
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Acts of Desperation | Megan Nolan
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Wow - this book is breath-taking. The writing is an honest and raw examination of the lengths we go through to be loved by others. How much of ourselves do we forfeit to be desirable to another? How much abuse do we take? Through the narrator we learn that sometimes being with someone is lonelier than solitude. This is a book about self-loathing, desire, and desperation. Dark, difficult, and full of depth. Highly recommend. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Megabooks I‘m reading this now and really enjoying it 2y
Cinfhen Is this the book @KarenUK raved about @Megabooks ??? (edited) 2y
BarbaraBB @Cinfhen Yes It was. Both of them and @TheNerdyProfessor loving it... leaves us no choice I guess 😉 2y
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mhillis Great review! I must read it!! 2y
Cinfhen It‘s $23.99 on Prime @BarbaraBB so I‘m gonna wait and see if I can find it for less 😫 2y
BarbaraBB @Cinfhen It is 16€ on BookDepository. I‘m tempted! 2y
Cinfhen I know!!! I might just buy it too @BarbaraBB #BadInfluence xxx 2y
Cinfhen I think I‘m gonna buy it on my Kindle @BarbaraBB ❤️👌🏾 2y
TheNerdyProfessor @BarbaraBB @Cinfhen @megabooks I really hope you enjoy it! It is similar to My Dark Vanessa in terms of darkness but has the feeling of reading someone's diary. And at times I could relate to the narrator even when I didn't want to. 2y
BarbaraBB It sounds very intriguing! 2y
Megabooks @TheNerdyProfessor I finished it this morning! Definitely a fantastic book! 2y
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Acts of Desperation | Megan Nolan
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#bookmail - blame it on @KarenUK 📚🥂

Also I rearranged my shelves for even more rainbow!!! Will share pics soon when I‘m done fussing. So far, I‘m really happy with it!

Smangela I love rainbow organizing. It‘s so visually pleasing! 2y
Megabooks @Smangela it is!! 2y
BarbaraBB That looks very promising. I love the rainbow but I‘d be afraid i wouldn‘t be able to find my books. I need the alphabet 😉 2y
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Cinfhen Woohoo!!! Can‘t wait to see the new shelves 💚 2y
Cinfhen And can‘t wait to hear your thoughts on this book ❣️❣️❣️ 2y
Megabooks @BarbaraBB I am just so visual with colors, this works fine for me, but having books of different heights together is hard! 😂 2y
Megabooks @Cinfhen I‘ll post the shelves sometime this weekend. I wish you could post panoramic photos on litsy. I only got a few pages in before I had to get up and start cooking dinner! 2y
BarbaraBB 🤣🤣 2y
KarenUK 🤞🤞🤞🤞 you like it! 2y
Megabooks @KarenUK so far yes!! 2y
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Acts of Desperation | Megan Nolan
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Loved this.. so much. The writing is so fantastic. Perceptive and raw. Yes it‘s uncomfortable. I saw some of my younger self, and of so many young women, in this unnamed protagonist. It felt real and sad and painful.
This is a dark psychological portrait of an insecure young woman, and it really got under my skin. She is heart-breakingly uncomfortable in her own skin, self-destructive, lonely, damaged.
(Review continued in comments)

KarenUK She defines herself by a love unrequited, a toxic relationship with a beautiful cruel man. So many TW, for self harm, disordered eating, verbal and physical abuse. Yet I couldn‘t stop reading..... This girl felt familiar and real. Like Sally Rooney and Naoise Dolan, but dare I say, even better? There must be something in that Irish water.... Loved it. (edited) 2y
Megabooks Ooo!! Great review. Going to keep an eye out for this! 2y
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Cinfhen What @Megabooks said....sounds like an uncomfortable but unforgettable read...I‘ll be looking for it 2y
Megabooks Impulse ordered it @Cinfhen 🤦🏻‍♀️ 2y
JennyM Great review! Echoing @megabooks and @cinfhen and stacking 😊 2y
BarbaraBB Fab review, stacked immediately 🖤 2y
Kalalalatja Oooooh sounds really good! I just finished Exciting Times, and I love Rooney, so this sounds just like a book for me 👍 2y
Cinfhen Yay @Kalalalatja I‘m glad you picked up / I thought it be your type of book 2y
Cinfhen Ha!!! @Megabooks when is it publishing?? 2y
Megabooks @Cinfhen it‘s already out! 👍🏻 2y
Cinfhen Oh, cool @Megabooks did you do print or audio??? 2y
Kalalalatja @Cinfhen it was, and I enjoyed it, but I finished it yesterday, and I already struggle with remembering it. 😅 2y
Cinfhen Uh oh!!! That‘s bad @Kalalalatja I‘ve had that happen before too. Not a great endorsement 😜 2y
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