• Booktastically Amazing

The Push

by Ashley Audrain


Spoiler-Free Review:


A tense, page-turning psychological drama about the making and breaking of a family–and a woman whose experience of motherhood is nothing at all what she hoped for–and everything she feared.


Blythe Connor is determined that she will be the warm, comforting mother to her new baby Violet that she herself never had.


But in the thick of motherhood’s exhausting early days, Blythe becomes convinced that something is wrong with her daughter–she doesn’t behave like most children do.


Or is it all in Blythe’s head? Her husband, Fox, says she’s imagining things. The more Fox dismisses her fears, the more Blythe begins to question her own sanity, and the more we begin to question what Blythe is telling us about her life as well.


Then their son Sam is born–and with him, Blythe has the blissful connection she’d always imagined with her child. Even Violet seems to love her little brother. But when life as they know it is changed in an instant, the devastating fall-out forces Blythe to face the truth.


The Push is a tour de force you will read in a sitting, an utterly immersive novel that will challenge everything you think you know about motherhood, about what we owe our children, and what it feels like when women are not believed.


Oh my gosh


Oh my gosh


Oh


My

Gosh

OHMYGOSH


I-I don’t know what to say.

Oh. My. Gosh.


OHMYFRICKINGGOSH


Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟⭐ 4.1


Okay, okay. *hyperventilating breaths*

Okay! I’m totally okay. Are you okay? Yeah, you’re okay. Me? Totally fine. I’m okay. Definitely...okay.


I kid you not when I say that I just saw a shadow and jumped a mile in the air. Nay flew. First time I’ve considered myself angel-like. Let me bask in it for a sec-


Creepy kids, y’all.

Nah, Nah Nah.

Skip me with that ish.

But like, I still read the book so yeah.

I’m dealing.


My first thought upon opening this book was: (copy-pasted from one of my status comments, because I have no originality whatsoever. )

This child was on something.

And it for sure wasn’t internal peace.


[A full day later because Booksy needs food to be able to cope adequately]


Hello! I haveth returndeth.

Booksy is back. And by back, I mean with literal back pain of being curled in a fetal position for half an hour because of the ~shock~. So yes, I’m doing just wonderfully. *wheeze*


This book, holy crap. How can I even start with this? Apart from that mini freak out above, of course. I’ve seen so many nice reviews of organized ramblings, and I’m over here like: how??? So in typical Me fashion, I’ll mess some things up. Hehe.

(if I were in a book I wouldn’t be the heroine, I would be the idiot that stands on the bomb that denotes nuclear warfare. You’re welcome for giving you drama, dear authors.)


Dang it, I’m getting distracted again. Sue me for my slightly unhealthy coping mechanisms. Food, ignoring, and absolute detachment from things. Super healthy, right? Right.


I need to mention the writing in a small paragraph of adoration, because duh, it deserves it. Before I start the full rantage that kept me awake half of the night.


“I didn’t notice my tears until they dropped onto her face. I wiped each one from her skin with my pinkie and then tasted it. I wanted to taste her. Her fingers. The tops of her ears. I wanted to feel them in my mouth. I was physically numb from the painkillers but inside I felt lit on fire by oxytocin. Some mothers might have called it love, but it felt more to me like astonishment. Like wonder. I didn’t think about what to do next, about what we would do when we got home. I didn’t think about raising her and caring for her and who she would become. I wanted to be alone with her. In that surreal space of time, I wanted to feel every pulse.

A part of me knew we would never exist like that again.”

Um...

Weird? Yes.

Amazing? Also yes.

It was filled to the brim with so much heartbreak, angst, and more than a fair share of uncanny encounters that split my skin in an ocean of goosebumps.

The well-developed second-person perspective was what really took the whole cake for me. Throughout this book, it certainly creeped me out because, hello?? I felt like she was talking to ME.


No, thank you.

I am still bereft of a wedding ring.

Leave me alone.


Still, I enjoyed every centimeter of it. Each sentence was stuffed full of metaphors, analogies, ways to freak me out without actually being in the same room with me, and without a doubt, signs of depressing feelings. Seriously, this story was morose and heart-rending and also may be upsetting to a lot of people so that's one of the many warnings.

Not one single moment passed that my face didn't look like that SHOOKETH girl from the meme I have used too many times to count.

Not one minute second went by that I didn't feel like I was a mother dreading my daughter's habits and strange avocations.

