Fans of the Impossible Life by Kate Scelsa
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: September 8, 2015
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5
For fans of books like The Perks of Being a Wallflower, this is a gorgeously written debut novel about the special friendships that have the power to transform you forever.
Mira is a depression–suffering underachiever who is trying to start over at Saint Francis Prep, where she promised her parents she would at least try to pretend that she could be normal—not a girl who sometimes can’t get out of bed for days on end, who feels awake only when she’s with Sebby.
Jeremy is the painfully shy art nerd at Mira’s new school struggling to get over a bullying incident that happened at school last year—who sees Sebby for the first time across the Saint Francis school lawn as if he’s been expecting him—a blond, lanky boy with a mischief glinting in his eyes.
Sebby is the foster kid, fearless and wild. But hiding his sexual orientation from his conservative foster mother is getting harder…and going to school after everything that’s happened to him seems impossible.
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 dazzling, powerful debut novel, Fans of the Impossible Life is a story about rituals, love, and the transformative friendships that burn hot and change you, even if they can’t last.
Fans of the Impossible Life by Kate Scelsa is one of those YA Contemporaries where the characters are so well-developed and real that you really get invested in their story. With a diverse main cast of characters, I was sucked into their high school struggles and own personal issues they had to deal with. I am incredibly impressed with Scelsa’s debut novel, and will undoubtedly be recommending this one to all.
As I mentioned earlier, the main characters in Fans of the Impossible Life are three-dimensional and tangible characters. The synopsis itself gives a pretty detailed description of the three, but I want to talk about my emotional connection toward them.
+ Mira is the only female in this trio of friends, and I am the most disconnected from her out of the three. That’s not to say I don’t understand her or like her. Her problems are realistic, like being in the shadow of her older sister who’s at Harvard. Mira’s chapters are told in third person perspective, which is why I feel a bit detached from her character. But her support toward Sebby & Jeremy is an endearing quality she possesses.
+ Sebby is Mira’s close friend. His struggles are so intense and raw that he comes second in terms of my emotional connection to him. He has to deal with being in foster care and that’s no easy feat. He feels neglected and discarded, but not when he’s around Mira. What I love about Sebby’s perspective is that it’s told in second perspective – something rarely done in YA – and while it is different and a little odd at times, it really put the reader into Sebby’s shoes.
+ Jeremy. Oh, Jeremy. My heart breaks for Jeremy. He’s the new kid that joins Mira & Sebby’s duo, making it a trio. His perspective is told in first person, and I empathize with him the most. I was near tears when Jeremy told his story, his gritty, bullied past. He’s subdued and obedient, which is why I feel that connection to Jeremy.
Being a very character-oriented book, I think Scelsa did an astonishing job with characterization. It seemed like I couldn’t leave these characters even for a second, I was so attached to these three. That being said, I think Scelsa created a fabulous plot to keep the reader even more intrigued in the characters. My only complaint is the ending: a bit rushed and ambiguous. I would have loved some more closure! To wrap up, this story is very reminiscent to The Perks of Being a Wallflower; however, Fans of the Impossible Life is special and uniquely crafted on its own, and I highly recommend this story to all readers.