The Past is Red by Catherynne M. Valente (Book Review)

I hadn’t read a novella in a while, so I was excited when I got the chance to read The Past is Red by Catherynne M. Valente! It’s a fascinating post-apocalyptic satire that packs a punch.

Tetley lives on a literal pile of trash that’s floating in the ocean, after an environmental apocalypse destroys most of Earth. As a child, she made a big mistake that caused a lot of people in Garbagetown to hate her. But soon, she makes a new friend – and a discovery.

*I received this book for free from the publisher (Tordotcom) in exchange for an honest review.

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The Past is Red by Catherynne M. Valente

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Book Review: The Past is Red

At first, I wasn’t quite sure about this one. It was a bit odd – you’re thrown into this strange world with strange lingo. It felt almost dreamlike. But everything started making more sense and it quickly pulled me in!

This story is super imaginative and unique. You definitely won’t ever read another book just like it. It’s also quite strange, but for the most part it worked for me (and it made me think!).

It was much more poignant than I was expecting, since it’s pretty slim. But it tackled some really deep questions/themes centering around the environment, humanity, and survival.

If you don’t like cussing, just be aware there’s a fair amount of it in this book. (But honestly, if I was in these characters’ situation, I’d probably be cussing up a storm too!)

Overall, I enjoyed this novella. The main character had such a unique voice, and the story itself is definitely one I won’t forget!

Rating: 4 (out of 5)

Release date: July 20th, 2021

Looking for more great book recommendations? Check out my list of exciting July 2021 Fiction Book Releases!

The Past is Red by Catherynne M. Valente book review

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