Review

Review: The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi

“Fresh starts were good; that separateness was where you could feel yourself, where you could learn who you were apart from everyone else.”


Genre: Domestic Fiction
Pages: 245
Published: August 4, 2020
Rate: 4 ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Goodreads Synopsis
Raised by a distant father and an understanding but overprotective mother, Vivek suffers disorienting blackouts, moments of disconnection between self and surroundings. As adolescence gives way to adulthood, Vivek finds solace in friendships with the warm, boisterous daughters of the Nigerwives, foreign-born women married to Nigerian men.

But Vivek’s closest bond is with Osita, the worldly, high-spirited cousin whose teasing confidence masks a guarded private life. As their relationship deepens—and Osita struggles to understand Vivek’s escalating crisis—the mystery gives way to a heart-stopping act of violence in a moment of exhilarating freedom.

Propulsively readable, teeming with unforgettable characters, The Death of Vivek Oji is a novel of family and friendship that challenges expectations—a dramatic story of loss and transcendence that will move every reader.

My Take
This was my first Akwaeke Emezi book and I was pleasantly surprised. I found The Death of Vivek Oji to be such a page turner. The book is well written, accessible and easy to get through.

The characters in the book are well thought out. I was impressed. They are quite memorable and impressionable that I could easily see them with how vivid they are in the story. One thing though, there is a questionable relationship in the book between two characters that had me struggling to get past. I still don’t accept it.

“Some people can’t see softness without wanting to hurt it.”

From the start you know Vivek Oji is dead and the book is basically about telling us how it happened. The story telling is evocative and it made me sad to read through. Akwaeke Emezi shows us the high price that Vivek Oji pays for trying to be themselves. They explore relationships, both platonic and familial. They touch on religion and how it affects our decisions.

I quite enjoyed and liked The Death of Vivek Oji. I found it fast paced and a fascinating read. I, personally, was a spectator to the story as its not my truth to live and I found it quite illuminating. I definitely recommend.

I did do a video review here if you want to check it out.


Have you read The Death of Vivek Oji? What did you think about it?

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