Book Review: Memorial

“How did everything come to such a turning point between us? Quietly, I guess. The big moments are never big when they’re actually f**king happening.”- Memorial by Bryan Washington🖋

{I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.}


I’ve been mulling over this #bookreview. While I think Washington is an incredibly talented writer, I don’t know how I feel about MEMORIAL. Would I recommend it? I don’t know. I commend Washington’s writing. Most of MEMORIAL is told through dialogue. The writing is sparse. However, even though Washington offers only the bare bones, there was still depth and nuance to the main characters, supporting characters, and the complicated relationships explored throughout the book.

I’ve never lived in Houston (occasionally visited), but as someone who has spent eight years in Dallas, countless scenes in Houston reminded me of Dallas and had me looking up flights for a visit. Soon, hopefully! Additionally, I loved the representation of two queer men of color and found both Benson and Mike’s relationships with their fathers to be both painful and thought-provoking. Benson and Mike have the weirdest and most unstable relationship. But reading about their relationships with their father and how it affects their relationship, holding back feelings, depriving themselves of love, I began to understand their actions a bit better.

However, this is a me problem, but I do not like it when the f-word is used to describe sex. And this is mentioned throughout the entire book. Additionally, I couldn’t understand Benson and Mike’s relationship for the life of me. While I did enjoy parts of the book, especially the scenes with Benson and Mitsuko, ultimately, I don’t think MEMORIAL was for me. And that’s fine. While I’m glad to have read it, I’m also glad to move on. FYI, I tried MEMORIAL through audio. While Washington is a talented writer, I was not a fan of his narration.


*Overall: 3/5