Rated 4 of 5 stars
Gayle Forman is known for her writing style and this newest novel is a solid 4 stars.
We follow the story of three teens whose path cross during their most confusing, lonely time of their lives. We meet, Freya, a singer that has lost her voice for weeks on end and is ultimately unhappy about her family and work dynamics. Next, we meet, Harun, a Pakistani college student who is not brave enough to tell his family he is in love with a man. Then there is Nathaniel, a teen dealing with his upbringing by an aloof, mentally ill father. A freak accident put them all in the same place at the same time and they find it hard to separate once they have met. This story follows their day together and how they help each other and by doing so, they conquer their own issues.
This story was a very fast, easy read. The teens are very likable even though some things were a bit outlandish with their excuses to stay together. The writing was fluid and dialogue was very slim throughout the book with the narrator taking on most of the readers assumptions and queries. I found the book to feel a little rushed at the end and some questions still lingered (did Freya’s voice come back? Did Nathaniel ever find a place to call home?). I felt Harun’s story was very vivid and took over the others. Nathaniel’s story was purposefully disjointed to create the ending, so it was hard to identify with him with the bits of pieces we received that were really more about his father and less about how he felt about his father. Freya’s story was a bit superficial and I would have loved to have had a moment with her father recognizing her or reaching out in order to get closure. At the minimum, I think her confronting her mother would have provided some form of triumph because the sister didn’t seem like the likely or wanted ally. I don’t think readers will get the warm fuzzy for the sisterly relationship than they would if the father would have been inserted as the moment of triumph for Freya. All in all, the book is well written.
If you’re looking for a lightweight story after a meaty, emotionally draining one, this is the perfect choice.
- Cool points for diversity! (Pakistani, Jewish, Ethiopian, White, Gay, Physically Impaired, Mental illness are all included in this novel!)
Raging Book Reviews Recommended
*Special thanks to Viking, an imprint of Penguin Random House for sending this ARC for review.
Release date: MARCH 27th, Pre-order HERE