Thank you so much FSG Originals for sending me a copy of Catalina by Liska Jacobs in exchange for an honest review! A look into the life of someone who is completely spiraling out of control leads to a quick twisted read and the realization that at any time any of us could lose our way just as easily. I gave this debut novel 3.5/5 stars!
A magnetic, provocative debut novel chronicling a young woman’s downward spiral following the end of an affair
Elsa Fisher is headed for rock bottom. At least, that’s her plan. She has just been fired from MoMA on the heels of an affair with her married boss, and she retreats to Los Angeles to blow her severance package on whatever it takes to numb the pain. Her abandoned crew of college friends (childhood friend Charlotte and her wayward husband, Jared; and Elsa’s ex-husband, Robby) receive her with open arms, and, thinking she’s on vacation, a plan to celebrate their reunion on a booze-soaked sailing trip to Catalina Island.
But Elsa doesn’t want to celebrate. She is lost, lonely, and full of rage, and only wants to sink as low as the drugs and alcohol will take her. On Catalina, her determined unraveling and recklessness expose painful memories and dark desires, putting everyone in the group at risk.
With the creeping menace of Patricia Highsmith and the bender-chic of Bret Easton Ellis, Liska Jacobs brings you inside the mind of an angry, reckless young woman hell-bent on destruction–every page taut with the knowledge that Elsa’s path does not lead to a happy place. Catalina is a compulsive, deliciously dark exploration of beauty, love, and friendship, and the sometimes toxic desires that drive us.
This book hooked my interest right away. Main character Elsa is the storm wreaking havoc that you cannot look away from. I wanted to know what she was going to do next, why her life had fallen apart so quickly, and where she would end up. Liska’s writing was very well done, she kept me interested in Elsa when normally I tend to find these types of reads a little boring. At just under 250 pages I got through this book in half a day, which made it the perfect book to squeeze in during a busy week.
For what I didn’t love, I felt by the end that there wasn’t much of a point to what I had just read other than to watch this woman spiral more and more out of control. The ending was abrupt and a bit lackluster. I suppose it was meant to show that her downward spiral was no where near its end. It just didn’t make much sense to me seeing how that match up went through out the rest of the book. I do not want to give too much away so I’ll leave it at that.
Overall, an easy read to pick up and finish in a day. The book’s darker side really hooks you and makes you wonder if you could so easily lose control as well, and is there an Elsa in all of us?