Book Review #10: Trick Mirror by Jia Tolentino (2019)

Title: Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self Delusion
Author: Jia Tolentino
Published: 2019 (Penguin Random House, LLC New York)
Pages: 303
Genres: Essays, Feminist Literary Criticism, Nonfiction, Memoir
Link Here

Trick Mirror by Jia Tolentino, lying on top of my ottoman

First of all, I made it to review #10! Honestly, I did not have the expectation I would make it this far. Thank you all for reading though, and I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday weekend!

To be honest, what attracted me to this book at first was the cover (pictured above). The colors and design that played on the book title just popped out at me, and I was curious. Upon reading the book, I found that Tolentino is an able writer, and constructed a thought process pertaining to her experiences as a millennial and woman that was turned into essays questioning them all. Despite the sometimes monotonous introductions to topics, the ideas were thought provoking and reflective in a crazy time for the younger generations.

“The problem is that a feminism that prioritizes the individual will always, at its core, be at odds with a feminism that prioritizes the collective. The problem is that it is so easy today for a woman to seize  upon an ideology she believes in and then exploit it or deploy it in a way that actually runs counter to that ideology.” p. 179, Trick Mirror

She sets the scene through cited information, and topics that mean something to her to tell a larger story. There were lots of funny and poignant quotes that felt like they belonged on a fridge magnet. My favorite stories were the ones about seven scams and how barre classes shaped (literally and figuratively) a generation of women.

I found myself frustrated at times, reminded of stories and thoughts from my own experiences that Tolentino tells in her stories. The book was more relatable than I wanted them to be. But overall, it was rewarding and I’m glad I had the opportunity to read a new literary voice in feminist literature, or at least new to me.

“There are feelings, like ecstasy, that provide an unbreakable link between virtue and vice” p. 156, Trick Mirror

Definitely give this book a chance if you’re looking for a refreshing perspective from an experienced writer who takes the time to reflect on her own self delusions. But I wouldn’t bring this book up at Thanksgiving dinner with your conservative baby boomer generation relatives.

I give this book a 2.5 out of 5!

_ Elizabeth

2 thoughts on “Book Review #10: Trick Mirror by Jia Tolentino (2019)

  1. Great review! I sooo want to read this book after seeing it everywhere this fall (I even follow her on IG already) – my copy’s actually on its way but I’m just impatient haha.


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