like a dopus, i read this way back in august and did that thing where you’re like, “oh, this doesn’t come out until november – i have ages to review it!” and then suddenly it’s a week before halloween and even though the book hasn’t been archived on netgalley, the “lending period” or whatever for the e-copy has expired, taking all of my virtual bookmarks with it.
i’ve redownloaded it to make sure i get the basics right, but the way i usually write reviews (OOH, AN INSIGHT INTO MY PROCESS) is through the candytrail of bookmarks/folded-over pages; seeing what struck me during my reading – particularly well-stated passages that i wanted to quote or plot points that contributed to whatever assessment i was making of the book in my head while i was reading, and then i shape the review out around that.
now i’m just going to have to wing it.
i just went back and reread the publisher-approved synopsis to make sure i don’t go spilling any beans willy-nilly.
because this book is FULL of beans to spill.
it’s about a woman named liz – a single mother of two, a survivor of domestic abuse, struggling to make ends meet but otherwise happy; a good woman adored by her two children, with the respect and admiration of her community.
it’s about a girl named fran – a teenager, a survivor of a childhood abduction, struggling with PTSD-hallucinations and social awkwardness, protected by her imaginary friend – a fox named jinx who’s a battle-ready vulpine knight when she needs to be, and her father, who is doing his best on his own.
things happen, boundaries blur, decisions are made.
it’s about damage and coping mechanisms and recovery and violence and literal and figurative confrontations and notions of identity. it’s the perfect blend of speculative fiction/horror/dark fantasy with psychology/social philosophy/metaphysics that tumesces my jonathan carroll-lovin’ heart.
i liked this book very much, but my biggest swoons are entirely for fran’s half of the story. i love her, i love her relationship with her father, and obviously i love jinx more than anything. if there are any merchandising plans in place for this book, i want to be first in line for a jinx of my own.
that’s all i’m going to say about this one, partly because i’m hamstrung by my demoralizing bookmark loss, partly because loose lips sink ships, partly because this book is such a twisty genre-blendy journey, it’s hard to pin down and it’s best if you experience it for yourself.
and you will.
because of jinx.