contemporary · review · young adult

Fans Of The Impossible Life – Kate Scelsa

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Blurb: “Mira is starting over at Saint Francis Prep. She promised her parents she would at least try to pretend that she could act like a functioning human this time, not a girl who can’t get out of bed for days on end, who only feels awake when she’s with Sebby.
Jeremy is the painfully shy art nerd at Saint Francis who’s been in self-imposed isolation after an incident that ruined his last year of school. When he sees Sebby for the first time across the school lawn, it’s as if he’s been expecting this blond, lanky boy with mischief glinting in his eye.
Sebby, Mira’s gay best friend, is a boy who seems to carry sunlight around with him. Even as life in his foster home starts to take its toll, Sebby and Mira together craft a world of magic rituals and impromptu road trips, designed to fix the broken parts of their lives.
As Jeremy finds himself drawn into Sebby and Mira’s world, he begins to understand the secrets that they hide in order to protect themselves, to keep each other safe from those who don’t understand their quest to live for the impossible.”

*I was sent this book by the publisher but this in no way affects my review*

As you can tell from the blurb, this story primarily follows three teenagers: Mira, Sebby and Jeremy. The book opens with the trio entering their first day of High School so you’re thrown straight into the action. Jeremy loves art and is told by Peter, one of his teachers, to help set up an extra curricular art club and to get at least ten signatures. In one of his classes he sees a girl and asks for confirmation that she’s called Mira. When she says yes, he asks if she would like to “fake sign up” to club (simply write down her details but not actually go). Shortly after, Sebby shows up and shares a funny greeting with Mira before turning his attention to Jeremy. When Sebby learns about the art club, he says he would like to join too.

Jeremy seems genuinely surprised when not only Mira and Sebby show up, but others too. They discuss plans for the group in way of an art exhibition. Rather unexpectedly for the trio, they find themselves communicating more outside the group and start spending a lot of time together. The premise of the art club reminded me a bit of The Breakfast Club only with a lot less detention.

The chapters are split into multiple character perspectives which allows you to explore the plot from different angles and get a closer insight into each character’s life. Mira’s chapters were the most interesting to read because she felt the most real. It’s something I’ve tried putting into words but I can’t really explain. She just felt 3D, while the other characters were more 2D.  Sebby’s chapters however, were really confusing and difficult to read because parts of them are in second person. It just didn’t really work for me.

It was nice to read about sex in this book. (I’m not perverted, I swear!)
I read a lot of teen books that mention the nerves around sex or pull a Stephanie Meyer leaving you with “…” before the morning after. The sex was blunt and unexpected at times. Which is how I assume young people are doing the frickle frackle these days.

As the plot continues moving forward, the characters also spend a lot of time with Peter and I’m not going to spoil it, but all I’ll say is that it reminded me a lot of the teacher at the end of The History Boys film.

By far my favourite part of this book was a chapter where the trio were sat talking about their fears. In this scene they really opened up to each other, showing how the trust has been built and they make a pact: “against all odds. May people look at us and wonder how such jewls can sparkle in the sad desert of the world. May we live the impossible life.”

Overall I was very underwhelmed by this book.
I just didn’t really enjoy it that much and I’ve come away having no intention to re-read it. That’s not to say it’s a bad book. It’s just not for me.

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