Fans of the Impossible Life

Author: Kate Scelsa 
Pages: 368 
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Format: Hardcover 
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Summary (from Goodreads): 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.

My Summary: Sebby and Mira are best friends forever. They are inseparable, witty, and totally out of this world. Nobody is on their level - nobodies soul meshes well with theirs, which already fit together perfectly. 

There is no room in their world for anyone else, and they wouldn't have it any other way.

That is, until Jeremy shows up. Quiet, shy, and gentle, Jeremy is like the missing piece that completes their little group. Soon Jeremy is tied up in Mira and Sebby's world, losing sight of what exactly is real and what isn't. 

But as more is revealed about his new friends and each begins to spiral, Jeremy is torn between saving himself from his friends and saving his new friends from themselves. 

My Thoughts: This was not an easy book to read, and it's not an easy book to write a review for. At the base of this novel is a very codependent, toxic relationship, and how it looks to an outsider. This book hit me where it hurts.

It's also one of my favourite novels of all time.

From the very beginning, you could tell Sebby and Mira were more in  love with one another than they could ever be with the rest of the world. This novel is described as a "love story" between Jeremy, Mira, and Sebby, but in reality I think it's more about the love between Sebby and Mira and how it went wrong.

The dynamic between Sebby and Mira is slowly revealed to be incredibly toxic and unhealthy, although to Jeremy and the rest of the world it appears to be an "ideal" friendship. Along with this portrayal of an unhealthy relationship, this novel also does an incredible job of showing mental illness for what it is: destructive and debilitating. There are no cute descriptions of sad people finding solace in one another and everything being perfect and everyone living happily ever after - instead, we have Mira: clinically depressed and unable to function. Locked in her room for days on end, missing months of school because she can't get out of bed without feeling like she's about to die. And we have Sebby: struggling with bipolar depression in an unsupportive environment, leading him to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol. Sebby lashes out; Mira implodes. They both hurt everyone around them despite their best efforts to keep the damage contained.

I loved Jeremy. His innocence and love for Sebby and Mira was beautiful. I hated that he was thrown into the toxic mix and torn between the two. I also liked that this novel explored bisexuality and didn't try to show it as something outlandish or strange. 

Yes, this was a book about friendship and love. But it was also a book about knowing when to let go of relationships that break us more than they build us up. 

Final Thoughts: I definitely recommend this novel to fans of contemporary lit and those looking for a novel that deals with realistic issues such as bullying, homophobia, and mental illness.

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