I think we all find ourselves asking that question in our darker moments. And, if you’re anything like me, you find yourself meandering through the memories of your life and feeling… painfully ordinary. But even those of us who live the simplest lives, we really do make a difference. We touch the lives of everyone around us and, yes, we will be missed and remembered when we’re gone. No matter how small a role we feel we play in life. It’s one that matters.
I’m sorry for the morose nature of this post today, but holy hell- the book I just finished reading had me bawling my eyes out and at the same time, it gave me hope. It really helped shut up that little loud mouth inside my head that’s always asking, “do you really matter?”
Yes, you nasty little voice. I do. We all do.
Written by: Stacey Longo
Genre: YA, Fiction, slice of life – not really horror, but it has it’s brutal moments
Publishing Info: Dark Alley Press 2015
My name is Curtis Price. Until my extraordinary death, I live an ordinary life in the poor side of town in Osprey Falls, Maine, with my mother and older sister. I am the boy that nobody sees, ignored in the shadows of the hallway. I am the kid that is picked last in gym. I am the student that is never called on in class to answer the question, and, after a while, I stop bothering to raise my hand.
It is not until my stepfather shoots me that I am finally—finally—noticed.
Before I meet my untimely end, let me start at the beginning. [ amazon]
I have read Stacey Longo’s work before, In Insanity Tales II and Secret Things, and what always strikes me is how incredibly human and realistic her characters are. Stock characters have no place in her writing, but those with a lot of heart do.
I will freely admit, I am not normally drawn to this style of book . Where are the vampires and ghosts? And if I hadn’t met Longo and wanted to support her by purchasing her books, I may never have. But I am glad that I read it. And I’m particularly glad that I read it at this exact moment in time. Because I have been feeling very adrift of late and this book has left me feeling lighter, relieved even.
Stand out Characters
If nothing else, you should read this book for the masterfully crafted characters. There is a tragic beauty found in each and every flawed one of them that literally had me crying my way through the last few chapters of the book. It felt so honest.
The story follows Curtis, the narrator, through his childhood, into his teenage years and a little past where he should have ended. Through broken bones and heartache, past the struggles of social acceptance into love. It’s a very real and captivating slice of life story about a low-income kid growing up in New England.
Scenes that will stick with me
There are a lot of moments in this story that will stick with me, but the one that hit me hardest was the funeral. I don’t really want to share the details and tear the wind out of its sails before you read it, so I will say this: It gave me hope. It made me feel like my existence and time on this planet was validated. And that each of us will be remembered.
5 out of 5 blood spattered stars – Since I don’t read a lot of this books like this, I have no idea what to compare it to. But I’d recommend reading it if you are an author looking for some inspiration, or if you feel a little adrift in life. It may help you out the way it did for me.
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