I read this book in less than a day! This is very much against my usual habit. This was perfect, though, as a compelling holiday-weekend book that I just never felt like putting down. No, I still don't have plans today? Ok, I'll be in bed finishing the book.
I read this on the strength of Kfan's review
which is real real compelling too. I wanted to know what was violent and scary! It's cool, how much is packed in a small frame. It's short and fast, and weirdly it's as if the reading experience itself is in character: these people don't have the time or patience to explain more. It's like they're saying, you don't know the half of what we're dealing with. Just take it and go.
Their lives are fairly harsh, and there's a surprisingly large cast for such a small book. They're like a little constellation of characters over this small, wintry town. A weird pick for July 4th weekend, it turned out — how cold this book is, how brutally frozen. It's not entirely unlike Fargo
, actually. Or Winter's Bone
. It would not take a whole lot of shift to make this book a real cool movie. Can I get this movie? I never asked anyone for Divergent
, let's do this one instead. No one ever asks me.
The narrative omniscience offers you a good amount of dramatic irony, linking them together in ways they won't ever figure out. It pushes your buttons, too — there are the slightest brushes with incest, in like at least three places; there are lost identities, missing parents here and returning parents there. You're not 100% sure who is being straight with you, so to speak. You think
you know something she doesn't know. But maybe she does? But she'd never do that
if she knew what you
So, I would call this gripping, and really super impressive based on how much happens
. A lot
. You should read it! Truthfully, though, I was disappointed when I reached the ending. Maybe my balance was off because I tore through it, didn't savor a thing or build it up. But for some reason it felt like it wasn't what I wanted. But, probably? Wanting something for these characters, for this story — wanting something more! — means they're realer to me than they seem to be on paper. And that's a thumbs-up, always.