LUSTER BOOK REVIEW (spoilers alert)


Published in the chaos that was 2020, Luster is a breath of fresh air and deliciously scandalous, this book is a deep exploration, or rather a warning of what can happen when you’re young, trying to figure it all out, and seeking affection in all the wrong places. Raven Leilani's debut novel is highly acclaimed, full of thrills, scandal and bound to give you high blood pressure a few times along the way!

This was at times uncomfortable to read and made me cringe in some places, but that is what made it a page-turner for me! Never have I ever read the protagonist so chaotic, and unwilling to change or make the right decisions, but I still found myself rooting for her, hoping she would learn her lessons through her mistakes and gripped to the story with every turn of the page.

Leilani writes an unapologetically flawed, brutally problematic character in Edie, a 23-year-old young Black woman in New York. Navigating her catastrophic dating life as she chooses the wrong men, trying not to lose a job that doesn't fulfil her, jarring office and racial politics at every step of the way has Edie feeling like she's about to be pushed over the edge.

Edie's newfound 'failure' at the one thing she loves - painting, plays a part in her low self worth and self-esteem as this happens at a time when everything seems to be falling apart. The one thing she knew about herself, she's now unsure of, no wonder she's confused and disillusioned. Will she ever make sense of this chaos?