I know! I know am meant to be reading stories that won my "Pick my Next Read" polls on Twitter and elsewhere. I know this. But when this came through my letterbox via the lovely people at Walker Books, I knew I had to read it. There was no discussion over if I should wait. I was going to read this as soon as I was book-free!
Adam Thorn has to go get the flowers himself. That's how his Saturday starts. He has to go buy new flowers for his mother. After that, he has things to do: go for a run, go to work, spend some time with his boyfriend (though his existence isn't known to his religious parents), help his father at the church and go to a farewell party. It's a Saturday. Nothing is going to happen to him today...
Across town, a ghost has risen from the lake. A ghost who is searching for something. Yearning for something. And could leave a trail of destruction in her wake to find this... something
Two stories. Two characters. But will they find their release at the end of the day?
Inspired by Virginia Woolf's Mrs Dalloway
and Judy Blume's Forever
(books I have never read but feel like I should investigate), it was a book I forced myself to take my time over to read. I had to make myself read this slowly. I'm glad I did but I think I didn't have to force self as this book made me slow my reading down with me mentally going "Take your time, Andrew. Take your time!"
I liked this. I didn't devour it within 3 days like I did with The Rest of Us Just Live Here
, and I adore TROUJLH
(blogpost for that is here
). But, saying that, I seem to enjoy this book a lot more compared to my time with More Than This
, a book that chilled my blood every now and then (blogpost for that is here
). I prefer this book more than More Than This
, but just not enough to destroy my love for The Rest of Us Just Live Here
. (Noticed I haven't mentioned A Monster Calls
. This book hit me in the feels so the less we say about that, the better...)
I found this a strong coming-of-age story. Adam's story just worked. And I found the sections in here about him spending time with his boyfriend refreshing. It's rare to see that
in books (this is Judy Blume's influence, me thinks) and am very happy to read it. But Adam's story is more than him being gay, it's him growing up and going "That's it" over who he is. It's a coming-of-age story that, I think, nearly every teen reading this will get. And many adults as well. And it takes place over the course of one day - and that is all it takes for something to click
in our brains and for something/everything to change - one day.
It's the second story - the one about the ghost - that might throw people a little. Yes, it follows them throughout the course of the day and this story does follow some of the themes that Adam goes through - but this story is told in a different way. There are hints of magical realism and when you're reading Adam's story, only to jump to these sections, it's a little jarring and you might wonder "ok, how does this fit in?".
But this, for me, works a good chuck of the time. Yes, I did have moments where I went "Ok, how is this going to interlink with Adam's? Because it has to", but there were moments in Adam's story where I needed a break, I needed a break so these sections worked for me. And visa-versa, 'cause when I found my reading beat, it felt effortless to read. But there were moments I would read these sections and be thrown out. I preferred Adam's story but I get why this story is here and, at times, just as important.
This isn't going to be everyone's cup of tea (which book is?), but I enjoyed reading this hugely! And I can't wait to go back to this in the future and reread it. Once I find time to read Mrs Dalloway
, me thinks. But soon, I will reread this. And I can't wait!