I still cannot feel my heartbeat normally, so THANK YOU SON MUCH FOR THAT. HAHAHA, I REALLY APPRECIATE IT.


Now, one of the things that took a star and a few sprinkles from this book as a whole, was the plot. Well, things that the plot tried to accomplish. See, there were a lot of flashbacks that didn't sit well with me, and perhaps I'm not the smartest at determining which storylines to follow. Alas, I'm stuck with this version of myself for the time being. I think that maybe that was the only distinct complication that left me in an unsettled state. And YES, those flashbacks were very necessary to understand the MC's way of thinking and the sometimes awful thoughts that perpetrated her mind. But it just- I couldn't get it. *claps in 'so smart'* Apart from that, it was amazingly constructed, and well, I couldn't really ask for more. Creepy moments were THERE. They were READY to cause me nightmares but hey, no pain no gain. (and once again I ask, what the heck-) The pace of the novel was like... hmm.... HMMMMMM... I'm trying to think about a comparison. Darn it brain, do something. Okay well, since my head (or anything really) isn't working, I'll just say that it was good. I went in with the mindset of being creeped out, foreshadowed to death, and not sleeping for a week. So yes, it accomplished all.

Oh! Thank you for reminding me, previous sentence. The foreshadowing was on point, it really was. It began like an avalanche and then trickled into a river of possibilities pointing in the same direction. And it's like you see it happening, but you still dread the sudden encounter of the deed that was foreshadowed since those first pages.

Le sigh.

Holy cracker.

It was good.

Was the plot perfect? No. Was the foreshadowing perfect? No. Did I still enjoy it? Absolutely.

The characters were what the whole story was focused on, I wouldn't call them part of a mystery/ murder novel. Because this book certainly wasn't that. I would describe it more like, a dark look into the MC's mind. Disturbing and full of calamitous motives.

Like um...

I pass.

Away.

But mainly from her thoughts.


The MC, well, the MC for me. Because she was talking to 'you' who is her husband, so it means she's the protagonist, but I'm- I mean him, the husband, is the secondary character. So it means she's the MC, but for the story, not for me, because I'm the husband, so maybe- you know what? She's the MC. Blythe. *laughs in so clever* She was the meaning of convoluted and intricate.

Picture this: A water puddle. A muddy water puddle. Can you see your reflection? What if you kick the puddle? Can you see it now? That's how she was. I cried with her, screamed at her, imaginarily smacked her with a waffle maker, and basically suffered through 300 pages that took me from her mind, to her actions, to the whole world she had created for herself. This woman was strong no doubt, yet oh so vulnerable. In short, Blythe had a terrible childhood, horrible mother, dismissive father, and disastrous mental state.

I wanted to hug her and gently hit her with a moving truck at the same time.

Is that normal?


Haha, now, since I believe that the whole book was about her and one other person, in particular, I'll give a small rundown of the rest of the characters:


You, I mean him. Um… husband guy: Ugh. Yes, that's it. Too perfect. Until he was not.

Huh.

That's basically it.

Wow.


So, to what I actually was craving to rant about.

Blythe's daughter.

And for this, I shall craft a letter because the girl is too creepy for me to be able to comprehend.


𝙳𝚎𝚊𝚛 𝚍𝚎𝚖𝚘𝚗-𝚕𝚒𝚔𝚎 𝚌𝚑𝚒𝚕𝚍


𝙸 𝚑𝚊𝚟𝚎 𝚌𝚘𝚖𝚎 𝚝𝚘 𝚍𝚞𝚝𝚒𝚏𝚞𝚕𝚕𝚢 𝚒𝚗𝚏𝚘𝚛𝚖 𝚢𝚘𝚞 𝚝𝚑𝚊𝚝 𝚢𝚘𝚞 𝚊𝚛𝚎 𝚊𝚗 𝚎𝚡𝚝𝚛𝚎𝚖𝚎𝚕𝚢 𝚞𝚗𝚜𝚎𝚝𝚝𝚕𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚋𝚎𝚒𝚗𝚐.

