My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Published: April 24th, 2018
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Mystery, LGBT, Drama
Rufus Holt is having the worst night of his life. It begins with the reappearance of his ex-boyfriend, Sebastian—the guy who stomped his heart out like a spent cigarette. Just as Rufus is getting ready to move on, Sebastian turns up out of the blue, saying they need to “talk.” Things couldn’t get much worse, right. But then Rufus gets a call from his sister April, begging for help. And then he and Sebastian find her, drenched in blood and holding a knife, beside the dead body of her boyfriend, Fox Whitney. April swears she didn’t kill Fox—but Rufus knows her too well to believe she’s telling him the whole truth. April has something he needs, though, and her price is his help. Now, with no one to trust but the boy he wants to hate yet can’t stop loving, Rufus has one night to prove his sister’s innocence…or die trying.
The author describes being gay a ‘‘twist of biological fate’’ (page 58 of arc).
I’m sure he was trying to be creative, but how about you don’t? Is that supposed to be beautiful, poetic? It sounds wrong to my ears, like he’s saying the right fate escaped the main character in this lifetime. Oh well, better luck next time, fellow!
*shakes head* I cringed so much at the author’s vocabulary.
This will sound harsh, but the truth is I don’t think I want to see this book on shelves.
“I was like a violin—an object that hasn’t much purpose until someone touches it, fills it with resonance, draws things from it that it can never produce on its own. Sebastian had been the one to draw music from me, and it’s why the end was so bad; before him, I’d never actually realized how painful the silence was.”
I don’t want impressionable teenage boys and girls to be reading it and thinking, ‘‘I am nothing but a meaningless object until someone finds me and manipulates me.’’
My heart physically hurts when I encounter people who don’t see their worth until someone else takes notice of them and tells them all that they are. I take it upon myself to make them realize how important they are on their own, in order to augment their self-esteem, although this is not my job.
But the reason why I’m giving this book a one-star-rating is not just because those awful passages were included in the advance copy (and will probably remain in the finished product as well).
The main character, Rufus, is insufferable. Arrogant. Entitled. Reckless. I don’t mind flawed. I think more people should stop doing everything possible to hide their own flaws, and Rufus sure doesn’t mind his ‘‘Mr. Hyde’’ side as he baptized it. But there’s a difference between being someone who makes mistakes but means well, and being someone who is just a big jerk who plays the victim quite a lot.
Oh, please take pity on me because I am white and misunderstood and recently dumped and poor apparently though really I don’t understand what it’s like to be poor and also I made myself all pretty for the next time my ex-boyfriend comes to see me but when he does come it’s like ‘‘what you doing here, bitch?’’.
Oops, I’m watching too many Kevin Hart stand-up comedy shows. The ‘‘bitch’’ has kind of stayed with me. Not the most magnificent colour on me, but it’s the book that turned me into a judgemental creature. (Aha, I can play the victim card, too!) Rufus rubbed off on me in the worst of ways. Another reason why I don’t want this book on shelves: there is no lesson to take from it, quite evidently, except maybe to not… step into questionable situations.
You’re probably wondering, ‘‘Okay, but is it entertaining, at least?’’.
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