Book Review: The Vanishing Half

After hearing so many positive reviews on this book, I had to find out if the hype was really all that. And after reading this book for myself, I can honestly say..

..the hype was real! I loved this book.

Sadly though, I finished reading it fairly quick, and now I’m desperately searching for something else good to read. This was my first time reading a book by Brit Bennett and hopefully won’t be my last.

About Author

Brit Bennett was born and raised in Southern California, most specifically- Oceanside, California in 1990. She received an undergraduate degree in English from Stanford University, and later earned her MFA in fiction at the University of Michigan. She has published several nonfiction essays, and won a Hopwood award in Graduate Short Fiction and the 2014 Hurston/Wright Award for college writers. Her debut novel- The Mothers in 2016 was also a New York Times bestseller.

Author’s Contact Info

Book Specifications

Book genre: Mystery Fiction.

There are 343 pages and 17 chapters. Written in English language and published by ‘Riverhead Books’ publishing company. Publication date: June 2nd, 2020. Dimensions: 6.24 x 1.21 x 9.25 inches. This book originally retailed for $27.00 USD and $36.00 CAD.

The book cover features multiple lovely colors- blue, pink, white, yellow, orange, and green and if you look close enough you can tell it’s two women holding each other.

I ordered this book on April 20th, 2021, began reading it around May, and finished in July 2021. I probably could’ve finished sooner but I really tried to make it stretch as long as possible.

Also, the book was easy to read with page breaks in between long chapters, which I love and appreciate.

Book Overview / About

A powerful and emotional family story.

The quick summarized version: ‘Two twins, inseparable as children, ultimately choose to live in two very different worlds: one black and one passing as white. And although separated by so many miles and just as many lies, the fates of the twins remain intertwined. Their own daughters’ story lines begin to intersect. Weaving together multiple strands and generations, from the Deep South to California, from the 1950s to the 1990s.”- Brit Bennett

‘The Vanishing Half’ is #1 New York Times Bestseller, one of Barack Obama’s favorite books of the year, and the best book of 2020 by The New York Times, The Washington Post, Time Magazine, Glamour, Vanity Fair, and more!

Favorite Quotes, Scenes, Chapters, etc.

But then Desiree felt hated and Stella felt ignored. That was the problem: you could never love two people the exact same way.

Adele Vignes

As they grew, they no longer seemed like one body split in two, but two bodies poured into one, each pulling it her own way.

Kin is kin.


I think everybody who ever hurt me loved me.

Desiree Vignes

White folks kill you if you want too much, kill you if you want too little. You gotta follow they rules but they change ’em when they feel. Devilish, you ask me.

Willie Lee

I really don’t want to ruin anyone’s experience by dropping a lot of spoilers of my favorite parts- so I won’t 😁. You just gotta read and find out for yourself.

Chapter 16 was one of my favs and the cocktail party/spilled wine was a pivotal moment (you’ll know when you know).

My Honest Review & Thoughts

A beautifully written page turner for sure!

I love how the author switches between multiple characters without it becoming confusing. The ending was realistic and not the fairytale happy-go-lucky ending but yet, I still felt whole and fulfilled at the end. You really get to know and become invested in each individual character, and get to follow their progression or lack thereof over the years/decades.

I love the southern background and how the characters move around from coast to coast, it’s like I’m right there with them. The author creates great imagery and effortlessly stirs up emotions for the readers. I love when books touch on sensitive but necessary racial and social topics.

This book specifically addressed the ‘light skin vs. dark skin’ division in the black communities, and how some of us can be so prejudice against our own race based on the tones of our skin. I also noticed issues with self-identity, imposter syndrome, and even gender being addressed. So in conclusion, I give this book 5 stars.

Is it worth having the life of your dreams if it meant forgetting who you are and everything and everyone you once knew?

Grab Yourself a Copy & Thank Me Later

love always,

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