Monday, September 28, 2015

Book Review: I Crawl Through It

I Crawl Through It: A.S. King
Publication Date: September 22nd, 2015

Four teenagers are on the verge of exploding. The anxieties they face at every turn have nearly pushed them to the point of surrender: senseless high-stakes testing, the lingering damage of past trauma, the buried grief and guilt of tragic loss. They are desperate to cope, but no one is listening.

So they will lie. They will split in two. They will turn inside out. They will even build an invisible helicopter to fly themselves far away...but nothing releases the pressure. Because, as they discover, the only way to truly escape their world is to fly right into it.

"Our big explosion is coming any day now. Can't you hear the ticking?"

I really love weird books. For example, Challenger Deep was really weird but at the same time meaningful and I absolutely adored it. This is another weird book. I feel like I sort of understood it but then again I'm still kind of confused on some parts. That could be the whole point of it, I don't really know! Regardless, it was definitely a refreshing mix up to the sometimes mundane contemporaries. I still enjoyed the book, even though at some of the parts I found myself like: 

"We could have been so much more, but no one would let us fly."

So we find ourselves following the lives of 4 highschoolers. We have Gustav who is building an invisible helicopter that only he can see except Stanzi who can only see it on Tuesdays. Stanzi's parents take her on vacation all the time … but only to sites of previous school shootings. Pleasant, right? Then we have Landsdale. She loves to lie and every time she does her hair grows longer and longer. Basically Pinocchio with hair. Then there's China. She swallowed herself. That's right she occasionally refers to herself as some part of the digestive system, even a rectum. What do they all have in common? Hmm my jury's still out on that. They are all friends? They are all messed up? They all have test anxiety? These are the questions about the book that confuse me! 

So it's not that I didn't like the book, because I obviously did! It's just that I still don't know if I understand all of the euphemisms and metaphorical language. We never quite find out Stanzi's name. Stanzi is the one with PTSD and it took me awhile to group who has what according to the description of the book. Maybe if I reread it knowing what I know now that I will be able to grasp some of the things more. Ok - so like I said you have China, Landsdale, Stanzi, and Gustav. I get China and Stanzi's issues. But I don't really know what Gustav's issue was? Was he the test anxiety person? Why was The Bush Man normal until he left that place with geniuses and no departures? Why did he start handing out letters in exchange for kisses? I wish these questions would have been answered more or I wish I had A.S. King's phone number and I could just text her and be like "Hey what did you mean by this?". Or maybe even a SparkNotes because right all on my own I'm like: 

"I am China - the girl who swallowed herself. 
I just opened my mouth one day and wrapped it around my ears and the rest of me. Now I live inside myself. 
I can knock on my rib cage when it's time to go to bed. I can squeeze my own heart. When I fart, no one else can smell it. 
I write poems."

So even though this was a really weird novel and I still don't know what some of the things mean, I'm glad I read it. It's super unique and I think any story that isn't generic will keep my interests. Do you know what I mean? There are so many novels out now and they seem to almost be like carbon copies of each other! I probably would have liked them better if they were published 10 years ago, when there weren't 5 other books like them. This isn't like that, ok? It's 100% original! I've never read anything like it before. So if you're in the mood for a strange book that's nothing like you've ever read before and you're just sick of the run of the mill contemporaries - this is a perfect book for you! 

Thank you to The Novl for providing this book in exchange for my honest review.

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