Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing an advance copy in exchange for honest feedbackThank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing an advance copy in exchange for honest feedback
Mental breakdowns, SF, the tech industry - this novel was right up my alley!
There were so many themes that this novel touched on upon as well, depression, ambition, privilege. I love novels that are just a touch too real, especially as someone who lives in the Bay Area and know how real these situations are.
This was a good read & such a unique book! I really enjoyed this book. I'm so glad that I got the chance to read it early and will definitely be recommending it to multiple people who enjoy these types of novels. I enjoyed the characters and especially enjoyed the writing by this author. I'm excited to see what the author comes out with next as I'll definitely be reading it! Thank you to the publisher for my early copy of this book!
I love Etter's writing, and Ripe did not disappoint. It was thrilling and I couldn't put it down. I liked the insight into Silicon Valley.
Atmospheric, unsettling, so-very-true to tech-infected San Francisco. A woman with a black hole following her around sounds apt! I recommend this book.
Ripe makes you uneasy in the best way.
It is a gritty, complex ride with a protagonist who is unlikeable, full of rawness that grips you and doesn't let go and haunts you after finishing.
Her journey to depression is a slow but sure one and as the reader you can only read every haunting word and make the story fully grip you.
This book was surprising and moving. It wasn't necessarily a feel good read but a good read nonetheless!
I enjoyed the work aspect of the book and many of the elements, but it didn't move in the way I wanted to and I found that some of the side characters were too insufferable lol
Thank you to Net Galley, the author, and the publisher for an ARC in exchange for an honest review!
This is a tricky book to rate because I appreciate the author's approach and the commentary surrounding both capitalism and the toxic work culture (specifically in corporate environments) that directly stems from it. However, there were many moments where the writing felt a bit drawn out (which is saying something, given the book isn't an exceptionally long one).
The story follows Cassie, a heavily depressed young woman working her dream job at a Silicon Valley startup. She discovers that the metaphoric black hole (symbolic of her depression) that follows her doesn't lessen in this environment. If anything, it's quite the opposite. This move to San Francisco, away from her family, is meant to signify her success. And instead, she feels herself fumbling at every turn, both personally and professionally.
In order for her to "get ahead" and receive praise at her job, she has to - essentially - sell out, thus resulting in this dichotomy between her "true self" and her "fake self." She has to play the game and become a "believer" alongside the rest of them, compartmentalizing the very human feelings and experiences she's having in the background.
While I didn't love every part of this book, I respect the work the author put into it and the unique way depression was represented. I think anyone can relate to the way in which capitalism oftentimes strips us of our humanity. And while it wasn't my favorite thing I've read this year, I did deeply empathize with Cassie's experience.
Engaging, original, and entertaining. A recommended purchase for collections where genrebent litfic is popular.
I won’t forget the style of the writing, the clarity of Cassie’s anguish and resilience, and the entirely immersive reading experience of spending time with her. Definitely a favorite this year, and I’m certain we’ll be hearing more about this one.
𝟰.𝟱 𝗦𝗧𝗔𝗥𝗦 𝗥𝗢𝗨𝗡𝗗𝗘𝗗 𝗨𝗣
“𝓨𝓸𝓾 𝔀𝓪𝓴𝓮 𝓾𝓹 𝓸𝓷𝓮 𝓭𝓪𝔂 𝓪𝓷𝓭 𝓻𝓮𝓪𝓵𝓲𝔃𝓮 𝔀𝓱𝓪𝓽 𝔂𝓸𝓾’𝓿𝓮 𝓫𝓮𝓬𝓸𝓶𝓮, 𝔀𝓱𝓪𝓽 𝔂𝓸𝓾 𝓪𝓵𝓵𝓸𝔀, 𝓪𝓷𝓭 𝔂𝓸𝓾 𝓱𝓪𝓿𝓮 𝓽𝓸 𝓼𝓽𝓪𝓻𝓮 𝓭𝓸𝔀𝓷 𝓲𝓷𝓽𝓸 𝓽𝓱𝓮 𝓹𝓲𝓽 𝓪𝓽 𝔂𝓸𝓾𝓻𝓼𝓮𝓵𝓯, 𝓪𝓽 𝔂𝓸𝓾𝓻 𝓸𝔀𝓷 𝓬𝓱𝓸𝓲𝓬𝓮𝓼, 𝓪𝓽 𝓽𝓱𝓮 𝔀𝓪𝔂𝓼 𝓲𝓷 𝔀𝓱𝓲𝓬𝓱 𝔂𝓸𝓾 𝓱𝓪𝓿𝓮 𝓫𝓮𝓮𝓷 𝓬𝓾𝓷𝓷𝓲𝓷𝓰 𝓪𝓷𝓭 𝓼𝓽𝓾𝓹𝓲𝓭 𝓪𝓷𝓭 𝓯𝓪𝓵𝓼𝓮 𝓪𝓷𝓭 𝔀𝓻𝓮𝓽𝓬𝓱𝓮𝓭 𝓽𝓸 𝓴𝓮𝓮𝓹 𝓾𝓹 𝔀𝓲𝓽𝓱 𝓽𝓱𝓮 𝔀𝓸𝓻𝓵𝓭 𝓪𝓻𝓸𝓾𝓷𝓭 𝔂𝓸𝓾. 𝓗𝓸𝔀 𝓭𝓸𝓮𝓼 𝓪𝓷𝔂𝓸𝓷𝓮 𝓫𝓮𝓪𝓻 𝓽𝓱𝓮𝓶𝓼𝓮𝓵𝓿𝓮𝓼?”