𝙰𝚗𝚍 𝙸 𝚏𝚎𝚎𝚕 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚗𝚎𝚎𝚍 𝚝𝚘 𝚜𝚝𝚊𝚝𝚎 𝚝𝚑𝚊𝚝 𝙸 𝚝𝚊𝚔𝚎 𝚒𝚝 𝚞𝚙𝚘𝚗 𝚖𝚢 𝚜𝚑𝚘𝚞𝚕𝚍𝚎𝚛𝚜, 𝚝𝚘 𝚛𝚒𝚍 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚠𝚘𝚛𝚕𝚍 𝚘𝚏

𝚢𝚘𝚞𝚛 𝚟𝚞𝚕𝚝𝚞𝚛𝚎 𝚗𝚊𝚝𝚞𝚛𝚎.

𝙱𝚢 𝚠𝚊𝚢 𝚘f 𝚐𝚎𝚗𝚝𝚕𝚎 𝚖𝚞𝚛𝚍𝚎𝚛.

𝙲𝚊𝚞𝚜𝚎𝚍 𝚋𝚢 𝚊 𝚝𝚛𝚊𝚒𝚗.

𝙰𝚗𝚍 𝚠𝚒𝚝𝚑 𝚖𝚎 𝚌𝚘𝚗𝚍𝚞𝚌𝚝𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚜𝚊𝚒𝚍 𝚝𝚛𝚊𝚒𝚗.


𝚆𝚒𝚝𝚑 𝚊𝚕𝚕 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚕𝚘𝚟𝚎,

𝚢𝚘𝚞𝚛 𝙶𝚎𝚗𝚝𝚕𝚎 𝙴𝚗𝚍,

𝙱𝚘𝚘𝚔𝚜𝚢.


Since I can't describe her in too many details, because spoilers, the only thing I will say is...

She will give you nightmares. But not because she's terrifying or anything, but because she seems so real. So tangible.


Like she could be right behind you.

Whispering in your ear, curling her tiny hand in your hair. Waiting, spacing the minutes, until you were at your most vulnerable.

Exactly what I felt.

Creepy piece of crap, darn it.


On a closing note the whole book made me feel like I was being preyed by my head, and frankly THAT ENDING SERIOUSLY MESSED WITH ME. I NEED AN EPILOGUE. SOMETHING. GIVE ME SOMETHING. So, yes, it was very good. I was in the mood for something bloody, that didn't demand anything from me and of course, I needed a thrilerific read. Which this was! Apart from the fact, that I've wanted to use my machete for the longest time and I finally have a goshdarned target-


(I am not this violent in real life, y'all. Okay maybe I am but I try NOT to be, that counts, right?)


I wouldn't recommend this to everybody, for the sole reason that it is extremely depressing and has warning signs for emotional and physical abuse. Self harm, allllll that stuff. But dang was it a good book! It didn't have happy moments at all, which I think I mentioned but this is already too long as it is so I'll leave you with a final message:


"𝚁𝚘𝚌𝚔-𝚊-𝚋𝚢𝚎 𝚋𝚊𝚋𝚢, 𝚘𝚗 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚝𝚛𝚎𝚎𝚝𝚘𝚙,

𝚆𝚑𝚎𝚗 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚠𝚒𝚗𝚍 𝚋𝚕𝚘𝚠𝚜, 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚌𝚛𝚊𝚍𝚕𝚎 𝚠𝚒𝚕𝚕 𝚛𝚘𝚌𝚔,

𝚆𝚑𝚎𝚗 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚋𝚘𝚞𝚐𝚑 𝚋𝚛𝚎𝚊𝚔𝚜, 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚌𝚛𝚊𝚍𝚕𝚎 𝚠𝚒𝚕𝚕 𝚏𝚊𝚕𝚕,

𝙰𝚗𝚍 𝚍𝚘𝚠𝚗 𝚠𝚒𝚕𝚕 𝚌𝚘𝚖𝚎 𝚋𝚊𝚋𝚢, 𝚌𝚛𝚊𝚍𝚕𝚎 𝚊𝚗𝚍 𝚊𝚕𝚕."


Heck no to creepy children. No siree.


Disclaimer: Any and all opinions said up there are my own, and please feel free to call me out for any errors or any offensive comments, so I can get right on it and get it fixed!


Honorable Mentions:

  • The writing. I want to marry that writing.

  • The unique perspective in which the book was written in.

  • OHMYGOSH THE BABY. I'M NOT CRYING.

  • The knife I will put on Violet-

  • I need closure for the end. I need it. Like, yesterday. IT DID NOT LEAVE ME OKAY.

  • Dumb ways to die, so many dumb ways to dieeeeeee.


I've enjoyed two books in a row this week. Someone is playing with me, I swear-