This is a gimmick book, which in itself isn't a bad thing if there's a good story in there. Maybe there was a such thing in this, but unfortunately for me all that was buried under heaps of problems.
The first ninety pages were a positive surprise. A man writing a fifteen-year-old girl in first person voice can only end up in disaster, was my first thought and indeed it was too good to last. Because the first time jump and second part started the stalker trend.
Instead of continuing writing Holly's story from her perspective, Mitchell does everything in his power to reduce her into a pawn and object in the lives of men around her. Holly disappears into the background and is only shown through glimpses in the moments most important to her life and story.
A one night stand, a would be husband, the love of her adult life, and then the world saving or ending battle through an alien black woman. That's a bad description but it's the best I can do for the fifth narrator and point of view character. To add insult to the injury Mitchell uses POC to refer to a "Pear Occident Company" and reduces the immortals into small minded trans-phobics with a single line.
Fun times end with a second short part from Holly's point of view and with her aged voice, but it's too little too late. The story, its characters, and the author had already lost me for good.
...maybe you'll climb out of it at some point but the smart ones drive off the bridge right at the beginning.
Oh, wow. That turned out more meta than I intended.
Anyhoo. The first chapter is called The Bridge, it's only two pages long and it's the only good chapter in this book of 521 pages. There were a handful of good observations or amusing passages here or there, but nothing resembling a coherent, well written, good story. And I wasted all three weeks of my holiday reading it. So. Boring.
I have an itch to read The Handmaid's Tale at some point, so I won't say I won't be reading Atwood ever again. But it's a close thing.
It's good to know that white women have the equal opportunity to suck at writing and publishing as white men do.
If you ever feel tempted, my advice is that you should pick up the book from library, sit down to read the first short story of this collection, then put the book back on the shelf and walk away.
Just, walk away.
A fan of Russian roulette? Craving for something more dangerous?
FEAR NOT! I have the drinking game for you!
You need to buy roughly as much alcohol as you'd normally consume in two years. Then double it and add few bottles extra. Looks better, but you should really make two more trips and you'll be set!
Pick a copy of Shadow of the Sun by Laura Kreitzer. Audiobook not necessary but Tavia Gilbert's voice will help you along in those short moments between sips.
Listen to the first chapter and choose your phrases. As tempting as it might be, I suggest avoiding words "my mind" and "my brain" for your health. You don't want to pass out during chapter two, do you? Also smirking and all instances where Gabriella (B-Ella for those closest to her) is a horrible person or tells a 'cute' factoid of herself should be reserved for advanced players only.
Listen to chapter three and call for the ambulance.
Drink. Listen and drink.
Listen to chapter five and pass out.
Regain consciousness, take some hair of the dog and start counting ways this story is really nothing more than a Twilight fanfiction with Angels and worse writing.
Put Tavia Gilbert's magical voice on double speed and try to hold your fatty breakfast inside.
Keep listening. Your morning migraine will pale in comparison.
Drink some more.
I assume by this point you're somewhere around chapter ten. Stop and save yourself. I didn't and I'm telling you what comes after isn't worth your time, health or sanity.