I have now read this book twice, so it is safe to say I loved it! I unfortunately didn’t quite get that ~five star feeling~ either time, but it was pretty darn close!
I saw a lot of myself in Cassie and in the perceptions she has of herself and the people she is surrounded by. This book just had so many great quotes about life and relationships and the pressures of being a “believer” just like everyone else seems to be. Highly highly recommend!
I enjoyed Ripe and thought it was a good story with good writing. The protagonist experienced trauma and the backstory helps readers understand why Cassie has struggles she experiences throughout the story. Some trigger warnings are applicable though for depression and abortion. Capitalism is a prominent topic in the narrative and the author does a great job discussing theme.
Unfortunately this book didn’t work for me and was a DNF but I am sure other readers will feel differently! Thank you for the ARC!
Thank you Netgalley and the publishing house for sending me this e-arc to read and review. This was a great book, I read it here a few months ago and loved it. The cover art is beautiful and the writing style is beautiful. I cant wait to see what else this author comes out with in the future. I love this book!!!
Sarah Rose Etter took a big bite for this book and unfortunately ending up choking halfway through.
Ripe sets out to be the star child of the new so-called Millennial Malaise genre -- millennial main characters who are struggling with balancing all of the pressures and idiosyncrasies of modern, capitalistic life. As a software engineer at a big tech company myself who feels drained from their job, I was ecstatic to read this. It started off pretty well, the pace slow, yet limber and the prose accessible if not a bit juvenile, until suddenly you're struck dead with the sheer force of her heavy-handed metaphors and cheugy definitions at the beginning of each chapter.
A black hole to represent depression...groundbreaking.
I give this book 2 stars.
Highlighted something on every single page. So brilliant and feeling and painful — true to the storm of reckoning with what you do for work in the modern age.
Cassie was excited when she landed a job at a prestigious Silicon Valley start-up, thinking it will change her life. But a year into the job, Cassie's dream has turned into a nightmare. She has an inscrutable and demanding boss, impossible and ethically questionable projects, and unreasonable hours. Cassie also finds herself increasingly troubled by the juxtaposition of the extreme wealth of tech workers with the poverty experienced by so many residents. When Cassie finds herself at both a personal and professional crossroads, she must confront whether her job is worth it.
This was a well-written and interesting exploration of timely themes around work, ambition, family, and inequity.
First I want to say thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for giving me early access to this book! Ripe was one of those books that comes along and really just hits you right in the gut. As a millennial woman, I related to this novel so much. Our main character’s struggle with depression while navigating the current economic landscape was so spot on that I felt like I was reading my own diary. It is not the novel that you pick up to feel good, or the novel that sends warm fuzzies through your chest. It is a novel that tells hard truths and is unflinching. I will be reading the next novel that Etter puts out and I thought this was a very solid mediation on mental health and the corporate world.
Here's my problem: This book left me speechless. Almost manic, if I'm being honest. Which kind of presented a problem when it came time to write this review.
The short version is: I absolutely devoured this book, wanted to be reading it whenever I wasn't, and it kind of overtook my life for a minute there. (And truly, that's my ideal reading experience.)
"Sometimes reality hurts so badly we must twist it in order to go on living beside it."
The synopsis lays this book out clearly: Cassie is a millennial trapped in a toxic corporate job in Silicon Valley, battling her depression and anxiety and directionless-ness in the personified form of a black hole that's been following her around since she can remember. This was such a strong way of illustrating how all-consuming mental health and the bleakness of late-stage capitalism is, which was both so smart and so very depressing and relatable.
But past the black hole imagery, I was really obsessed with the recurring idea of Cassie's "fake self" taking over at times throughout the book. It really did a phenomenal job of illustrating what people have to do, what roles and costumes and props they have to take on and off every day in order to get through the day and survive without the soul-crushing reality of existing making it too hard to even get out of bed. Literally. How DO we do it??
From its fragmentary structure to its astute observations on just, well, life, this book had me by the throat and refused to let go.
I received an advanced copy of RIPE through NetGalley and the publisher (thank you!) but actually ended up purchasing a final copy for myself before even reading it after seeing four of my favorite authors had written blurbs for it on the back cover, including Emily Austin, who wrote Everyone In This Room Will Someday Be Dead. (One of my favorite books of all time!) I think if you liked that book, specifically its themes, the specific quirks of the main character re: mental health and anxiety, and the fragmentary structure of how its told in vignettes, you might enjoy this book too and I'd definitely recommend it!
(I also highly recommend listening to the Reading the Room podcast episode that discusses this book! It's a phenomenal and emotional interview that I adored.)