My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Received: Random House Canada
Published: July 9th, 2019
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Mystery, Horror, LGBTQIA+, Disease, Friendship
Survival stories tend to grip me. There’s something really fascinating, I think, about the idea of ‘‘the survival of the fittest’’ or strongest, smartest, prettiest. It’s a competition. It’s a deadly game. Sometimes, there’s no use even trying because you can’t compare. You don’t have it in you to survive. You’re a follower, not a leader.
And yet, and yet. Your body doesn’t want to die. YOU don’t want to die. So you let your instincts take over and you find a way. Sometimes it’s enough, sometimes it isn’t. Most of the time, it takes a team. We’re not meant to be alone and loneliness is a signal from your body that you should find a community that will help you survive.
I realize this is an ambiguous review, but how do you review a book that you have trouble comparing to any other you have read before? Yes, I have read books featuring survival stories, boarding school tales, LGBTQIA+ romances, horror situations, mystery plots, unbreakable friendships, underdogs and cunning characters. But all in one book? Never.
I would have given it 5 stars with pleasure if it hadn’t been so slow. It was so captivating I should have been able to finish it in one sitting but the slow-pacing prevented that. So be aware that while it’s exciting and original and dark, it’s a slow ride. But still very worth it.
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