Cover Image: The Death of Vivek Oji

The Death of Vivek Oji

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Member Reviews

This was a new digital e-read that I hadn't known would forge this immediate interest and bond as it dealt with extremely heavy and sensitive topics.
The Death of Vivek Oji captured not only cultural diversity but sexual orientation, and acceptance beyond the normal inner circle situations.
What we find here is more than just a family grieving for the loss of their son Vivek, what we have here is quite more intriguing and deserving of everyone's attention.
While I had no idea when I immediately retrieved this from Netgalley that it was this intense it did have plenty of appeal and intrigue with heavy drama and flavor that never subsided.
It was an emotional, disturbing, complex read that requires much greater attention than I could've provided at the time of reading it; having not read the genre before hand; and without that level of knowledge and connection -created a bit of isolation for me.
The characters and plot were good and the writing was wonderful so please check out the other 4-5 star reviews as this one probably deserves more praise than I'm able to provide being I have a full plate of reviews (130 ARC's plus).
Thank you to the author, the pub, Netgalley, and Amazon Kindle for this ARC in exchange for this honest review.
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What I’ve learned this year, is that I really adore Nigerian storytellers. After falling in love with the stories of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Oyinkan Braithwaite, I have been actively seeking new Nigerian authors. When I heard about Akwaeke Emezi’s The Death of Vivek Oji, I knew I had to read it.

As I’ve experienced with these other Nigerian authors, her characters are so rich and filled with amazing passion. They both revel in and rebel against their culture. I really enjoyed the layers of the characters within Vivek’s world. Each was struggling with their place in society until they didn’t quite fit in to the antiquated morals and expectations. The story is really about their struggle for acceptance both within themselves and those they love.

There is a lot of uncomfortable scenes, physical and sexual brutality, the impact of religious and cultural mores and emphasis on traditional gender roles. The flipping back and forth in time telling us both about Vivek’s death and life is beautifully done. The ending is just heartbreaking. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

Thanks to Netgalley and Riverhead books for providing me with a copy in exchange for my honest opinion.
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I honestly didn't know much about the book going into it. This is also not typically the type of book I would pick up. This was a heartwarming and heart wrenching story told in a setting I'm unfamiliar with and it was beautiful. There are some seriously beautiful lines in this book. I look forward to reading the authors other books.
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While most of the book was decent, I had a hard time keeping my interest.  I found myself skipping paragraphs at a time.  It wasn't awful, but just not the story for me.  2.5/5 Stars
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This is probably going to be the best book that I read in 2020, though I welcome the universe to try to unseat it (who doesn't want to read more amazing books?). It is such a beautiful and mesmerizing book. I had to force myself to slow down while reading it or I would have completely devoured it in one sitting and it was a book that I wanted to take my time and spend more time with. It's heartbreaking to watch a family uncover that they never really knew their child until after his death, but at the same time completely understandable, no one can ever completely know someone else. We all show different facets of ourselves to different people and only all together do they make up who we really are, but no one ever has all the pieces. Such a stunning and heartbreaking book, I only wish I could read it for the first time again.

Thank you to Netgalley and Penguin Group Riverhead for providing me with an e-ARC of this gorgeous novel. All thoughts and opinions in this review are my own.
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This book blew me away! I was unable to but it down. Perfect, dazzlingly, very well written. The details the author described throughout the book was so amazing. The  characters and storyline were fantastic. The ending I did not see coming  Truly Amazing and appreciated the whole story. This is going to be a must read for many many readers. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! No spoilers. Beyond amazing I enjoyed this book so very much. The characters and storyline were fantastic. The ending I did not see coming  Could not put down nor did I want to. Truly Amazing and appreciated the whole story. This is going to be a must read for many many readers. Maybe even a book club pick.
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Mesmerizing novel from the title through the pages I was caught up in this beautifully written emotionally draining novel, This is an author a book Ibwill be recommending.A book that Inwill not forget.#netgalley#riverhead
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Such tender characterization weaves a community narrative centered around the secrets of a tender experience. Emezi allows the reader access to depths of pain, honesty, and freedom of all the characters as they navigate the death of their beloved child, cousin, friend, and lover. Their guilt surrounding death exposes the highs and lows of humanity and the fluidity of our relationships with our loved ones.

The imagery of transcendence of not only sexuality and gender, but of ancestry, spirituality, life, and death was so beautifully constructed. The transcendence of time with the overlapping of the death of a matriarch and the birth of a son on the same day, sharing the same birthmark struck me deeply and personally. The reader has to give in to the transcendence of time and perspectives to make the connections that come together tenderly in the end.

This novel is timely in the amplification of #AllBlackLivesMatter and the uplifting of the names of Trans Black Women. However, it is so much more as parents realize they don’t “own” their children and the lives their children create for themselves, lovers don’t “own” their lovers, and the choices of their lovers and friends cannot “own” their friends or protect them. #TDOVO asks the question, what does it mean to protect someone when our version of protection may be that which kills them?
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I started this book and couldn't get into it and only picked it up again after reading a handful of reviews. When I picked it up the second time I had a hard time putting it donw. The writing was beautiful and Emezi did a wonderful job allowing the reader to understand the significance of family and culture. I think more interactions with Vivek, Osita and Kavita  would have allowed the reader a better understanding of Vivek's life and his relationships. The author's writing about Kavita's grief and pursuit of what happened to Vivek was heartbreaking to the reader. Love the language.
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This is a beautifully written, sensitive and perceptive glimpse into what (for a straight white American) is another culture and another subculture.

Every society has its targeted groups to hate, and for modern-day, still-paternalistic Nigeria, it seems to be people "unlucky" enough to be born without a clearly-defined, conforming sense of their own sexuality. Vivek Oji's short, beautiful life becomes an example for everyone who finds the courage to be different from what is expected of them.

