September 12, 2015 • Cee • Reviews

fans of the impossible life

Fans of the Impossible Life by Kate Scelsa •  September 8, 2015 • Balzer + Bray (HarperCollins)
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Mira is starting over at Saint Francis Prep. She promised her parents she would at least try to pretend that she could act like a functioning human this time, not a girl who can’t get out of bed for days on end, who only feels awake when she’s with Sebby.

Jeremy is the painfully shy art nerd at Saint Francis who’s been in self-imposed isolation after an incident that ruined his last year of school. When he sees Sebby for the first time across the school lawn, it’s as if he’s been expecting this blond, lanky boy with mischief glinting in his eye.

Sebby, Mira’s gay best friend, is a boy who seems to carry sunlight around with him. Even as life in his foster home starts to take its toll, Sebby and Mira together craft a world of magic rituals and impromptu road trips, designed to fix the broken parts of their lives.

As Jeremy finds himself drawn into Sebby and Mira’s world, he begins to understand the secrets that they hide in order to protect themselves, to keep each other safe from those who don’t understand their quest to live for the impossible.

myreview

I received this book for free from HarperCollins for review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

First sentence: “The first day of my sophomore year of high school I somehow lost the ability to tie a tie.”

What a lovely surprise, Fans of the Impossible Life is.

I had thought this book would be a love triangle (with hints of ot3 goodness), but it’s more like a beautiful friendship triangle.

The book follows three characters:

  • Mira, a biracial overweight teenager who loves vintage dresses, suffers from depression, and tries to make her parents happy by going to St. Francis Prep and pretending to be normal.
  • Sebby, Mira’s gay best friend and foster kid who seems like he’s all sunshine and positivity, but harbors hurt and pain from his past that he never dealt with.
  • Jeremy, an art lover and loner who had been bullied, returns to St. Francis Prep, and becomes captivated by Mira and Sebby and their friendship when he first sees them.

Each character are such a joy to read about because of how well-crafted they are and how they interact together. You’d want to know more about them.

SURPRISING THINGS YOU’LL FIND IN FANS OF THE IMPOSSIBLE LIFE

  • Holy wonderful diversity galore.

You want wonderful diversity? Here you go.

Fans of the Impossible is a diversity goldmine. There’s a lot of LGBTQ characters (gay main characters, gay dads, supporting lesbian characters) and people of different races (Mira’s biracial—half white and half black). I never felt like this book was trying to fulfill a diversity quota nor did I feel the writing veer into stereotypical portrayals. It was just so honest and beautiful.

  • No love triangle in sight, just pure friendship love.

However, if you’re looking for romance, I hate to be the bearer of bad news because the romance is not a huge focus in this book. There are moments of romance between two of the characters, but it never turns into a romance worth rooting for because of these character’s issues.

If you want a book that’s purely about friendship, Fans of the Impossible Life is that book. These characters need each other so much; they need friends who understand what they’re going through and make them feel hopeful of their future. They’re trying to work through their issues the best way they can together. Mira and Sebby’s interactions will bring a smile to your face because their friendship is so supportive and magical. Just seeing them wrapped up in each other’s arms made my heart ache because of how desperate they need each other. If you’re into that, you’d really like this book. I know I did.

  • There are no bisexual characters.

Contrary to popular belief, Fans of the Impossible has no bisexual characters. I know, quite disappointing. But that’s not the fault of the book, rather the initial marketing, which had once described he book as, “the story of a girl, her gay best friend and the boy who falls in love with both of them,” and from that, you can easily assume that this boy is bisexual.

I was initially disappointed, but I realized that there’s more than one type of love. We always jump to romantic love when it’s two characters who are unrelated, and Fans of the Impossible Life showcases the other type—the love that friends have for each other—and it’s so frickin’ beautiful.

  • It tackles a bunch of important issues in a way that isn’t overwhelming.

Issues the book tackles: depression, bullying, homosexuality, drug abuse, mental health, mixed race families, homophobia, self-harm, foster homes, and so much more.

All these characters are battling all sorts of issues, and Kate Scelsa writes it in a natural and honest way that doesn’t feel like it’s piling down on you or just being there to make the characters complex. She depicts the many different perceptions toward these issues that kids and adults have—not are all kind—and the way they try to deal with it. It creates a dialogue going about what we can do to help these kids. These issues are handled with such ease and sensitivity that I just have to applaud Scelsa.

  • It’s told from three different point of views.

All three of the main characters have different point of view: Jeremy in first person, Mira in third person, and Sebby in second person. Every time the chapter switches to the next character (and thus point of view), it’s a bit awkward because you have to automatically get use to the pronoun switch, but it didn’t bother me that much.

  • You will definitely be annoyed by Sebby.

Reasons why: 1. his point of view is written from the second person (which is jarring to read “you” when it switches to him) and 2. his character is extremely underdeveloped.

When you first see Sebby, he’s the brightest person and full of energy; it seems like he doesn’t have a care in the world, but underneath that bright indifference, he’s very lost, and he harbors a hurt that he nor Scelsa ever dealt with. He’s on a path of destruction, and nothing—not eve Mira—can stop him, which will only make you dislike him. However, the book doesn’t delve much into his issues. We’re just left hanging, wondering what’s up with him. I couldn’t connect with him because we don’t really get to know much about him.

gradeB

Kate Scelsa delivers a wonderful story about the power of friendship that makes a person want to cling to your friend for comfort and support when the world throws them problems (like bullying and depression) they can’t face by themselves. Yes, this book does have a bit of an issue with one of its characters, but I ultimately enjoyed every bit of it—especially the friendship because you don’t often see how desperately these characters need it to breathe. I’m a fan.


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4 Responses to “(ARC) REVIEW | Surprising Things You’ll Find in Fans of the Impossible Life”

  1. i recently got an arc of this and oh my god your review of it is fantastic! it seems like a really good book and i can’t wait to read it myself. hooray for diversity and gay characters and friendships and the tackling of important issues <33

    isha @ two sisters bloggin’

  2. Karen Blue says:

    I totally thought this had some sexual diversity. I am glad to hear you loved it so much. I can’t wait to read it!

  3. *is still butthurt about Sebby*

    HOWEVER – I do like the points you made here, and I agree with all of them! I’m still not sure why I really didn’t connect with this book D: One of my biggest disappointments in myself this year, reading-wise.

  4. Alexa S. says:

    I think it could be really interesting to read a book about friendship! It also makes me feel really curious to hear that there’s a lot of great representation going on in Fans of the Impossible Life. Might just have to make the time to check this one out.


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