Book Review: Supermarket by Bobby Hall

PopSugar 2019 Reading Challenge Prompt: A book written by a musician. TW: Violence, gore, mental illness, racism slurs, misogynistic...

PopSugar 2019 Reading Challenge Prompt: A book written by a musician.

TW: Violence, gore, mental illness, racism slurs, misogynistic ideations

I first saw Supermarket at Barnes & Noble, and I must say I was intrigued - there was no description, no author bio. It was just a basic red book with "SUPERMARKET" in yellow across the front. It was weeks later before I found out it was actually written by Bobby Hall AKA Logic. I enjoy Logic's music very much. He's incredibly talented, and his lyrics are truly poetic. So I had incredibly high expectations for his first novel. Unfortunately, I was incredibly disappointed.

The novel follows Flynn, a young man living at home with his mom, recently dumped, and looking for a job. Enter the supermarket, where he acquires a job as a floater and starts to meet a variety of characters who work along beside him. The array of characters is perfect for Flynn because he's writing a book, and basing his characters off his supermarket buddies. But things start to get weird, and somebody just might die. 

I mentioned the high expectations. Great reviews and quotes from genius writers like Ernest Cline only heightened my hopes. And the book started out incredibly intriguing. A little dark, yes, but certainly intriguing nonetheless. I appreciated the casual writing, how the story was written in the same way people talk. It made it easy to read and speed through the pages.

But then the writing became a little too casual, a little too text-speak. There was so much punctuation and the dialogue was immensely confusing. I found myself going back and ready pieces of dialogue over and over to even determine who was saying what. I was legitimately confused for whole sections of the book. It felt like this book was written by a middle-schooler and self-published, unedited.

And the characters? They were so unlikeable. Don't get me wrong, I appreciated Flynn at first, but ended up feeling disconnected from him, as well. By the end of the book, I wasn't sure if anything within the book had actually happened because it all seemed like a dreamworld where everything was going so perfectly well. I couldn't get a grasp on any of it, and maybe that makes it kind of genius, but it really just felt like a mess.

I will say that there's an entire chapter on disrealization that I had to read a few times, because it really hit close for me. During parts of that chapter, I felt so emotionally invested and connected. I truly appreciated that chapter and would likely say it was my favorite of the entire book.

"You know the kind of feeling, when you are questioning your own existence. When you know you are real but are not exactly convinced. When you feel barely tethered to reality?" - Supermarket, Bobby Hall

Unfortunately, this book was a mess. The best way to describe it is that a pre-teen watched Fight Club, became obsessed, and tried to write their own version. It was just a cheap knock-off. I feel terrible about this review, and I hate how mean it seems. I just couldn't get on board with this book. I kept waiting for the ball to drop, for it to get better, but it never did. I'd recommend not reading this one and maybe just enjoying Logic's music instead.

Goodreads rating: ★★☆☆☆

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