Monday, January 23, 2023

Book Review: Hate to Feel by Chandler Morrison

 "Hate To Feel" by Chandler Morrison 

"And nothing can pull me out of it. No one extends a hand. All the others are too busy casually splashing about in their wading pools, with no fear of drowing. Yet, here I am, drowning every day." 

Derek Diver is a data review specialist whose had his fair share of bad luck with love, but something about Scarlet seems different, IS different. The only problem is his girlfriend Amy that he no longer wants to be with, and Scarlet's super douche of a husband Bryce. 

When things escalate to a full fledged love affair and then unexpectedly crash and burn, there are catastrophic consequences to Derek's life and the people in his life as well.

"When people express concern over your well-being, it's very rarely really genuine. They just want a reason to play amateur psudeo-psychologist. It's ego masturbation." 

"You're always looking for a reason to fall apart."

This book was absolutely heart aching. While I acknowledge Derek is a psychopath and one hundred percent wrong for the things he chose to do, his feelings of suffering and loneliness and hate were all valid. Morrison has written this story in such a way that he digs deep at your emotions, makes you hate those feelings that rise to the surface when you find a passage you whole heartedly relate to. I felt many times while reading that Morrison stole a page from my own life and made it his own. The topics of sexual abuse/trauma, drug use, and lost relationships all resonated deep with inside of me. The chapter that Tamara details the relationship between her and her uncle while speaking to Derek ate away at my core. I kept saying, "Chandler, how on earth could you ever know these things?" Things so deep and raw that I almost couldn't admit the similarities. 

"Maybe existence is just something to be suffered, not relished."

The passages between Derek and Jack, especially those about love and drug use were SO hard to get through. Having experienced my own profound loss of relationships and drug use, I couldn't agree more with so much that was said. Love is the ultimate sacrifice of self; you give away every piece of you to someone in hopes they won't stomp the beauty out of your soul and most times you just lose yourself along the way while they never appreciate any of you at all. Derek absolutely caused some, if not most,  of his own pain. The same can be said about us as people as well though. I can very much see and understand how all those hurtful and resentful things caused the train reaction we get from this book and from Derek's character. And who knows, maybe that's what Morrison wanted all along, for us to hate to feel.

"I'm a miserable, coke-addled, pill-popping alcoholic. I'm living proof. And I use the word 'living very loosely. So, no, Vera didn't do this to me. But my love for her did." 

Morrison doesn't get nearly enough love for this book. I know he's known for his incredibly controversial "Dead Inside", and it's an amazing book, no shade there. BUT Morrison is MORE than THE SCENE in the abortion clinic. His writing is magical and profound. It's life changing. And this book is life changing. This is the book to read, this is the book that needs talked about as much as THE SCENE. Definitely read "Dead Inside", but maybe start here first. See what Morrison is really about, because this story is deep. There are no satiric's in this story. This is real life and it fucking hurts. 

"Why is it the things that give us the most pleasure, the things that make life manageable, aren't sustainable?"

I wondered A LOT while I read this how much of the story and setting was based off Morrison's own experiences living in L.A. I find it hard to believe some of this isn't a piece of his own heart beating off the paper, allowing us a glimpse into his own soul. If it's not, I don't want to know. 

"But beauty isn't everything, Derek, and that's all you really have. 

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