But what if the mom, Billie, isn't really dead?
This was honestly such a frustrating read. The first half sucked me in and made me want to read it all in one go. The second half had me wanting to smack all the characters in the head and ask them what their problems were. It was like watching a play where all three of the main protagonists are competing for the role of The Absolute Worst. I give you our cast:
The Mom: OMG I'M SO SPECIALLLLL AND NOBODY UNDERSTANDS ME OR HOW AMAZING AND UNIQUE I AM
The Dad: OMG I'M SO FIRE AND BECAUSE I'M A MAN AND DIAL IT IN, I DESERVE THE WORLD, AND I DON'T UNDERSTAND WHY MARRYING THE MANIC PIXIE DREAMGIRL OF MY GREY SADBOY DREAMS DIDN'T PAN OUT WHAT IS THIS
The Daughter: I LIKE SEIZURES! THEY MAKE ME SEE-HER-- AND BY 'HER', I MEAN MY MOM. ALSO I AM IRRESPONSIBLE AND HAVE A DEATH WISH BECAUSE #TEENAGER
Initially, Olive, the daughter, was the person I felt sorry for the most. Billie and Johnathan, the mom and dad, were insufferable. But as the pages go on and we're introduced to more and more insufferables, and even Olive began to let me down, I found my enjoyment of the book beginning to wane. I can tolerate a lot of unlikability from characters-- perhaps more so than a lot of readers-- but I have to have something to root for. The weird supernatural element, the endless red herrings, and the letdown ending kind of made me feel like this near-five hundred page tomb, um, wasn't worth it? I still tore through it in less than twenty-four hours, so I'd feel weird giving it less than three, but it's not getting the five-stars that PRETTY THINGS did, or even the four-stars that I initially thought I'd give it.
Kind of disappointing. But it has a formula that's begging for a Netflix mini-series.
2.5 to 3 out of 5 stars