Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Format: Paperback (ARC)
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Summary (from Goodreads): An acclaimed fantasy author navigates the world between myth and chaos in this compelling exploration of identity, told with a Caribbean lilt.
Sixteen-year-old Scotch struggles to fit in—at home she’s the perfect daughter, at school she’s provocatively sassy, and thanks to her mixed heritage, she doesn’t feel she belongs with the Caribbeans, whites, or blacks. And even more troubling, lately her skin is becoming covered in a sticky black substance that can’t be removed. While trying to cope with this creepiness, she goes out with her brother—and he disappears. A mysterious bubble of light just swallows him up, and Scotch has no idea how to find him. Soon, the Chaos that has claimed her brother affects the city at large, until it seems like everyone is turning into crazy creatures. Scotch needs to get to the bottom of this supernatural situation ASAP before the Chaos consumes everything she’s ever known—and she knows that the black shadowy entity that’s begun trailing her every move is probably not going to help.
A blend of fantasy and Caribbean folklore, at its heart this tale is about identity and self acceptance—because only by acknowledging her imperfections can Scotch hope to save her brother.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.
My Summary: Scotch just wanted to spend the night at a poetry slam with her brother after a long day. But things are never easy for Scotch, whose mixed-race heritage makes her feel like an outsider in every social group. But race is the least of her worries when strange things start to happen: a volcano appears in the Toronto Bay, and her brother disappears. Scotch's world turns to chaos as people around her struggle to figure out what's going on and the world turns into something you'd see in Alice in Wonderland. Now, alone in the midst of all this insanity, Scotch must struggle against the weirdness around her and find her brother.
My Thoughts: This book is like nothing I've ever read before. The closest thing I can compare it to is probably Alice in Wonderland because there are times when you honestly have no idea what to expect next. I loved the use of mythology and folklore weaved into the story - I found myself googling a lot of the stuff after finishing the novel because it was so interesting (on an unrelated note, can you believe 'googling' isn't a word? I thought it was for sure!).
Also, being Canadian and having lived in Toronto for a good chunk of my life, I loved that the story was set there. The author did an amazing job of making the city come to life through her descriptions (even when things started to get really strange). I also really liked the dialogue and the dynamics of the characters - it seemed very natural and age-appropriate, which is pretty rare to find in most young adult novels.
Final Thoughts: I would definitely recommend this novel to anyone looking for something really different from the usual love triangle and vampire / werewolf thing. Check it out!