Being alone never felt right. sometimes it felt good, but it never felt right.Charles Bukowski, Women
Following Lona Wallace, Loner takes you on a journey of solitude, friendship, exploration, and life. Lona is a university dropout who was pursuing arts and photography. Lona struggles with being around people and enjoying their company. She finds solace in Tabitha Brooks (Tab)- her best friend and truly enjoys her company. Loner is Lona’s journey as she tries to find herself and grapples with wanting but not wanting people/company in her life.
I found the writing style to be refreshing. It has small chapters and choppy sentences. But somehow, they make the book fun to read. Tab and Lona’s friendship steals the show. They are complete opposites but weirdly in perfect sync with each other. It is emotionally heavy to observe how dependent Lona is on Tab and the extent to which she loses herself in Tab’s absence. However, it is also satisfying to see Tab emotionally support and strengthen Lona.
It is also my first LGBTQ book. While I was apprehensive of doing justice to the protagonist and understanding her journey, the author has done a great job of portraying Lona’s confusion and grapple with her sexuality. Several of the secondary characters were fun to read about- Sampson, Nick, or George. Lona’s Grandpa is my absolute favorite. With a common interest in photography and reading, the duo shares a great relationship. I especially appreciated the arc their relationship takes when Grandpa moves in with Lona’s family, when he falls ill and is admitted to the hospital, and, finally, when he shifts to a nursing home.
The book is suitable for someone in their 20’s. While I loved the writing style, it didn’t seem as if I found the book at the right time in my life. I couldn’t relate to the protagonist’s struggle with dropping out and finding herself, as I never underwent anything similar to this. However, Lona’s introverted behavior, struggle to say the things she means, and navigate growing up is a funny and witty read.
I give this book 4/5 stars. I enjoyed the ride and reading about Lona’s intimate thoughts. However, the writing style with choppy and short sentences is not for everyone. So be wary before you pick it up.
I was given an ARC from Netgalley for my honest review.