What Remained of Katrina - Kelly Jameson
I won this book in a First Reads Giveaway.

This book is amazing, absolutely amazing. I fucking love it and recommend it to everyone. It doesn't matter that I think reincarnation is bullshit. I was hooked by page 6 when Katrina herself brings up how everyone only remember past lives of famous people. Writing in the second person perspective was unexpected, bold, daring and holy shit, did it work like a charm here. Katrina, this Katrina, might not have worked in any other perspective. She's judgmental, crass, vile artist bitch, who may be off her rocker but putting her in "you" is brilliant. I really felt and understood Katrina, like I was her, or like me when I was her in a past life. I loved it. I didn't want to stop reading. I didn't see the end coming at all. Just enjoying the read so much, laughing several times, cringing, swearing, painful and getting teary eyed. Then end came before I knew it and I started crying. I hardly every cry from books but this one hit me hard where it hurts. It got to me, became a part of me and I was crying for Katrina, for us all.

This is so beautifully written too. Not in the classical sense of fair weather, people who look like Greek god and landscapes out of a picture book. No, no. This is realistic, true to form, nitty gritty every day after shit hits the fan beauty. My book copy is littered with sticky notes and highlights for wonderful turns of phrases, moments, and information. There's moments of heart wrenching pain, disgusting, haunting, terrible moments that show the worst of humanity. It's emotional, irrational, magical and inspiring. Katrina is an artist and Kelly Jameson did her justice by sticking to the truth no one wants to know and painting it as a true artist would.

This isn't the Mardi Gras, Bourbon Street everyone loves New Orleans. This is the reality of everyday, living flat fucking broke in the Ninth Ward after Katrina New Orleans. Something people don't want to see, don't want to think about what goes on around one of their favorite fun towns when the party is over. Like the slums around Las Vegas tourist spots, where all the poor, disillusioned service people live to make the magic of Las Vegas work.

If you can't take the giant stick out of your ass regarding the swearing, the sex and the general shittiness of how it is being poor, then I feel sorry for you. The only reason someone wouldn't be able to become Katrina isn't because of the author, or the writing. It's because they can't let themselves go and become someone else. Someone so different, who's life and reality is so different from the reader. I find that terribly sad because those people are going to miss out on an amazing experience with this book.

Notes & Quotes? Far, far too many to list and really aren't as great, as impacting when pulled out of context. However, here's a few.

pg. 229 "You know, the illusion was never about a woman being sawed in half. It was about a woman holding itself together."

pg. 111 "Of, course we also have bioterrorism, West Nile virus, HIV/AIDS, new cancers, smallpox, anthrax, and the Ebola virus to contend with. Along with that show Dancing with the Stars. Frightening."

pg. 108, "Figures one of your favorite novels would be something with the word 'Dick' in it."

pg. 78, "He has this look in his eyes like he's been forced to listen to K Fed or Paris Hilton CDs for three days straight."

pg. 6, "Of course it only makes sense that you believe you were van Gogh. People who remember past lives are always famous, aren't they? Nobody ever remembers being a syphilitic, wart-covered whore with three teeth or someone who shepherded turds through the inner workings of a local sewer plant."