Review: Fans of the Impossible Life


Fans of the Impossible Life
By Kate Scelsa

Source: Netgalley, ARC
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Coming of Age, LGBT+, Romance, Mental Illness, 

Goodreads Synopsis:

This is the story of a girl, her gay best friend, and the boy in love with both of them.

Ten months after her recurring depression landed her in the hospital, Mira is starting over as a new student at Saint Francis Prep. She promised her parents she would at least try to act like a normal, functioning human this time around, not a girl who sometimes 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 a mischievous glint in his eye. 

Sebby, Mira’s gay best friend, is a boy who seems to carry sunlight around with him like a backlit halo. Even as life in his foster home starts to take its toll, Sebby and Mira together craft a world of magic rituals and secret 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.

My review:

received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review via Netgalley

I expected this book to be amazing. From the first line of the synopsis (This is the story of a girl, her gay best friend, and the boy in love with both of them), I expected there to be a bisexual love triangle with lots of romance. I was disappointed because there was barely any romance - more friendship and self-discovery. I enjoyed the characters, and the plot was okay, but the writing style really let this book down for me.

The characters were all instantly likeable. Everyone was funny and charming on the surface, yet were well developed and had lots of depth. They all had their own private problems, and were all fighting their own personal battle.

I liked the dynamics between each character. They all had different relationships - my favourite was Mira and Sebby. The author had captured the essence of being best friends so it felt very realistic. Their relationship was unusual yet very special.

My main problem with the book was the writing style. It was very disjointed and chucky because it constantly switched between Mira (3rd person), Jeremy (1st person), and Sebby (2nd Person). It got a little confusing at times - I would have been able to enjoy the book much more if everything was in 3rd person.

This book tried so hard to be meaningful and beautiful, but in my opinion, it really wasn’t. There were too many themes explored (bullying, suicide, depression, mental health, homophobia, drugs, friendship), and I thought it got too crowded. Because it was so busy, it wasn’t able to fully explore most of these themes. This made me feel like the book wasn’t as important as it would have been, if it delivered a strong and poignant message about just a couple of themes.

I found the ending frustrating. It didn’t give enough closure, and I was left feeling confused. I really cared about the characters, so I was very disappointed for it to leave us wanting more. It was too ‘poetic’, and tried too hard to be beautiful, and left to the reader’s interpretation. Just a few more pages would have rounded off this book so much better.

I thought this book was a very fun contemporary. At many points, I was smiling and laughing with the characters: I enjoyed the book a lot. The writing style mainly let it down for me, and the way it tried too hard, but it definitely had potential to be a very important book. I'd recommend for fans of The Perks of Being a Wallflower, or I'll Give You the Sun.


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