Alone with You in the Ether is a story I’ve been hearing so much praise and hype for recently. And while immediately upon finishing, I wasn’t sure where I stood, but after a few weeks, Alone with You in the Ether has grown on me. Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.
Two people meet in the Art Institute by chance. Prior to their encounter, he is a doctoral student who manages his destructive thoughts with compulsive calculations about time travel; she is a bipolar counterfeit artist, undergoing court-ordered psychotherapy. By the end of the story, these things will still be true. But this is not a story about endings.
For Regan, people are predictable and tedious, including and perhaps especially herself. She copes with the dreariness of existence by living impulsively, imagining a new, alternate timeline being created in the wake of every rash decision.
To Aldo, the world feels disturbingly chaotic. He gets through his days by erecting a wall of routine: a backbeat of rules and formulas that keep him going. Without them, the entire framework of his existence would collapse.
For Regan and Aldo, life has been a matter of resigning themselves to the blueprints of inevitability—until the two meet. Could six conversations with a stranger be the variable that shakes up the entire simulation?
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
It’s a story about complex, flawed, humans. About mental health, feeling like we deserve love (or not), and the attempts we all have to form a connection with anyone. Beginning with one of those chance encounters which can change lives – shock us out of place – it’s a love story.
But even more than that, it’s a story about a relationship, a person, who can change our life. Everyone kept telling me it was a love story and I was confused because what you might interpret as a ‘love story’ doesn’t begin till a bit further in. However, I think it is brilliant. It lends not only an authenticity to their feelings, but it also allows these characters to come into focus. Those quiet moments of reflection we find in other people’s eyes. That un-explainable and almost connection.
Those people you get to know and always want to know more. About their intrusive thoughts, the fears that leave them running, and the ways we have to confront our own selves. Additionally the narration is stunning. There were not only little cameos from other characters or side characters throughout with different narrators, but there was so emotion. Alone with You in the Ether is so character heavy that this fantastic narration just further develops them.
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Relationships are hard and this digs deeply into two flawed and complex people who are just trying to figure out if they can make it. While there’s a very clear focus on the characters, it never felt like it dragged because we got so invested in Regan and Aldo. 100% recommend and worth the hype! Find Alone with You in the Ether on Goodreads, Storygraph, Amazon, Indiebound, Bookshop.org, The Book Depository, Libro.fm, and Google Play.