by Brendan Ritchie
Release Date: September 1, 2015
Publisher: Fremantle Press
Nox is an arts graduate wondering what to do with his life. Taylor and Lizzy are famous indie musicians, and Rocky works the checkouts at Target. When they find themselves trapped in a giant mall, they eat fast food, watch bad TV, and wait. But with no sign of any other humans, the novelty of having their own mall quickly fades. When days turn to weeks, a sense of menace quickly grows.
Going into this, I kind of assumed this was going to be a typical YA novel, but I was happily proved wrong. I don't really know if you can classify this as a YA novel since there was only one character below the age of eighteen. The other three characters were most likely into their mid-twenties when this book took place, but I don't remember if their ages were ever said for certain. This didn't read like YA either. It was much slower and more drawn out than any YA book I've ever read. I don't know what age range I would classify this as to be honest. It doesn't really fit in any one category. That is okay, however, since this is a great book.
I loved how realistic this book was. It wasn't like the people were okay with being stuck in a mall; they all had their own sort of cabin fever (nothing near as bad as The Shining), and that made you understand their characters more. You really got to see the habit, quirks, and flaws of each and ever character in this book. The beginnings of the all characters were a bit fuzzy, but you got the basics throughout the book, and I think that for this book, thats all you really need.
I was really interested in Taylor's obsession with the doors and escape. I really understood that she felt like she was going insane as the book dragged on, and she needed to get out more so every day. Nothing was ever certain in the mall, and she wanted her life back. It was exactly what you would expect a famous indie rock person to want: freedom.
I adored the emphasis that was put on art in this book. Everything came back to art. The characters were always reading or listening to music or making music or writing, and I appreciated that the author found artists to be of utmost importance. I loved all of the music references that were weaved into this book; they may not have all been entirely necessary, but I got a better sense of who the characters were by the music that they liked. I most enjoyed the Wilco reference.
I have to appreciate the bluntness of the author's writing. If he wanted to curse, he would. It was no big thing for him. If he wanted to mention a character masturbating, thats exactly what he would do. There was no sense of what he was saying was inappropriate for the readers, and I liked that about his writing.
My only real problem with this book is that you didn't really get a full explanation of 1) why they were in the mall and 2) what the fuck happened. I really wish you got a detailed account on what happened, but I think the reason that we only got snippets was because the characters knew as little as we did. I don't hold this against this book, but I really wish there was more of a resolution to the question of why are they here.
Now I just want to touch on the ending. I liked that it was open ended, but I wish I got five to ten pages more. It would have wrapped everything up a lot better, and I think this book would have felt more complete.
To sum this book up in two words: Wow. What?
I received this book in exchange for an honest review, and honestly it would be more difficult to make a dishonest review than a truthful one.