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You Exist Too Much: A Novel

Unabridged Audio Book

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Zehra Jane Naqvi

7 Hours 53 Minutes

HighBridge Company

June 2020

Audio Book Summary

On a hot day in Bethlehem, a twelve-year-old Palestinian-American girl is yelled at by a group of men outside the Church of the Nativity. She has exposed her legs in a biblical city, an act they deem forbidden, and their judgement will echo on through her adolescence. When our narrator finally admits to her mother that she is queer, her mother's response only intensifies a sense of shame: 'You exist too much,' she tells her daughter.

Told in vignettes that flash between the US and the Middle East, Zaina Arafat's debut novel traces her protagonist's progress from blushing teen to sought-after DJ and aspiring writer. In Brooklyn, she moves into an apartment with her first serious girlfriend and tries to content herself with their comfortable relationship. But soon her longings, so closely hidden during her teenage years, explode out into reckless romantic encounters. Her desire to thwart her own destructive impulses will eventually lead her to The Ledge, an unconventional treatment center that identifies her affliction as 'love addiction.' In this strange, enclosed society she will start to consider the unnerving similarities between her own internal traumas and divisions and those of the places that have formed her.

You Exist Too Much is a captivating story charting two of our most intense longings-for love, and a place to call home.

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  • Reasha W.

    Couldn't get enough of this one. I felt like she was my friend! I was sad when it was over!

    Book Rating

  • Anonymous

    A quick read, sometimes sexy and other times painful, the novel feels like a memoir thats true rather than a work of fiction. Perhaps in that way it feel young and messy and honest, which also feels like it wants to do too much, say too much without the time to truly explore the depth it deserves. Or, perhaps the unnamed narrator’s flitting surface level telling vs showing quality could be considered a reflection of the narrator’s experience as she’s doing the telling. I liked it as a quick and entertaining (although not in a lighthearted rom com way) read, yes. Would I return to it for a deeper exploration a second time? Probably not.

    Book Rating

  • Amber L.

    overly dramatic

    Book Rating