Peach is one of those books that I honestly don’t even know where to start in terms of writing a review. It wasn’t a young adult book – and I’ve never been more thankful for that – and while it wasn’t technically classified as a new adult book either, it seemed to be one to me, so I’m putting it in that category.
But in the case of Peach, when I finished reading, I kind of closed the book, sat there, looked around, and asked out loud: “What the actual hell did I just read?” Yep, that totally happened. And even a few days after finishing the book, I still don’t know what the hell I read.
Trigger Warnings: Rape, Assault
In my opinion, not only is Peach written in a strange manner that is quite similar to the work of Eimear McBride in A Girl is a Half Formed Thing (and if you’ve read my review for that, I really couldn’t enjoy the writing style at all), but it really doesn’t capture a good enough image of the characters – any of them. This makes the book feel as though it is lacking something. Part of me wanted to comment on the short length of the book, but I’ve read books that were short like this before and managed to work out perfectly well, so I don’t think the length of the book really affected it too much. The book was short and to the point, but was so full of confusion and “what the hell” moments that I honestly am not sure it was worth reading at all.
Peach starts off with the main character, Peach, heading back to her home after suffering a violent rape and assault. She is bleeding, in pain, and in complete shock over what has happened to her.
“I wash slowly. With my fingers. Lots of soap. So much soap. I rub. It hurts. Through the suds I watch my tears drown, fall down the drain. I want to follow and fall with them. Drown. Slip down. In the warm. In the dark.”
As the next few days go by, Peach suffers the emotional and physical trauma that has been inflicted upon her thanks to her attacker – there is a scene when she describes her cuts and how she has to stitch them back together – so it’s quite graphic when it comes to details. If that bothers you, this isn’t really a book you’ll want to read, as things get kind of weird as they go on.
Anyway, as time goes on, Peach becomes more and more haunted by her attacker, even to the point where she swears she sees him wherever she is, and she begins receiving letters from him, cut out ransom-note style. But Peach doesn’t want to tell her parents or her boyfriend about the attack, and she keeps it bottled up inside, until one night she can’t keep it bottled up any longer, and she does what she feels she needs to do to make things right.
There is so much weirdness going on in this book. The writing style, as you can see in the quote above, is choppy and almost thought-based on how the character of Peach perceives the world. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and I was kind of interested in the book despite that, until it started getting really, really weird, toward the last quarter of the book.
The last quarter of the book is an absolute freaking mess. There is just so much going on here that makes absolutely no sense at all, and has so much shock value thrown in there that it almost makes the serious subject matter of the rest of the novel seem trivial. For example, the author finds a way to incorporate cannibalism into this book, and it does not fit or belong here, or many any sense whatsoever with the remainder of the story.
Another thing I was thrown off by was the relationship Peach had with her parents. At the beginning of the book, they essentially talked about sex with peach as though they were friends, and even went as far to encourage Peach to get pregnant by her boyfriend so that their own baby would have someone to play with. It was kind of messed up, to be honest.
I can’t think of any reason to recommend this book to anyone – the relationships in the book are unhealthy and twisted, the author throws in things for shock value that take away from the meaning of the story, and the rest of it doesn’t make much sense at all.
I was really looking forward to reading this one, so I’m really bummed that it ended up being this bad. If it had been any longer of a book, I honestly wouldn’t have finished it.