Title: Call Me Zebra
Author: Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi
Pub Date: February 2018
My Rating: ★☆☆☆☆
View on Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
A feisty heroine’s quest to reclaim her past through the power of literature—even as she navigates the murkier mysteries of love.
Zebra is the last in a line of anarchists, atheists, and autodidacts. When war came, her family didn’t fight; they took refuge in books. Now alone and in exile, Zebra leaves New York for Barcelona, retracing the journey she and her father made from Iran to the United States years ago.
Books are Zebra’s only companions—until she meets Ludo. Their connection is magnetic; their time together fraught. Zebra overwhelms him with her complex literary theories, her concern with death, and her obsession with history. He thinks she’s unhinged; she thinks he’s pedantic. Neither are wrong; neither can let the other go. They push and pull their way across the Mediterranean, wondering with each turn if their love, or lust, can free Zebra from her past.
What did I just read? Why did I read it? What in me convinced me that I should persist and keep turning virtual pages and read on? I have no answers to any of those questions. I think I wasted my time reading this book and trying to figure it out.
It’s a book about immigrant girl and her father, they both left their home country and after hardships and troubles arrive in the New World. But it’s not a ‘normal’ story. Main character is coming from a family of self-proclaimed anarchists, atheists, and autodidacts, who are feeding on literature, who live to transcribe words of writes before them. .1 percent is mentioned few times, that Zebra and her family belong to the .1 percent of people that accessed the higher world of literature, the Matrix of Literature as Zebra starts to call it. Zebra’s sens of superiority and how judgmental she is was so annoying for me. She treats everyone she doesn’t believe to be part of Pyramid of Exile and who doesn’t have access to Matrix to Literature as a worse and pitiful human being. At one point she leaves New York to start her Pilgrimage of Exile. She goes to Barcelona, meets a guy there and have some kind of love-hate relationship with him. She moves in with him after some time and starts some pitiful group that she drags on some pointless pilgrimages. She’s neurotic, disrespectful and weird in a way that I cannot appreciate.
Call me Zebra is probably a book with a deeper profound meaning, that I didn’t found. I’m not part of the .1 percent as Zebra is, and I’m just not capable of understanding or enjoying this book. It didn’t make me feel anything. I was tirelessly checking how many pages of this book is left, it was a painful experience to read it to the end. But I did it, and now I’m left with question – why, oh why did I persevere? What did I hope will happen?