Open Water By: Caleb Azumah Nelson (REVIEW)

Happy Saturday Loves❤︎❤︎❤︎

I finished Open Water By: Caleb Azumah Nelson
…and please forgive me while I try to sum up my feelings for this book. I’m still NOT OVER IT.
Still AT A LOST FOR WORDS at how much I love this book.

This is Debut Novella that tells the story of two Black British people, one a photographer—the other a dancer. They are trying to make their mark in a world that celebrates and rejects them in the same breath.

Throughout the story, we are basically seeing first hand how two people can meet and instantly have a connection. I know there’s a lot of people who don’t believe in love at first sight, and that’s understandable especially how it’s portrayed in the stories we are told. I, myself—am not totally sure how I feel about that. I’m a bit of a realist, but after reading this book—I understand exactly what Caleb’s intentions were from their very first interaction, and let me tell you…it’s such a beautiful ride.

Though that was a huge part of the story, this book was so much more than a romance. It is written in Second person point of view, and I found this to be fantastic—because the main characters didn’t have names, so it felt like it could truly be anyone’s experience.

I loved how the book sheds light on vulnerability from a Black British man’s perspective, and being seen/unseen as a Black body. I’m not 100% sure, but it’s possible this was my first time reading a book by a Black British man. Thank you Caleb for showing us so much.

One of my favorite things about this book was definitely the poetic element to the story. Poetry is written on each page, and not to sound like a corny—but this reminded me of my name “LoveOnPages”. I’ve said so many times that I choose the name because I believe there is so much love written on each page. This was a great reminder for me as I read one of the most intimate books by a Black Man.

Another favorite of mine, would have to be all of the references to Black culture. There was Black music, Movies, Books, and Art on full display for the reader to really connect, and feel like they were apart of this experience. It was a great way to describe Blackness in all forms of life.

All in all I just want to thank Caleb for writing this binge worthy book. I loved it so much, and I can’t wait to see what you do next 🙂

Some Of My Favorite Quotes:

1. You would soon learn that love made you worry, but it also made you beautiful. Love made you Black, as in, you were most coloured when in her presence. It was not a cause for concern; one must rejoice! You could be yourselves.

2. You would like someone to stop you and ask, What Are You Doing?, to which you would reply, I’m Doing What I Feel.

3. It’s a strange turn of phrase, you think, being allowed to breathe, having to seek permission for something so natural, the basis of life; in turn, having to seek permission to live. You’re trying to remember the occasions when you couldn’t breathe, when each inhale took effort, trying to bypass the weight lodged on the left side of your chest, trying to bypass the weight of having to know how you can breathe here—

4. How strange a life you and other Black people lead, forever seen and unseen, forever heard and silenced…

Have a great day. Read a book❤︎❤︎❤︎

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