With only an old typewriter and Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar for solace and guidance, Keek’s alone with her swirling thoughts. But one thing’s clear through her feverish haze—she’s got to figure out why things went wrong so she can put them right. (from Goodreads)
It was love at first word. Not since I encountered Francesca Spinelli have I so instantly been hooked by a character’s voice (I know regular readers, I know!).
Keek is fabulous, I just loved her. Her voice lunges out of the book, grabs hold of you, and keeps hold, long after the last word is read. Arlaina Tibensky does a wonderful job of making her just the right side of self absorbed and angsty. She’s realistic, but not annoying. She’s also funny and confused, and, like all my favourite characters a bit of a mess.
As she poured out her story and her opinions, I laughed, sympathized, and laughed some more. Half way through I did have a flicker of worry that there was no way the second half could be as good.
Dear reader (as Keek would say) it absolutely was.
As her health returns Keek has more interactions with the outside world, but this book remains low on dialogue, and high on retelling and reflection. Which is not a combination I normally fall for, but here it is done perfectly.
I don’t think it’s for everyone, I’m sad to say. The lack of dialogue, the frank musings on sex and virginity, and the very frequent references to The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath may not be to all readers tastes. For me though it was absolutely wonderful. I adored every second I spent in Keek’s head. I wish I’d known her when I was fifteen.
And Then Things Fall Apart has a guaranteed place in my top ten of the year, it is just sofa king* good.
And because the best books speak for themselves here are two of my favouirte quotes.
Finally, how absolutely gorgeous is the cover. I, of course, how need a hard copy too. It makes me want to do all my writing on a typewriter, or you know have one around for aesthetic purposes, there would be too much typex required if I used a typewriter.