This book was interesting. When I started it, I wasn’t sure what to think. Was it a thriller? Not really. Sci-fi? Kind of.
To be honest, it had a little bit of everything. I ended up really enjoying the book.
Because of the pandemic, reading a book about kids dying from a strange flu hit a little close to home, but as I read further, the flu became less and less important, and what became important was the result of the “flu.”
Thank you to Netgalley and Berkeley Publishing Group for a free copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review.
The next day Billy said: “You know you said there was a banana?” It wasn’t easy to get them anymore, but Al had found some brownish ones in the supermarket months ago and had brought them home in triumph. Rachel remembered her own mother feeding her mashed bananas when she was recuperating from anything, and to her they were the taste of convalescence. She had kept them in the freezer for ages, waiting for Billy to be able to eat again. “Yes!” said Rachel. “Yes. Would you like one?”
“Bananas have good things in them, and Delfy says I need to eat food so she can see how my digestions works and so I can get strong again.”
Rachel laughed. “Who says that?”
“Delfy is my friend.” He paused. “Delfy says hello to you, Mummy.”
“Does he live in your head?”
“Not he! She! Yes, at the moment, she does.”
Rachel sat on the edge of the bed. “Oh good! Tell Delfy hello back from me. I’ll get you a banana, and you can give some to Delfy, too. Shall I mash it up?”
“Yes. I will have it all myself because Delfy is watching in me. She doesn’t eat food. She wants to watch me eat food.”
“Well,” said Rachel, “that’s perfect. You can eat enough to make both of you strong.”
When I first started this book, I wasn’t sure what to think. I wasn’t even sure I wanted to like it. Especially during a time of pandemic, I wasn’t sure I wanted to read a book about kids dying from the flu. I think it just hit a little too close to home. But because the flu part ended up being a small part of the story, I ended up really liking the book. It was different than anything I’ve read before.
I had an emotional reaction to this book that I wasn’t expecting. I noticed I said “those poor children” several times during this book. I love kids, and have a rule about not hurting them, EVER, so reading about what these children were going through, even knowing it was fiction, was heartbreaking to me.
I think a book should give a reader “all the feels,” and that’s one way I determine a great book from a good book. I’ve read many good books, and I’ve read a few great books. This one, is a great book. The beginning starts off kind of slow, and it’s told through multiple points of view, which gives sides to the story that a reader might not normally get.
One point of view is from Rachel, Billy’s mom. I didn’t have much of a connection to her, even though she was obviously trying to do whatever she could for her family. Rachel accepted Delfy in the beginning, because Delfy seemed to be such a huge part of her child’s recovery, that she saw Delfy as a positive thing. Delfy is Billy’s imaginary friend, but she ends up being much more than that. Many children who have survived the flu end up with these “voices” in their heads. These voices eventually turn violent, and these children become victims of much more than a simple flu.
Even after Billy started to change, and become more violent, Rachel didn’t want to admit that anything was wrong. She threw herself firmly in the land of Denial, and didn’t do anything she could to help her son. After a while, she did, but only after things had gotten so bad she couldn’t lie to herself anymore.
The other point of view was Nina, Billy’s sister. Nina is in high school, and training to go to space. The government, along with a few civilians, have plans to travel to a distant planet, with qualities close to Earth. They plan to colonize this planet, and create a new civilization. Even with everything going on in her personal life, Nina pays attention to her family, and she sees much more than anyone gives her credit for. So when Delfy begins to exert control, Nina does what she can to alleviate the stress for everyone. I liked the Nina character more than I liked the Rachel one. Nina is very smart, and very mature for her age.
I’ve decided not to post star ratings on my blog anymore, because one book that may be a 1 star for me, would be a 5 star for you. I will do my best to give you as much information as I can, so you can make an informed choice. I will definitely let you know the books that I think everyone should read. This is one of those books. It was really good, even for someone like me who doesn’t enjoy Multiple POV books.
I will say, I’ll be rating this book 5 stars on GoodReads, and I hope you get the chance to check it out. If you’re interested in purchasing, you can click either of these links, for Amazon US or Amazon UK. These are affiliate links, so I’ll get a small commission through your purchase. I hope you consider buying this book, because it was really good! Have a wonderful day, and until next time, bookworms!