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The Crack Magazine

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Acts of Desperation by Megan Nolan

An unnamed narrator meets Ciaran, the most beautiful man she has ever seen, and is determined to make him love her – no matter how cruel, uncaring and in love with his ex he is. ‘Acts of Desperation’, the debut novel by Irish writer Megan Nolan, is part of the canon of ‘sad girl novels’, a genre that has emerged in the last few years and includes the likes of ‘My Year of Rest and Relaxation’, ‘Boy Parts’ and ‘Normal People’. Yes, it’s obnoxious and predictable that literature discussing women’s struggles is depicted as a fad by some bitter journalists, but it’s also good marketing, because if you enjoyed those books, you’ll probably gobble this up. It’s beautifully written without romanticising the abuse it depicts, and the short chapters keep things moving at an addictively fast pace. Most importantly, it’s shamelessly real, even in its darkest moments. MW

Published by Jonathan Cape