You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty is about grief. It’s about love and romance, but it’s mostly centered around Feyi’s grief. The ways that it feels like you should be over it, but you never are. And how there’s something about it people just never get. Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.
Feyi Adekola wants to learn how to be alive again.
It’s been five years since the accident that killed the love of her life and she’s almost a new person now—an artist with her own studio, and sharing a brownstone apartment with her ride-or-die best friend, Joy, who insists it’s time for Feyi to ease back into the dating scene. Feyi isn’t ready for anything serious, but a steamy encounter at a rooftop party cascades into a whirlwind summer she could have never imagined: a luxury trip to a tropical island, decadent meals in the glamorous home of a celebrity chef, and a major curator who wants to launch her art career.
She’s even started dating the perfect guy, but their new relationship might be sabotaged before it has a chance by the dangerous thrill Feyi feels every time she locks eyes with the one person in the house who is most definitely off-limits. This new life she asked for just got a lot more complicated, and Feyi must begin her search for real answers. Who is she ready to become? Can she release her past and honor her grief while still embracing her future? And, of course, there’s the biggest question of all—how far is she willing to go for a second chance at love?
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
I was immediately intrigued by this adult romance novel from Emezi. I have only read Pet before, but was so amazed by Emezi’s writing and characters. So I had high hopes. And You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty delivers a story about mistakes, grief, and love. The ways that grief and guilt can hollow us out until we chase a momentary reprieve. How the ones nearest us want to have this neat idea of grief being a process that ends. But it doesn’t work that way. And how those who have experienced a piece of loss, somehow intrinsically, can speak to us.
You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty beautifully examines the messiness and confusion and guilt of grief. The process of falling in love and in making our ways. This is a difficult book to read in some moments. As it also deals with Feyi having to push back hard on some scary interactions. Because none of the characters here are perfect. They’re all struggling with their own feelings, self-absorption, and pieces of loss. And if you take away one thing from this review, know that.
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There are situations where you’re thinking, “how is this going to end up”. And that’s the pieces of reality sinking in. To characters who are indulging their feelings and the difficulty in believing in our own worth. I think that’s the theme that resonated the most with me. Yes I enjoyed reading Feyi’s story and her exploration of grief. But I also loved Feyi’s journey to find her self-value. You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty is a book that should be on your radar if you like Emezi’s books or characters dealing with grief. It’s a book that bridges literary fiction and romance and is great for fans of both. Find You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, Bookshop.org & The Book Depository.