Disclaimer: I received a free advanced copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Rating: 1 star
I…. I don’t even know what I just read you guys.
Let me just go ahead and say that this book is rated pretty decently on its Goodreads page. I am about to be the first person to give this book one star. And I’m really not trying to say that the book would be totally awful for everyone, because that’s clearly not the case. But… I think you have to enjoy a certain type of genre or writing to like this book. And I just don’t seem to fall into… whatever that is, exactly. Fantasy? Nah. Not quite. Magical realism? Maybe. But, that’s just not really my type of book. Confession time: I have never finished the Harry Potter series because I’m just not that into it. Whew. I’m so glad to get that off my chest. Please don’t attack me. I’m not saying I didn’t like it. I’m just saying it’s not really for me.
And that’s how I felt about this book. It’s content confused me and I never really understood what the hell was going on.
So the premise of this book is that two young people, Anna-Z and Davi, go off to follow their favorite musical artist on tour as a way of escaping Anna-Z’s super controlling and (frankly) psychotic brother. I call Anna-Z and Davi people, and not girls, or boys, or a boy and girl, because I still have no idea if Davi is a boy or girl. I think that out of habit we tend to assume that if the narrators love interest is a girl, then the narrator themselves must be a boy, unless otherwise stated. And that’s really just the heterosexuality norm world that we live in. But I actually think that the author leaves out Davi’s gender identity on purpose. This book is chalked full of gender fluidity and boys wearing mascara. I think keeping us in the dark about Davi was a tactic planned very purposefully by Watts.
So Davi and Anna-Z meet, Anna-z rambles on absolutely crazy thoughts about the alien-drift and morphing and whatnot, and Davi is fascinated by her so every word that comes out of Anna-Z’s mouth is taken very seriously. But Anna-Z has a crazy, controlling, and (I think?) abusive brother who is after Anna-Z (she has run away) and so Davi protects her. Davi hatches a plan to go to the last concert of Django Conn’s tour a few hours away, and they plan to hide from Anna-Z’s brother as long as possible. Side note: I was under the impression that they would be following the entire tour, or at least a branch of it. But they are only attending two: one, in the very first chapter of the book where Davi first spots Anna-Z, and two, the last concert of the tour towards the end of the book.
Of course Anna-Z’s brother still somehow manages to find her a hundred miles away and interrupts the concert but never fear, because Django Conn is here! Wowza that sounded so silly. But seriously, Django basically saves Anna-Z, but I’ll save the hows for those of you who still choose to read this book even after I tell you how much I hated it in this review.
So that’s pretty much what happens in this book. There are, of course, some smaller plot lines that you can check out for yourself. But for the main part, what I have just described to you is the summary of this book. But Anna-Z rambles a lot and fills in the pages with a bunch of stuff that I did not understand whatsoever. Maybe I’m just too closed minded. That’s a possibility. I definitely believe in aliens, but the alien drift sounded really far out there to me. Anna-Z talks, talks, talks and never stops unless she needs to stop telling stories and tell the truth (Davi calls them stories instead of lies. Makes the relationship seem a little more stable, I guess).
This book is just really not for me, guys. I had to force myself to finish it and the only holy grail was that it was so short and was over quickly. I am convinced that Watts got his inspiration from an LSD trip (whether his, or someone else’s, I have no idea). The story is somehow based in the present but also not… if that makes sense. Which it doesn’t, because even I couldn’t understand it. In seeming contrast to other viewers, I was not captivated by the setting nor the characters. Davi and Anna-Z were both extremely boring and paranoid to me. I appreciate that all readers are different and that there will probably be plenty of readers that enjoy this book. I just will not get to be one of them.