Thursday, September 10, 2015

Fans Of The Impossible Life by Kate Scelsa

Fans Of The Impossible Life by Kate Scelsa
Release Date - September 8, 2015
Publisher Website - Harper Collins
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader/Frenzy
Pages - 368 pages
My Rating - 5/5
**received for an honest review from publisher**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
A captivating and profound debut novel about complicated love and the friendships that have the power to transform you forever, perfect for fans of The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

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. 
When a novel's synopsis throws in comparisons to Perks Of Being A Wallflower it makes you take notice. After reading Fans Of The Impossible Life, I feel that the comparison is easily earned. Stunning prose, fully developed characters, and a honest, emotional plot that resonates long after you've finished make this an easy comparison to make. This novel brings forth those same feelings that Perks Of Being A Wallflower did, and captures that same magic.

Not many authors could pull off writing three characters in different points of view. The use of first, second and third person (depending on which character is narrating) was done wonderfully. She managed to make each point of view feel right for the character in question, and developed each of the characters equally. These narrations meshed together to create a cohesive story, and it's something that really sets it apart from other novels in it's genre. While the changing style of writing may take some getting used to, it's worth it to experience the lyrical, poetic writing found within these pages. This novel read like a movie as you could easily visualize everything the author was describing. You could imagine even the littlest detail, and this is another testament to Kate's beautiful writing.

The synopsis would seem to hint a bi-sexual love triangle. I am hesitant to call it that as I feel romance is on the back burner in this novel. It's heart and core is the friendship being formed and the how those bonds of friendship can change you. While there are certainly hints of romance, but I feel that the other elements deliver something even better by the time the last page is turned.

By the end of the novel each of these characters has been pulled through altering events. They've all been marked by not only their bond to each other, but by the events that have transpired. Kate Scelsa is unafraid to let us see the messy insides of these characters, flaws and all. We get to see the absolute worst in Sebby, the darkest parts of him are thrust into the light harshly for everyone to see. We get to see Mira at her most vulnerable and shaken. Her struggles felt real and authentic in a way I hadn't experienced before in a novel. You feel her pain and her desire to get well in equal measure as she struggles to overcome something that has the power to flatten her. Jeremy's own issues are also adeptly handled with bullying taking the centre focus in his story. Each of their storylines felt all too realistic, and this will touch anyone who has experienced any of the issues these characters face.

Sebby and Mira's way to survive is their friendship. It is the most important thing to them. Jeremy joining completes their triangle and he is trust into their world of rituals, magic and spontaneity. They pledge to live the impossible life which is their mantra for everything.
“May we live impossibly,” Sebby said when he opened his eyes. “Against all odds. May people look at us and wonder how such jewels can sparkle in the sad desert of the world. May we live the impossible life.” 
This quote sums up not only their friendship, but could be the quote that represents the entire story. Their life of road trips, thrift store finds, unexpected karaoke parties, and everything in between offer up a dizzying world for these characters to inhabit while not feeling unrealistic. It could have veered into the outlandish, but like everything else in this novel, Kate kept it grounded and authentic.

A bold, heartfelt book filled with self discovery and friendship. This novel is not just beautifully written, but is filled with characters who will capture your heart. Kate Scelsa has announced herself as a bright new voice in YA and I cannot wait to see what she writes next. 

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