by Audrey Coulthurst & Paula Garner
Rarely do I say that I couldn’t put a book down, but this was one of those where I truly lost track of the passage of time. The characters were deeply real and I got so very attached to them. And both of them go through such intense emotional, personal, and emotional experiences, I felt like it twisted my heart every time I picked the book up.
And the imaginary world they created via text message… I know why they were so into it. It’s the sweetest and most beautiful escape fantasy world I’ve ever encountered.
There’s even an imaginary dragon named Humphrey. Now, I know this book just came out this year, but I still can’t believe that no one has created fan art about him. (If anyone sees any, please let me know! I can’t draw or I’d make some myself.)
The most heart-wrenching part of the book has to do with the relationship between the two characters. I won’t say any more specifics, but at more than one point I was literally muttering out loud “Oh, no no no no no…..”
I don’t do that with books. I don’t talk out loud to them. Nor do I still feel heartbroken for a fictional character days later. But this one… oh, Sam….
All I’m going to say is that the authors were very gutsy – and very strong, and trusting in their readers’ strength – to let it end like that. So harshly real.
This is an emotionally intense book. One main character has a mother with mental illness and a father who moved across an ocean. And then we learn something about the family… well. I’ll leave it there. The other has a brother with severe special needs who is about to go live in a group home and a mother in “partial remission” from cancer. And the authors don’t back off from the realities of any of that.
But if you can handle that and you don’t need sunshine and rainbows from your reading… pick this up. As soon as you can. It’s a great example of fiction that is actually worthy of the term *realistic.*
Have you read it? Planning to? Comment below.