by K.M Walton
Published on March 7th, 2017 by Sourcebooks Fire
E-book, 320 pages
One decision will change both of their lives.
It’s not Oscar’s fault that he’s misunderstood. Ever since his mother died, he’s been disrespected by his father and bullied by his self-absorbed older brother, so he withdraws from his fractured family, seeking refuge in his art.
Vance wishes his younger brother would just loosen up and be cool. It was hard enough to deal with their mother’s death without Oscar getting all emotional. At least when Vance pushes himself in lacrosse and parties he feels alive.
But when their father’s alcoholism sends him into liver failure, the two boys must come face-to-face with their demons—and each other—if they are going to survive a very uncertain future.
I received an e-copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange of honest review.
3 years ago, Vance and Oscar’s mother died in a car accident. Now, their father has only less than one day because of liver failure. When he’s gone, they only have each other. The thing is, they never have good relationship before, it was always filled with animosity under layers of hurt and secrets. Can they work it out together and be there for each other’s future?
I honestly didn’t think that I will enjoy this book. Sure, I requested it, but because it has the I’ll Give You The Sun vibe, with SIBLINGS and FAMILY SECRETS on the description. But then the slump hit and I don’t think I want to read something that sounds full of angst, because it will put me deeper in the slump. Turns out I was so wrong, and I read this book in one sitting.
This book is very hard to read. The relationship between Oscar, Vance, and their dad was very messed up. Years and years of hurt and assumptions really hinders therm from communicating from each other. The thing was, Oscar was “sensitive and quiet” while Vance and the father has this “life of the party” going on. Drink, dance, getting high, sports… they are very similar with each other, and they treat Oscar like shit because he was different. In return, Oscar retreated into himself. Oscar aside, Vance and the father was awful.
I love how the book was written and progressed. We get 2 povs, Oscar and Vance. Oscar tells us about the now, the 2 days waiting in the hospice and beyond. Vance tells us about the past, from 3 years ago, the day their mother died, and move forward until their stories converge in the here and now. We get to see how messed up their family is, the guilt and hurt surrounding them, none of their stories are straight, each have their own layers and complicatedness. Their progress also come slowly, not instaneous, so it feels real and beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time.
What I didn’t like is how awful Vance and the father was at the beginning. Sure, Vance progressed, but he still justified some of the things he did. I also didn’t like the girl. She felt useless and very manic pixie girl to me. She has no story in the book, no additional value or story to tell. I rather not have her and have this book focused solely on the familial aspect.
This book is full on angst, but it was beautiful. They have a rocky start, but each of them have their own character development. Reading about Oscar and Vance relationship reminds me of the importance of family and how precious the moment you spend with them.