4.5 STARS"God is a concept by which we measure our pain"-'God', John Lennon Tiffanie DeBartolo wrote 2 books, and if any of your friends recommend either this or How to Kill A Rock Star, take it as a compliment. Because TDB's books are those that won't coddle you with puff pastry dialogue or feed you saccharine lines and emotional scenes that you would squee over on your updates with a Zooey Deschanel gif (something I'm guilty of once in a while, surely). When someone recommends you a book of hers, it means someone thinks you're a rock star.The story starts with Trixie Jordan (whose name reminds me of Tracy Jordan from 30Rock, lol) answering Jacob Grace's personal ad looking for someone "with pure intentions, a friend for the end of the world". This sets off the starting point of an emotionally charged and tumultuous affair where the "Bad Guy" is a city and the goal is escape.If Laini Taylor's prose reminds me of Clint Mansell, Tiffanie DeBartolo's is (pre-electric) Bob Dylan. A poet for the everyday. And in true DeBartolo fashion, God-Shaped Hole offers to take you on a trip that spans from the philosophical to the mundane, from heartbreak to laughter, from feeling you can conquer everything to asking why we even bother. This book will deliver you to that place in your brain, the one that makes the white noise sound in the day to day, the one we ignore unless we're high or drunk because sometimes it gets too overwhelming for a Wednesday afternoon. Not bad for a debut novel.God-Shaped Hole feels like the avante-garde first born who doesn't let the world dictate his behavior while HTKARS was the crowd pleaser who went on to win the Oscar. I could draw a million analogies between the 2 books but after reading this, I do feel HTKARS was a bit of a compromise. Not necessarily a bad thing. I would imagine the author, receiving much griping about the implausibility of the second half of HTKARS, would offer this book as an answer (and it IS the perfect answer to that issue) gripes that I personally had about that wonderful book. But by the end of GSH, I still had the same gripe about the same issue.I'm such a fickle child, I know.I'm gonna be going off to find a new book to fill the God-Shaped Hole hole inside me. A futile search with a 99.9% chance of failure because none of them will be written in the Tiffanie vernacular.I'll end my review with a quote that should be included in the goodreads TOS, forced down the throat of every new author that trolls on the reviewers' comment thread:To Jacob, the act of critiquing art was essentially imprecise. That's why he didn't read reviews on anything he liked, be it a book, a movie, a record. He believed that any work an artist puts forth which contains the truth as he or she sees it is worthy of consideration, and any commentary of the work beyond that is nothing more than pure individual opinion and should not be considered relevant to the work itself.