I took a look at this book because it’s told in SECOND PERSON OMG. I think this experimentation is a truly great thing in the world of YA lit.
But I regret to say that if it hadn’t been told in SECOND PERSON OMG, I would not have read beyond the cover. I read thirty five pages of it, then skipped to the end. Here’s why.
The prologue involves some kind of accident involving blood, and the main character trying to figure out where things went wrong. There are hints that he’s on a track toward death. Yet, all of the content you get to fill in these spaces does not involve A) Deep, involving emotion, B) extraordinary, interesting circumstances, or even C) eloquent angst. It’s mostly cliched whining about authority and academic boredom.
The love interest is flat and cliched in every way. The friends are flat and cliched in every way. After thirty five pages, the only glimmer of redeeming character depth is a one-sentence panic attack that culminates in a didactic break of POV in its rush to be quickly dismissed.
This is not how teenagers work. Sure, we can all dismiss and hide from guilty feelings. But if it’s THAT easy, it’s boring.
What gets me is how overwhelmingly didactic the story is; kid hangs out with rough crowd, angst a bit, one things leads to another, then blood. We’ve all seen this horror story. We’ve been forced to endure it in Drivers Ed classes, Don’t Drink Seminars, etc.
Who thought that telling it in second person was a good idea?? It reads like a sermon from the bored; every other sentence could begin with “Of course.”
At least for the first thirty-five pages, it’s downright condescending.