by Michael Ebner
Started: 10th November 2015
Finished: 12th November 2015
I was sent this book via NetGalley and couldn’t wait to get started on it. So with my week off I immediately knew what book I wanted to start with. However, it wasn’t what I was expecting…
The novel follows 17-year-old Joe whose father has disappeared, mother spends more time with her boyfriend than her own children and older sister Loren who is putting off a job opportunity of a lifetime to keep an eye on Joe. Since his girlfriend’s death Joe has been going off the rails and now he has two agents tracking his every move… But not for reasons you may think.
I found most of the characters difficult to like. I did like Joe for the most part but as the novel progressed I found myself liking him less and less. I just couldn’t understand all of his motives and found him quite frustrating. However I did find a lot of his dialogue amusing and it helped me to continue reading. I liked Loren but felt her naivety was a bit too much at times and unbelievable. There were a lot of characters in the novel but only a couple of them stood out which made the novel hard for me to follow in places, especially when a lot of characters were forgotten about for a while only to be brought back, or merely mentioned, a few chapters later.
The plot was interesting to begin with however as it carried on the more I realised I didn’t really know what was going on. Not in a way where the novel was mysterious – just confusing. Despite this I was still interested in seeing the outcome, especially for Joe and Loren. A lot seemed to happen in the novel but I’m still not entirely sure if all of it was relevant or just there to make the book longer. Either way, some of it was enjoyable and it wasn’t until near the end that I really realised that I didn’t know what was going on. I liked the flashbacks as I felt that broke up the novel and brought back some focus to the present day passages.
This novel had a lot of potential in regards to both characters and plot, with just a little more development and possibly less characters it could have been great. It was a really interesting idea, just not executed in a way that really worked for me. Despite this I would look into more books by this author in the future as the bits that were done right were really rewarding (for example, although I’m still not sure the full purpose the Felicity storyline served, I really loved it and the twist to it).
Overall, the novel wasn’t bad. It had a modern Less Than Zero sort of vibe to it, with the protagonist losing meaning to their life and doing what they can to get it back, which I enjoyed but I just felt could have been developed better.