Still Life with Tornado
by A.S. King
–review by Stegosaurus Wilde
But who’s to say what’s stupid and what’s not stupid when your life falls apart? Some people fall apart over TV shows. Some people fall apart over a breakup. Some people fall apart over someone eating the last bowl of Apple Jacks. I fell apart because of the annual art show.
This is my first experience with surrealism, and I have to say… I like it! Sixteen-year-old Sarah is in the middle of an existential crisis. Nothing new ever really happens, and there’s no such thing as an original idea, or so Sarah says. The truth is, Sarah’s crisis stems from something much deeper, something her brain has blocked out. In order to get past it, she’ll need the help of a few other people: her mom, her brother, and herself. But not just herself as she is right now. Herself at ages ten, twenty-three, and forty. They come into the story as needed.
But Sarah-sixteen isn’t crazy. Everyone else can see them too. Her mom even takes Sarah-ten to a movie and has her over for dinner. It’s really, really strange.
But in the best way.
This story is heartfelt, heart-wrenching, and sometimes laugh-out-loud funny. It can be confusing, but only in the way that Sarah-sixteen is confused about life. If you’ve ever wrestled with big things and been unsure what to do (and who hasn’t?!), then this book is for you. And if you haven’t, this book is also for you. Just read the book, okay?
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