Hey everyone, it’s Sarah!
I received an eARC of this novel through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. I am still trying to dig my way out of my ARCs that I totally didn’t get to this one before publication. Honestly, part of it was that I know when I start a Foley book, I don’t stop a Foley book. While I was waiting for my audio book to come in, a patron at the library (out of nowhere) couldn’t stop raving about this book. I quickly found her the rest of the books because they were great too! I then went home and began the ARC, though as providence would have it, my audiobook came in shortly afterwards.
Pup Flannagan is part of a big Irish Catholic family in Chicago. He tends to get lost in the shuffle, especially since his oldest siblings are so much older that they have kids the same age as Pup (talk about fun when you have to compete in school with your nephew). Not only does Pup get lost in his family, but he takes a backseat with his best friend. Pup has crushed on her for years, she knows, ignores it, and then drags Pup along to “chaperone” her dates. Obviously, nothing sexy will happen if Pup is there, or atleast that’s what his best friend’s parents think. Pup is forced to confront the role he inhabits in his life, when he is forced to work on a photography project. This art form pushes Pup to put his life in focus and handle the repressed emotions surrounding his older brother’s death.
I love Foley’s work because she can write! The way words are put together in her books are just beautiful. I thought of talking about this for Printz this year, like I talked about her last book for last year’s discussion. However, I thought I would just give this book some breathing room in its own post. Okay, so unfortunately, this is not one of my favorite Foley books. I don’t know if it is because I mostly listened to this book, instead of solely reading it like I did with the others. I think I like characters who drive their stories, probably because I wish I had more of this control in my own life. Pup took a backseat to his story and life, which is kinda the point. I loved the family aspect and found that I loved Patty most of all. The best friend drama was too much, I wanted to round up Pup’s family and take care of that situation. However, I think the family and friend dramas that played out across the page were real and relatable.