Hiya all, it’s Sarah!
A.S. King writes books that are the magical realism that typically work for me. I couldn’t wait to read her new one.
Four teens, Freak, the Shoveler, CanIHelpYou, Loretta, and Malcolm all bring you through their lives, ultimately tunneling their story lines together.
The Shoveler has moved around alot with his mother because she is unable to keep a job, pay the rent, or adult in any way. They have just moved to a city, where the Shoveler’s mom says she has some business. The Shoveler befriends the middle-aged next door neighbor, who he watches baseball with in the dead of winter. The Shoveler begins carrying around his shovel, which creates his moniker and makes him the new weird guy at school. One day while shoveling snow, Freak shows up. She appears out of nowhere, says some intriguing thins then disappears. The Shoveler wants to know more, but doesn’t know how to find the Freak. In the meantime, after the Freak has ensured that the Shoveler has found a job with Gottfried and Marla, painting their houses. The Shoveler is making the money he will need to finally get his own car.
CanIHelpYou works at the local fast food restaurant drive-through. She is trying to make the world a more polite place, instead of having people shout “GIMME” through the order box, demands “pleases” and “thank yous,” especially if you are looking for her super secret, not-so-legal, menu of pick-me-ups.
Loretta is the ringmistress of a flea circus. She cultivates these generations of fleas and trains them to perform death defying stunts. However, her parents don’t seem to know about the flea circus and can’t understand why their trailer is always full of fleas. One day, Loretta’s father nearly kills her mother, and the ringmistresses circus may have to change acts.
Malcom’s father is dying. In preparation, the two frequently travel to Jamaica, where Malcolm ultimately wants to live after his father’s death. However, he is being sent to his grandparent’s, Gottried and Marla, house and is supposed to live there after his father dies. His grandparents are too much to handle, how many times does he have to tell Marla that he doesn’t eat lamb!
This book was super weird and hard to follow in the beginning. It took a long time for the stories to make sense together. I loved the ending and thought it was completely intriguing. However, overall, the narratives felt so completely their own it was hard to follow the overall plot.