Away We Go - Emil Ostrovski | ARC Review

11:38 AM

Pages: 270, ARC Paperback
Publication date: April 5, 2016
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
How I got the copy: Received ARC copy from publisher (HarperCollins)
Rating: 2/5 Stars
Series: N/A

Summary:

Westing is not your typical school. For starters, you have to have one very important quality in order to be admitted—you have to be dying. Every student at Westing has been diagnosed with PPV, or the Peter Pan Virus. No one is expected to live to graduation.

What do you do when you go to a school where no one has a future? Noah Falls, his girlfriend Alice, and his best friend Marty spend their time drinking, making out, and playing video games on awaywego.com. But when an older boy named Zach (who Noah may or may not be in love with) invites Noah and Marty to join his secret Polo Club, the lives of both boys change as they struggle to find meaning in their shortened existence.

With an innovative format that includes interstitial documents, such as flyers, postcards, and handwritten notes, Away We Go is a funny, honest look at first love and tragic heartbreak.




Review:

This book is being compared to Noggin, and Grasshopper Jungle, which I haven't read but I've read The Alex Crow by Andrew Smith and I'd can personally compare it to Away We Go. Readers who enjoy Andrew Smith's books will enjoy this book because it's strange and it'll keep you guessing the entire time.

This book is about a boy, Noah, who's been sent, by his parents, to Westing along with other kids who have PPV, better known as the Peter Pan Virus. The kids at Westing are segregated from the rest of the world to help the diagnosed stay stable and protect the outside healthy kids from contracting the virus. At Westing there's no contact to the rest of the world and there are only speculations to what happens when the symptoms of PPV get too severe to cope. The severely sick are taken away to a different ward where it's rumored they steal memories to give to people outside of Westing.

This book is very different and it surprised me many times. Noah struggles to come to terms with being trapped at Westing and inching closer to an inevitable death. He's gay or bisexual and I liked the fact that this book didn't focus on the main character struggling with his sexuality because he doesn't. Noah owns his sexuality and there's even a descriptive sex scene. The ending isn't what I expected and it's a bit unsatisfying. 

I was very confused at times because the book jumps from scene to scene. I felt as if I missed something while reading but when I'd go back again I notice I hadn't missed anything. The ARC copy provided didn't have the finished designed of the letters, maps, postcards, flyers, etc. and I'd like to see how it all looks and flows when the book is finalized. In my copy the flow of these elements were a bit off and I wonder if that's only in this edition or if it'll translate better in the final edition. 

Ultimately, this book is about friendship, first loves and loss and I'd recommend this to readers who enjoy strange YA plots and/or enjoy titles similar to Andrew Smith's work.

Quote: 

"It's a defence mechanism. I get it, I get it, you're afraid to get hurt, so you respond to the world with lame-ass ha-has, yeah? Too much of that, though, and you lose the ability to be sincere." - ARC page 149.

Rating:


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