Danielle K. Roux is one of my fellow Parliament authors, and when I read the blurb for this book including LGBT characters and a road trip, I knew I had to pick up a copy!
Garnet is a trans woman who is a diehard fan of August Prather’s books – so much so that she breaks into her car to read her unfinished manuscript of her next book before it’s even been published. Being the quirky and unpredictable person that she is, August isn’t even mad when she finds out either. Before Garnet knows it, she’s dragged into a road trip and an adventure that helps her put her life and goals into perspective.
First of all, this book is experimental. You can tell from the structure and from the plot that this story is different from most other books on the shelf. If you’re looking for a book that has a single, easily understood storyline, you probably won’t like this book. There are three different timelines going on concurrently throughout this book, and one of them you don’t understand who the narrator is until the end.
That said, this book explores some big topics. From gender identity, to mental illness, to trying to figure out your place in this big hamster wheel of life, this book will change your perspective. I can feel the characters reaching for purpose, I can feel the juxtaposed glossy sheen that is so opposite from the rawness of our characters.
Garnet’s apathy and floating through life makes little sense until you understand what all she’s been through. Each stop they take on their road trip lets you see a little bit behind the curtain. Each incident helps you understand your ragtag group a little bit more.
Also there is a lot of explicit sex, assault, and dark moments of mental illness in this book. Just a heads up if any of that makes you uncomfortable.
Also that ending! I never saw it coming but it just so fits!
Even three months later, I can still confirm that this book is still just as good at getting under my skin as it was when I first read it. When I’m asked what’s a recent book I’ve read that has made me think, this one immediately comes to mind. I’m so looking forward to reading more of Roux’s work!
My overall rating: 5/5
Yes, experimental fiction. Yes, exploring mental illness in fiction (difficult to do!). It sounds like a challenging but worthwhile read!
It really is! It’s been a book I find my thoughts keep mulling over again and again. She’s had a new book come out too and it’s going straight onto my (giant) to be read list!