[Book Review #44] ARC: Fans of The Impossible Life by Kate Scelsa

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A captivating and profound debut novel about complicated love and the friendships that have the power to transform you forever, perfect for fans of The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

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.

Book Specifications:

Author: Kate Scelsa

Format: ARC / eARC

Part of a Series: No. Standalone.

Release Date: September 8, 2015

Publisher: Balzer + Bray, an Imprint of Harper Collins

No. of Pages: 368 pages

Price: None. This ARC came from National Bookstore. Special thanks to Josiah, The Bookish Fanboy, for giving me his extra copy! Harper Collins also approved me on this book over at Edelweiss! Thank you, HC! You guys are awesome!

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBT, Romance, Realistic Fiction, Depression

Book Review:

The Cover: The cover features a yellow and pink-toned background, with an image of a bed with three pairs of legs placed above. Obviously, these legs belong to Mira, Sebby, and Jeremy, the three main characters of this book. Also, a creative three-toned sketch of the book’s title can be found in the middle of the cover. I like it. The color combinations are impressive. But it could be better. (4 out of 5 stars)

The Story: The story was, in every possible and heartfelt way, one of the most splendid and most diverse I have ever come to read about. It is with these kinds of books that I remember why I love to read. Kate Scelsa’s attempt in telling a moving story of three kids trying to survive school and life in general surely paid off. And no, I do not regret my decision naming Fans of The Impossible Life as one of my most anticipated reads of 2015.

The writing style was very creative and utterly new to me. Told from 1st, 2nd, and 3rd person perspectives, I have never imagined for the POVs to be as impressive as it is. At first, I was confused as to why there were sudden changes in the voices, but as I continued reading, I fell deeper in love with this amazing work of art. The constant changes in the points of view of the main characters was simply refreshing and it helped the reader concretely visualize as to what was actually happening.

Best friend stories + LGBTQIA? HECK YEAH! If you know me at all, then you probably know how much I adore stories about best friends. In addition, you would probably be well informed about my sexuality. And I have to say, that when these two elements were combined I had my mind blown! Kate did a great job telling her readers a story about how well incorporated a group of kids can be if given the chance for interaction. It showed a great mix of characters, and thus, leading to a well blended relationship. After I finished this book, a new hope came to my mind! A hope that I could meet my own Mira and Jeremy someday. Seems realistic and probable enough, yeah?

The character development was absolutely impeccable. The three main characters started out strong, and I did not expect them to get better as much as they did as the story came to a close. Towards the middle of the book, I actually thought that their character development was to stop there, since alliances were already formed. But boy, was I wrong. Although, I have to just point out how amazing Sebby turned out to be. He was deeply troubled with himself all through out the book, and I have to say, as the story came to a close, he seemed to have gone downhill, but I still love him. I feel for him, if you know what I mean.

Not only did this book make it’s mark in the literature, but it also made a step towards making diversity a trend in the Young Adult genre. I loved it! (5 out of 5 stars)

The Ending: What is closure? GOOD GOD! I need more of this! As the story came to a close, I was so sure of myself and my assumption that someone was about to die. Everyone was becoming destructive with Sebby turning to drugs for help and Mira going back to her depressed state. It’s as if Jeremy, who started out as a scared kid, was the only one strong enough to not let problems bring him down. And in this sense, we can obviously feel the presence of a great character development.

I must say, I didn’t expect for this book to have ended as it did. It wasn’t predictable, in a positive way. However, the last page, I have to admit, left me hanging (!!!). I have soooo many questions that needs to be answered so I could have closure. What happened to Peter? To Rose and Ali? And most importantly, what the heck happened to Sebby? He’s my favorite character, you guys!!! Even if he was as destructive as Cadence from We Were Liars, who, I have to once again reiterate, I didn’t like. He’s such a dynamic character filled with spontaeneity pontaneity and bliss. I just want to know what happened to him. Hopefully, I could get my answers soon so I could get a move on.

If it was up to me, I would have at least given a few more chapters for Sebby. I think I need some more doses of him. I relate to him so much that I am craving for more of him. God! But I liked how everything turned out. Jeremy and Mira turned out great, and the same goes to everyone else. (4 out of 5 stars)


The Verdict: Fans of The Impossible, among many others, is a great coming of age story which can educate people experiencing the same fate as Mira, Jeremy, and Sebby. It has a lot to say about social issues like bullying, depression, and whatnot, and I am so happy that I got to read this. Again, I do not regret my labeling this as one of my most anticipated reads this 2015. (4.33 out of 5 stars)

Quotable Quotes:

“Love remembers the places where it touched down, left an invisible trail on your bodies. Follow it back. You can follow it back to them.”

“When it got this bad, she would do anything to make it stop, and that’s where the danger was. The feeling itself had no patience. It did not want to sit and wait. And so it made her believe that she couldn’t survive as long as it was there with her. She would destroy herself in order to destroy it.”

“… even though you could touch someone, it did not always mean that they were really there.”

“May we live impossibly. Against all odds. May people look at us and wonder how such jewels can sparkle in the sad dessert of the world. May we live the impossible life.” – Sebby

“There are problems that go along with becoming a person who needs other people. Especially if you have invested most of your identity in being alone.”

“In a really good thrift store you feel like you’re in a room with all of these stories, and it’s up to you to go and find the stories that you want to bring home with you.”

About The Author:

Kate is a writer of books and plays and performing member of theater company Elevator Repair Service since 2002. She 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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