cue another existential crisis: a review of None of This is Serious by Catherine Prasifka


Hi friends! How are you all?

Today I come to you with a review on a book I recently finished (last night actually) and I wanted to quickly post about it because I was supposed to on the day it was published! But my reading slump literally made it impossible to do so.

So here it is! I was honoured to recieve an eARC copy of 𝑵𝒐𝒏𝒆 𝒐𝒇 𝑻𝒉𝒊𝒔 𝒊𝒔 𝑺𝒆𝒓𝒊𝒐𝒖𝒔 𝒃𝒚 𝑪𝒂𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒓𝒊𝒏𝒆 𝑷𝒓𝒂𝒔𝒊𝒇𝒌𝒂 from the publishers on Netgalley. This was a novel that I had already pre-ordered before I even recieved the ARC copy and my gut feeling about this book was completely and utterly correct.

What a gem!

Before I begin, here is the synopsis which you can also see here or here.

Dublin student life is ending for Sophie and her friends. They’ve got everything figured out, and Sophie feels left behind as they all start to go their separate ways. She’s overshadowed by her best friend Grace. She’s been in love with Finn for as long as she’s known him. And she’s about to meet Rory, who’s suddenly available to her online.

At a party, what was already unstable completely falls apart and Sophie finds herself obsessively scrolling social media, waiting for something (anything) to happen.

None of This Is Serious is about the uncertainty and absurdity of being alive today. It’s about balancing the real world with the online, and the vulnerabilities in yourself, your relationships, your body. At its heart, this is a novel about the friendships strong enough to withstand anything.


4.5 stars.

Wow.

𝑵𝒐𝒏𝒆 𝒐𝒇 𝑻𝒉𝒊𝒔 𝒊𝒔 𝑺𝒆𝒓𝒊𝒐𝒖𝒔 𝒃𝒚 𝑪𝒂𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒓𝒊𝒏𝒆 𝑷𝒓𝒂𝒔𝒊𝒇𝒌𝒂 was an absolute surprise. I had a gut feeling regarding this book, and my gut feeling was right. 𝑪𝒂𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒓𝒊𝒏𝒆 𝑷𝒓𝒂𝒔𝒊𝒇𝒌𝒂 is an author that I will be keeping on eye on in the future as she writes and constructs characters that resonate so deep with me.

𝑵𝒐𝒏𝒆 𝒐𝒇 𝑻𝒉𝒊𝒔 𝒊𝒔 𝑺𝒆𝒓𝒊𝒐𝒖𝒔 is an intensely introspective novel, one focused on the main character Sophie who truly doesn’t know what she wants to do with her life. I mean, do any of us? After finishing her political science degree, she is incapable of seeing and understanding of a future where she can exist happily. The world is on the precipice of catastrophe with climate change and the continuing exploitation of land and natural resources for production, social media is changing the narrative of our reality and people are too concerned with feigning ignorance that the world is reaching a critical point. The author has truly captured this almost combative clash between reality that supposedly exists as we see it and the reality being constructed through the digital world.

A crack in the sky is an overarching plot point that highlights the ridiculousness of us as humans happening on the ground – we observe all of this through Sophie herself. Sophie is an incredibly complex character, she is trying to do what all of us are trying to do and that is to be content with her life and be loved. Throughout the novel, we see Sophie trying to work through her trauma as she has honestly one of the worst twin sisters I have ever read. Hannah is one of those characters who you understand has her own issues and story, but the way that she interacts with her sister, Sophie, makes you as the reader unable to empathise at all with her. She is so insecure and unhappy that she lashes out to Sophie. As a result of almost constant comparisons between them and found lacking, Sophie has such incredible low self-esteem, is uncomfortable with her physical body and studies every single interaction she has with people to uncover every nuance or possible meaning to it, like she’s taking an exam.

Sophie’s anxiety is one of the aspects of the novel that I felt was written with such authenticity. I’ve been Sophie, I am Sophie in different ways. My brain works similarly to Sophie – sometimes it can feel like a minefield. And that element, although some readers may not enjoy it, felt very real to the experiences I and others have had with their own anxiety. Sophie’s mind, in some respects, is her enemy. Everything she does or doesn’t do, everything other people do, how she interacts with people, etc., is plucked at, unspooled, prodded and pulled apart until it’s lost meaning and she feels able enough to deal with it in this now ‘dull’ form. Some readers may call Sophie unlikeable and frustrating, selfish or narcisstic, but she is just trying so hard to figure out how to live. She believes that everyone hates her or doesn’t have time for her, because she is so in her own mind that anything to the contrary feels unrealistic. When she meets someone who seemingly is wonderful, with Sophie believing that someone like him could never actually be with someone like her, her certainty in him collapses after an honestly traumatic event, leaving Sophie reeling. Sophie’s reality undergoes changes, higlighting the uncertainty of our world and explores how we, as humans, engage with the people around us. It highlights the hypocrisy of people, their ignorance and the impact it can have on someone. Sophie is just trying to keep her head above water.

The crack in the sky I think could be a metaphor to the literal dying of our planet, to climate change and even to the reality of living during a global pandemic. Similar to the crack in the sky, COVID is the new normal. I don’t even remember how we were as a people before the pandemic. The way we live has changed and they way we interact with the world is constantly changing as a result.

The only reason why I have given this novel a 4.5 stars and not the full five star rating, is because the ending felt quite abrupt, as if in a rush to finish.

𝑪𝒂𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒓𝒊𝒏𝒆 𝑷𝒓𝒂𝒔𝒊𝒇𝒌𝒂 has written a novel that feels authentic and genuine, even when emphasising how ridiculous we all are. I would recommend this novel for those who loved ‘Beautiful World, Where Are You?’ by Sally Rooney and the Seasonal Quartet by Ali Smith.


And that’s for today, friends! I hope you liked this little extra post!

Until next time, happy reading!

All the love,

allie

xx


𝓽𝔀𝓲𝓽𝓽𝓮𝓻

𝓲𝓷𝓼𝓽𝓪𝓰𝓻𝓪𝓶

𝓰𝓸𝓸𝓭𝓻𝓮𝓪𝓭𝓼

𝓼𝓽𝓸𝓻𝔂𝓰𝓻𝓪𝓹𝓱

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