Coming of age . A girl's journey to adulthood. Serious issues being dealt with and not teenager angst and relationship drama.
Even if the monologues from Maise's pov sometimes lean towards purple prose, there was never an eye-rolling moment for me. Maise's decisions and actions though there are many times the wrong ones, do not make her come across as idiotic ( again, I'm comparing this to most books I've read of this genre) the writing makes it easy to put yourself in her shoes, I actually understand why she does what she does.
The resolution of the story though some might see it as too ...(I'm not sure yet -I'll edit later- and I don't want to spoil it anyway) still doesn't annoy me and this is a feat because most stories with a predominant romantic element offend my cynical sensibilities and send me into cringing episodes.
Raeder knows how to create an atmosphere, I was hooked from the first few pages, I felt as if I was right in the middle of that carnival.
This is from the first page, the writing is not perfect my objective side tells me, but I don't care, I lost myself in this book and I felt like I was walking around in Maisie's skin, seeing what she sees, feeling what she feels.
It was the kind of greenhouse August heat that feels positively Jurassic. Everything was melting a little: the liquid black sky, the silver gel-penned stars, the neon lights bleeding color everywhere. All summer there’s a carnival a mile from my house, in a no-man’s-land rife with weeds and saw grass, a sea of flat earth. It feels like the edge of forever out there. I cracked a tallboy and it echoed like a rifle shot. I took a swig of that pissy weak stuff, savoring the coolness. I was sitting on a picnic bench, watching the rollercoaster go up and down and up again, the joyous screams phasing in and out like a distant radio station. Rollercoasters scare me, and it has everything to do with me losing my stuffed bunny George when I was five. George fell from a hundred feet in the sky when I threw my hands up in cruel, careless glee. Mom sewed new eyes on, but I cried and cried and said he was dead until she let me bury him in the backyard. We made a coffin out of a Fruit Loops box. Mom, so drunk she was crying too, gave the eulogy.
Now some of the issues I can think of were the fact that through a decent chunk of the book I felt like some important characters like Wesley or Evan were almost like ... ghosts, not that they were two-dimensional but you get the feeling that they only existed around Maisie, like they only existed to serve a purpose in her life we don't know much about what they do when they are on their own when it's not related to her and it makes them lacking as characters and less real. Although i have to acknowledge they actually had depth and were not only there to get the story where it needed to go, and yes I know the story revolves around Maisie but they were an important part of it and I was actually curious about them and interested in their background.
Some plot lines were maybe a little too neatly tied, but hey I'm not complaining, I liked the way things went.
I'm glad I stumbled across this book, i would recommend it to anyone interested in NA and even to some of those who gave up on the genre.