September 25, 2015

I Crawl Through It

I Crawl Through It
A.S. King
336 pages
Expected publication: September 22nd 2015
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
eARC from NetGalley (Thanks LBYR!)
2.5/5 Stars
Four teenagers are on the verge of exploding. The anxieties they face at every turn have nearly pushed them to the point of surrender: senseless high-stakes testing, the lingering damage of past trauma, the buried grief and guilt of tragic loss. They are desperate to cope, but no one is listening.

So they will lie. They will split in two. They will turn inside out. They will even build an invisible helicopter to fly themselves far away...but nothing releases the pressure. Because, as they discover, the only way to truly escape their world is to fly right into it.

The genius of acclaimed author A.S. King reaches new heights in this groundbreaking work of surrealist fiction; it will mesmerize readers with its deeply affecting exploration of how we crawl through traumatic experience-and find the way out.

I liked it. I didn't like it. I am split in two. (aand that's me attempting to make a reference to the book)

For the most part, I feel like I Crawl Through It was over my head. Yes it is very deeply, and yes I recognized it was trying to be genius, but I didn't get it. I could tell when moments were intended to be meaningful and I recognized the symbolic parts but many metaphors and symbols were too hard for me to figure out. 

The main characters in this book are Stanzi, China, Lansdale, and Gustav. Stanzi, China and Lansdale have clearly been through unimaginable tragedies, and suffer from PTSD. This fact is never really mentioned outright,  but the reader should be able to easily infer it.

These characters are very...uh...I don't even know how to describe them. Gustav is building an invisible helicopter, which only Stanzi can see on Tuesdays (isn't that something.) Lansdale is a compulsive liar and her hair is described as growing as she lies, similarly to Pinocchio's nose. China turns herself inside out. Some days she is a only a stomach, other days only a gallbladder, sometimes a duodenum. Which was just very very strange.

I have so far enjoyed all of the A.S. King books I've read. Her characters and writing style are so unique and she is so good at incorporating magical realism into her stories. Although this is definitely my least favorite of all of her books. Who knows, maybe you'll be able to figure this book out way more then I was able to. I Crawl Through It, complete with disappearing helicopters, many mentions of organs, geniuses, and unique, writing is a weird book. It will probably leave you with an interesting taste in your mouth, and a confused look on your face.

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