Sunday, January 17, 2016

Review: Fans of The Impossible Life by Kate Scelsa

Title: Fans of The Impossible Life                               
Author: Kate Scelsa
Publication: September 8th 2015, Balzer + Bray
Format: e-ARC, 368 pages               
Source: Edelweiss (Thanks so much to HarperCollins!)   

This is the story of a girl, her gay best friend, and the boy in love with both of them.

Ten months after her recurring depression landed her in the hospital, Mira is starting over as a new student at Saint Francis Prep. She promised her parents she would at least try to act like a normal, functioning human this time around, not a girl who sometimes 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 a mischievous glint in his eye.

Sebby, Mira’s gay best friend, is a boy who seems to carry sunlight around with him like a backlit halo. Even as life in his foster home starts to take its toll, Sebby and Mira together craft a world of magic rituals and secret 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.

A captivating and profound debut novel, "Fans of the Impossible Life" is a story about complicated love and the friendships that change you forever.


This book is sad. Absolutely sad and I can't believe that the first book I've read this year was this depressing. And I've had a really difficult time coming up with these proper words to say to it.

Fans of The Impossible Life features the distressed life of three teenagers: Jeremy, Mira and Sebby using the first person, second person and third person narrative respectively. Each character has a different story to tell but all interconnected with each other. The narratives focus on the school and every day lives of the characters and how even the most fun of situations are laced with underlying depression and sadness.

I absolutely adored each character in this book. I especially think that it is character driven and it's what saves it from being boring. Not only are the characters what we call "diverse" in the book community but they are painfully and utterly human and it's such a rare instance that I'd stumble upon characters this real. Jeremy is lost in the idea that his friendship with Mira and Sebby is perfect and a saving grace to his somewhat closeted life. Mira is just trying to get her parents to understand that her depression is what's eating her away and Sebby is trying to find his safe haven. It's hard having to read stories of characters like these that try so hard to be happy yet you find them contemplating death and crying alone. 

I felt incredibly attached to these characters because they remind me a lot of myself (minus the excessive alcohol and drug intake and sex) but I have contemplated a lot about life and death, became depressed and have a lot of triggers. And the things depicted in this novel are as true as to what my experiences at least go when it comes to the thoughts that run in these kids' heads. I myself am I fan of the impossible life.

Jeremy is a character you would feel bad for in the long run but you'd still root for him. You want to protect him from the harshness of the world as much as you could but you can't deny him of the truth. Mira is the one I've connected to the most because of how her family dynamic and her constant harrowing depression irking at her every minute. She was written so beautifully, I wish I could just hug her. And Sebby. My poor, sweet child. I'd adopt you any day. I'll sleep on the floor and you could go sleep on my bed and we'll tell each other stories. I will never let you go. *cries*

You'd think that the pace is quite slow in the beginning but tons of revelations and plot turns help you get into the book page by page. I was a little disappointed though about some of the other characters seeming like they are only there for a few good moments and seemed to have lost their purpose when they were so interesting the first half. However, I still adored them.

Kate Scelsa's style is no nonsense. It's not bombarded by metaphors and second guessing. Because it's so honest to life and straightforward. It's refreshing but hard to take in. A real tear-jerker and a heart string tugger.

Fans of The Impossible Life, again, is a sad, depressing but a beautifully written book. It makes you realize that you have always dreamed of the impossible, that you have dysfunctional friends but in the end, things will somehow be alright. 

About The Author:
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Writer of books and plays and performing member of theater company Elevator Repair Service since 2002. Grew up in New Jersey, went to Sarah Lawrence College, and now lives in Brooklyn with her wife and two black cats. Current interests include: angsty singing ladies, interior revolutions and exterior adornments. Also - nostalgia as an art form. And - spiritual conspiracy theories.

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