THE SECRET HISTORY BY DONNA TARTT



"We think we have many desires, but in fact we have only one. What is it?"
"To live," said Camilla. "To live forever."

This book has me gasping. I’ve never read anything quite like it; extraordinary, compelling, gorgeously written, absolutely exquisite.
If you’ve ever watched and loved Dead Poets Society or – and more similarly so – Kill Your Darlings, then this book is absolutely for you.
Now, I’m not a huge fan of thrillers, mostly because I’m never thrilled or surprised, I ALWAYS end up knowing who did what and how the book’s gonna end. 
The Secret History was different.
Firstly because you know someone is going to die, or better, murdered, and second because you know who did it, well, kind of. So, I hear you asking, WHAT’S THE POINT? The point, my friends is that you get to read about amazing, compelling characters and a story like no others.

It’s not really about who did it, but mostly why, the reasons behind such a cruel act, the what happens next, the being on your toes all the time is quite the thrilling part of it all. Also, the obsession these college students have for the Greeks, almost kinda finding themselves feeling above all others, above the students, almost like gods that could do anything, even depriving someone of their life. You know how in movies, they make this difference between the mortal characters and the gods, making them appear larger, taller, massively so, well, in this book it’s the way the walk, the way they talk that makes the difference between them, the elite and all the rest. And then there’s Richard Pappin, out narrator who finds himself in this group of people but never really feeling like he belongs there with them, always sure of the privilege he has of walking on Campus with those characters but never really quite reach them.
And yet, all of them seems so drawn to Richard, maybe because he’s so different from them, so unsure, so common, almost a mortal among gods that they ask for his opinion, they want him to give them advice and they quite enjoy his company.

And while we’re at it, why don’t we talk about these shameless characters, always striving to find the next perfect greek quote. You see, I’m warning you, you will love them ALL. That’s the whole point.
We never like all the characters in one book, there’s always one you really despise, one you don’t care much about but not this time. You will learn to understand them, to pity them, to sympathize with them but never to hate them, even when things get a bit bloody – and believe me, that happens a lot and in the most delicious kinda creepy ways – even when they start getting annoying, you love them, you just do and you will feel frustrated because you won’t understand why and that’s gonna drive you mad.
If we are strong enough in our souls we can rip away the veil and look that naked, terrible beauty right in the face; let God consume us, devour us, unstring our bones.
Then spit us reborn.
But the beautiful writing is what struck me the most. It’s full of details that, normally, would never appeal me but Tartt writes them in such a lyrical way that you end up wanting for more. They don’t bore you to death, instead, they intertwine with the story in such an inevitable way that almost feels like you need those details in order to understand the story – you really don’t and yet, they are beautiful and makes you feel like you’re in Vermont, in Hampden College among that group of dangerous yet charming friends.

You will definitely feel a little lost though, due to the constant references of Greek and some archaic language that, unless you learned Greek or Latin in school, will make you feel like you’re losing the grip in the story. But that’s not a letdown, ever. They’re frequent but put so cleverly inside chunks of dialogues that it’s almost like you understand the meaning of all that, even if you’ve never taken a Greek or Latin class.

Oh and let's talk about the ending!!!!
Alright, let's not because I feel like it's the best part of the book, it will rip your heart out and make you beg for more and scream "but why!" while you're crying and re-reading it a couple hundred times.
This book will stay with you for a very long time.

If you noticed, I haven’t quite told you anything about the story, that was intentional. I jumped on this book barely knowing anything, I haven’t read reviews or watched videos, I only trusted some people in the bookstagram community that said The Secret History is their favourite book and kinda went with it. That is all you need, truly.


Sometimes it’s better to jump in the unknown and being surprised than knowing details and ruining the whole process.

Overall, this is a masterpiece that deserves to be read at least once, even just to say “Oh, that book? I’ve read it! All 600 pages!” or just to add one more book to your Goodreads challenge cause, we all know you’re a lil' bit behind, aren’t you? Ah!

5/5 ✰

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