I crawled through this story-not because it was uninteresting, but because I wanted to savor every word. I was afraid if I read too fast, I would miss something. Still, I'm fairly certain I didn't discover everything I could have within this text - this is one of those stories I'll read over and over, uncovering new hidden truths and secrets buried in a seemingly simple thought.
"Derek O'Reilly spends a lot of time watching the movie in his mind." The blurb is spot-in. Told in first/person narrative, the story draws the reader quickly into the main character's mind and thoughts - both as an adult and a thirteen year old boy. And that is the genius of this book. Derek's voice alternates from choppy to charming , from childish to mature (regardless of the age/viewpoint the reader is currently in). The author's ability to get inside his mind and provide perfect descriptives (that make me giggle and fall in love a bit) is amazing:
"“Look into my eyes.” His eyes were like two puddles of shiny petroleum"
"My knees were roasted marshmallows. The skin around them couldn’t hold the middle"
While the core of this story is romance - that deep 'knowing' in the pit of your stomach kind - it's so much more. It's a heartbreaking tale of a young boy lost in a world of adult drama. It's a story of family, and it's about Derek's self discovery (and self-acceptance), as he tries to answer a key question:
"...above all, who have I become?"