Heartbreaking yet uplifting. Thanks to NetGalley and Penquin Group/Riverhead Books for an advance readers copy.
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Thank you so much for the opportunity to read this book. I'll be posting my review on Goodreads and Amazon
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I absolutely loved this book and will highly and frequently recommend it to my customers! Thank you, NetGalley, for the advance copy!
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I read pretty fast, but never have i devoured a novel in a matter of a few hours. Emezi, is a one of a kind story teller. talk about heart breaking, sheesh! Thank you, Riverhead Books for this gifted copy via Netgalley.
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I would classify this book as mostly trying to find oneself in the form of sexual identity. I went into this book blind and I'm glad I did. There's sort of a mystery behind the death of one of the characters, Vivek Oji. Emezi does a good job of keeping you hooked in wanting to know how the death happened. 

This was a fast read and I would recommend it to anyone who is looking into the topic of sexual identity in a country like Nigeria.
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Largely a novel- almost a meditation - on otherness and fluidity, gender and otherwise, this is also a bit of a mystery. Vivek is dead but why and how? His mother Kavita is desperate to know what happened and begs for information from his friends. Told by Vivek, his cousin Osita, and in the third person by others, this is the story of a young man who had a mystical connection to his grandmother and who never felt quite at home in the world. We learn about Vivek largely through others, which is an interesting device that works well. Osita, like Vivek, has secrets. This is a. more accessible novel than Emezi's debut novel Freshwater. It's not a linear plot although the pastiche was intriguing. I learned a bit about Nigeria (always a plus). Thanks to the publisher for the ARC. Fascinating characters and a unique story made this a good read that's well deserving of the praise it has received.
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Thank you NetGalley and Penguin Group Publishing for gifting me with an ARC of The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi. This was a book I “wished” for and I was delighted to have my wish granted by the publisher. Thank you.

This novel did not disappoint. A compelling coming of age story set in Nigeria. Parts of this novel echoed Ocean Vuong’s recent book, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous. Written in simple, yet haunting prose we are introduced to a diverse group of friends and family. Vivek and his cousin Osita are raised in traditional Nigerian homes where homosexuality and otherness is neither tolerated or accepted. When the boys stop following the paths set out for them a terrible tragedy befalls the family. 

A story rich in culture, language, setting, locale, expectations, beliefs, superstitions and traditions. A book about longing, love, family, acceptance, awareness and ultimately identity. Stunning imagery and sultry writing left me humbled and mesmerized. 

A lovely and relevant choice for bookclubs and readers.
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"They burned down the market on the day Vivek Oji died." 

The Death of Vivek Oji is a stunning novel. While it begins with Vivek's tragic death, it is about Vivek's life and choosing to live in truth. Beautiful and heartbreaking. I will be recommending this novel to everyone.
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How is it that after MONTHS I finally get this book. I already read it from my library and i LOVED it. This book was so beautiful. This was my first Emezi book and their writing is *chef kiss* The atmosphere of this book you can feel all the emotions within each character. Vivek character development and his/her story was just so beautiful to read. Although this story was sad there was a great message behind it of letting people just be free to who they want to be
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This book hits on so many current literary trends, it’s practically impossible for it to go wrong. And yet, can’t honestly say I loved it. Found it interesting, sure, but didn’t really emotionally connect with it. African fiction, LGBTQ characters…an interesting mix. Oil and water mix. The eponymous Vivek Oji’s death testifies to that. One day his naked body is found on the front steps of his parents’ place and no one knows how and only some guess at why. The novel travels through time enough to reveal the profound sadness of Vivek Oji, a character that doesn’t fit in with his family (a well to do couple of Indian and Nigerian descent), doesn’t fit in with the life around him. The community he comes from is connected through Nigerwives, foreignborn women, like his mother, who married Nigerian men and through this tightly knit social circle he has friends and a beloved cousin, Osita. But it isn’t quite enough to contain the duality of Vivek’s spirit. This novel gets a lot of things right. It excels at creating a time and place, it creates realistic dimensional characters, it does a terrific job of representing the differences between the three generations of Nigerians, parents and kids, with the kids shown as being more progressive and openminded despite the conservative traditional society they live in. And it also shows a tragic reality of being gay in a place like Nigeria, country trying to come up in the global scene yet dragged down by old world mentality and prejudices. The kissing (and then some) cousins thing might be an acquired taste. And there was something about the narrative that just didn’t emotionally engage me that much. Vivek himself remained a mystery, only occasionally showing up to say something poetically vague and kind from the afterlife, otherwise exclusively rendered through those who knew and loved him. I enjoy reading internationally and it was good on that account, but then again I just watched The Widow miniseries on Prime, also set (primarily) in Nigeria and that provided much more of a virtual immersive travel experience. Which is about the only way I’d ever want to visit there. So definitely a good family drama, definitely an important story raising awareness of LGBTQ plight in other countries, etc. Read quickly. Didn’t quite sing for me. But seems like the sort of book that would for many readers. Probably might win an award or two. Thanks Netgalley.
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I mean... what is there to say about this book? Other than the fact that it broke my heart, & made me grin, & had me weeping, & moved me so so much. Emezi is potentially my favorite author. While Vivek Oji is definitely less weird than Freshwater, you can definitely see similar threads of storytelling in both books. I adoreeee Vivek, this brilliant, beautiful, shining human who was so loved by so many. I loved the prose in this book. I loved the way the the stories were woven together, & the different viewpoints, & the cast of characters. Anyway, this is stunning, read this, read Freshwater, I’m gonna go read Pet.
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