Tell me a story about how we can always runaway. How life is this impossible thing to comprehend yet we are all fan of it. Everyone is utterly enthralled with the concept of life even when they don’t want to be apart of it anymore. This harmless looking novel shows us three different perspectives, all of which are a different expression of depression so some readers may recognize these characteristics in yourself, friends, family or someone you pass by. Although the facade is quickly taken off and throws the reader into the downward spiral of being a high schooler.
So the main setting in a small town in Massachusetts not to far from Cape Cod and Provincetown at a Catholic school and local diner. Summer has just ended and we meet Jeremy on his first day back to school and the beginning of his Sophomore year. Then we meet Mira who is partially repeating freshmen year and is the new student at this Catholic school. We meet Sebby later who should probably be in class but is just hanging out at a record store whittling away his time until he can hang out with Mira. Mira is trying to appease her family, but mostly be mother, by participating at school and making new friends. So when she is asked to join the new art club Sebby quickly convinces her to join. And the president of this art club is Jeremy and thus entwines the lives of these fans of the impossible life as they work on an art exhibition for their school.
Obviously not much more detail can be said about the setting and plot since that’s venturing too much into spoiler territory. So let’s introduce you to the characters. There are obviously three main characters because there are three perspective taking place. Readers first meet Jeremy a bookish and friendless art fanatic who spends all his time doodling. Jeremy has two Dads, a cat named Dolly Parton the cat (yes, that’s her full name) and confides in his english teacher, Peter, a great deal. And it was Peter’s idea to have Jeremy start the art club so he can begin making new friends and breaking out of his shell more. Mira and Sebby are paramount to Jeremy’s development as he is quickly enveloped into their circle and learns what it is like to not be alone and to have people to spend time with and texting to. And he is incredibly caring and devoted to his friends while still maintaining his own person, not being sucked into a group but infact becomes a better more independent him through his friends which is what friendships should accomplish. Then there is Mira a dark skinned and curvy thrifter who hates having to wear a uniform and makes a point of just barely breaking the rules so she can maintain her own style. She’s imaginative, crafty, sarcastic and insecure. Pretty much a perfect individual, but obviously she has her problems too. Although those problems are abated through thrifting and Sebby, her best friend. Sebby is in incredible character. He is written in a much different way then his friends jeremy and Mira who are written in the first person while Sebby is in the second person, kee that in mind while reading the book. Now, Sebby, a kid down on his luck caught in the foster care system making his share a room which a sparkly and too-peppy six year old, he can’t and won’t go to school and only has Mira and Jeremy to confide in. Sebby and Mira make up a dream team of kids finding security in the other to help resolve their personal insecurities. Its an epic relationship and totally a best friend goal for most of us out there in the big wide world. Alright, time for some shout outs to Jeremy’s fathers who are the first gay parents I have ever read before, then Rose the incredibly optimistic pessimist who is so infatuated that it will make anyone’s heart flutter and roll their eyes reading about her and then Peter a debately too open teacher who will listen to any student and tell other students who he thinks will end up all alone in the end. So yeah, the characters a freaking great.
As previously stated in the opening that this novel does deal with depression which is something most people encounter sometime in their life and most commonly in teens. It’s normal and can just be a phase, but sometimes gets out of hand. And I have to hand it to Kate Scelsa for expressing the three most common forms of depression through Mira, Jeremy and Sebby. These characters show a lot of the common signs of depression and how kids tend to deal with it. Which is heartbreaking and adds another layer to this story that is greatly appreciated and reaches out towards all different kinds of people out there dealing with depression.
You know, when I began this book I wasn’t expecting much. It just appeared and read like some slice of life coming of age novel. Nothing truly enthralling or magical, but not bad either. But boy oh boy was I wrong. This book is fantastic and something inexplicably compelling. It’s new and magnificent marking a new leaf in young adult literature and queer literature with Jeremy’s Dads and how only one character is straight the rest are gay and nobody obsesses over it. It’s just there and is amazing. So bravo Kate Scelsa you wrote a damn good book!