Cherry Blossoms by Kim Hooper

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Cherry Blossoms
Kim Hooper

Turner Publishing, 2018

 

Jonathan Krause is charmingly vapid fuckboi who’s sad. Kim Hooper’s second novel Cherry Blossoms is essentially the literary equivalent of films like Garden State and 500 Days of Summer, where a maudlin and painfully earnest young man pines for, captures, and then laments a manic pixie dream girl on his way to discovering himself. In this case, our protagonist Johnathan is orchestrating his final days losing the ‘love of his life.’ Thus, he quits his advertising job, plots out how many months he can live before his money runs out, and composes an updated bucket list wherein he enrolls in a Japanese language course so he can take a trip to Japan to die having fetishized suicide:

I titled my document ‘Things to do before the end.’ My list includes the following, in no particular order:

  • Take that trip to Japan
  • Visit my parents
  • Get the complete collection of Seinfeld and watch all episodes
  • Give my clothes to the Salvation Army
  • Take all my loose change to a Coinstar machine

I don’t give a shit about writing a novel anymore.

Then he meets Riko, a twenty-something girl who pulls him out of his white male funk. You can imagine the rest. This novel is painfully earnest, “I do not have a terminal illness, unless you consider humanity itself a terminal illness,” lacking real humor and relying upon readers to give the story a lot of leeway. Cherry Blossoms never moves beyond the quality of airport fiction, pleasing because it is forgettable.

Read an Excerpt

 

About the Author

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Kim Hooper’s debut novel, People Who Knew Me, was published by St. Martin’s Press in 2016. Her second novel, Cherry Blossoms, was released by Turner Publishing on October 30.

Fun facts:

  • Kim fits many writer stereotypes: she love cats, cardigans, hot tea, booze, Bob Dylan, and introversion
  • When she got her first apartment, her mom gave her a wooden sign that says, “Home is where your story begins”
  • Her home is, and always has been, in Southern California. She lives with her husband, daughter, and a collection of pets
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