Sunday 10 January 2021

YOU MUST NOT MISS by Katrina Leno


You Must Not MissYou Must Not Miss by Katrina Leno
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So far this year I've read books I've had my eye on for a while, and this is another one. I actually bought this one a few months ago but have been looking forward to checking it out for a lot longer than that.

Also, will you look at that beautiful cover! It's colourful and full of rage and features pretty birds. Yeah, it really caught my eye.

Magpie's life fell apart six months ago. Her father hurt her mother. Her mother started drinking herself to oblivion. Her older sister left. And her best friend stopped talking to her after a big party. Now, she's finally starting to open up to her new group of friends, but she's also discovered Near. A place she wrote about in her yellow notebook...

Oooooh. This is one amazing book that's hard to put into one single genre because it fits into so many. It's a serious commentary on rape culture. It's a complicated look at friendship and family. It's a thorough study about the effects trauma has on someone. And it's a dark fantasy story with a wicked horror lining.

Also, there are so many trigger warnings that can be applied to this story, it's easier to say all of them. I'm not kidding or trying to make light of it. I mean it.

The writing style is so nice, I found myself falling headfirst into the narrative. Magpie's story is full of mystery from the very first sentence and the more I read, the more intoxicating her words become because we get hints about the series of events that destroyed her family and friendship, but it's obvious there's so much more under the surface.

Another thing that I absolutely loved about this book was the weirdness. And I'm not even talking about the surreal appearance of the land of Near. It's everything. In Magpie's school days, her home life and everything in between. I often found myself wondering what was real and what was imagined, but all of it is tinged with darkness.

All the characters in this book are interesting in their own way. Some because they are so kind and nice (Ben, Clare, Brianna, Luke, Jeremy), others because they are awful (Allison, Brandon, Dad), and the rest because they are absent or just don't bother noticing what's really going on (Mom, teachers).

This story is quite confronting and disturbing in so many ways. It also highlights how a nice, average person who's constantly shoved aside can slowly morph into an angry monster determined to enact revenge.

It's sad, relatable and such a fantastic book. I really (really) enjoyed this. I loved the cover before, but after reading it's also a perfect representation of Magpie's experience.

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