Kiss, Marry or Kill: 23
If you loved All the Ugly and Wonderful Things... plus what it's like to be a female founder, a "magic" soothing technique, the coolest grammar rule you didn't know existed, and a "not drinking" miss
This is my weekly series for subscribers only, where I’ll share things that caught my eye this week in a fun and flirty way (kiss), a sustainable way (marry), or a not-so-good way (kill). And yes, this trendy game is technically “f***, marry, or kill” but we run a family-friendly-ish show around here.
Kiss (things I like right now)
We Begin at the End by Chris Whitaker
First, this is giving All the Ugly and Wonderful Things vibes, which is one of my favorite books of all time. It’s not as strong, but the dark, twisty, hurty center is there, with similar themes.
This is a re-read (I’m trying to be thrifty and choose new books from my own library), and it was even more heart-achingly beautiful the second time through. We Begin at the End centers on the outlaw Dutchess Day Radley—who at 13 years old, has already taken on far more of the world than any child’s shoulders should bear—and Walk, the Chief of Police who desperately tries to hold his small town and Dutchess’ small and increasingly dysfunctional family together.
Dutchess’s life has been shaped by an act of violence that pre-dates her birth, charting her course in a way that is all too common and monstrously unfair. (Consequence plays its own character in this book.) She is one of the most unforgettable girls I’ve ever read; sharp and blunt and self-aware to the core. I had to remind myself at times that she is just a child, which made her story all the more sorrowful.
This one line in the book description stuck with me: “Both have come to expect that people will disappoint you.” But the nugget at the center of We Begin at the End is that one must have faith that love can always break through, even with the kind of grief, regret, and emotional conclusion this book delivers.