First of all, I must say that this novel is written in a weird way, and as you read, you come to an understanding as to why weird in that way. By weird, I mean, the prose is fractured, disordered and messy and sometimes it is no prose at all but some inlaid free verse. The story jumps back and forth in time. Nouns are used to describe people and things whereas adjectives should do the job instead (e.g. He is strong coffee). There are fairy tales told as we know them or as we don’t know them, I mean converted into something else by the narrator. All in all, the writing is sparse but effective in its own way. This is all because this is the voice of a girl who has been broken, whose mind is messed up and is trying to put the pieces of her summer 15 back together and while she does that, what she says is not always reliable…
It is the story of 3 cousins (Cadence, Mirren, Johnny) and an outsider, a friend, (Gat), who is in fact the nephew of their aunt’s boyfriend. The narrator, Cadence is in love with this boy, Gat and he loves her, too. They always spend their summers together.
Here is a part from the book that I liked very much:
When they were 15, something bad happened and Cadence does not remember her summer 15 at all. She has amnesia, awful migraine attacks, blackouts and so on. She is suffering deeply. When she asks her mother about what happened that summer, she says she told her every day at the beginning but the following day she forgot again and asked the same question over and over. So as doctors say, it is best if she herself remembers.
Here is the suspense! She has been told, but she does not remember it the other day!
And, when she does remember everything when she comes together with her cousins and the boy she is in love with on her summer 17, then the reader is broken into pieces – well I was because I didn’t see it coming – not at all…
“Well, if you read it, and if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.”, they say in the book trailer – I won’t lie about its ending – I will only say that I was not expecting it at all!
Do I recommend the book? Is it worth reading?
Well, there is something missing. I could not establish a bond with the characters and that is why I did not cry over the tragedy. Normally, I cry easily. I think because of the way it is written, there is some distance between the narrator and the readers all along the story or maybe I felt that way.
However, it was different to anything I’d read before due to its style and the ending came as a shock, which was successful.
If you look at the reviews in goodreads.com, people have polar opinions about the book, some adore it and give it 5 stars and some hate it and give it 1 star. I thought it was between 3.5 and 4 so I rated it as 4 in goodreads.
I say, it is a different experience reading this book and go read it!
Dilek Vidana Tavaşoğlu