Title: The Unforgettables
Author: G. L. Thomas
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: Rebellious Valkyrie Press
Release Date: Sept 12th, 2016
The summer vacation of The Unforgettables…
Neighbors and best friends Paul and Felicia hoped they’d be friends forever. But as they change, so does their friendship.
She shouldn’t have kissed him…He shouldn’t have liked it.
Starting school changed everything.
It’s the start of summer and Felicia Abelard is on the hunt for something treasurable in the neighbourhood tag sales. Meanwhile, Paul Hiroshima and his family have recently moved in from Chicago, Illinois. The two meet when both of them reach for the same stack of comics featuring their favourite superhero duo. Felicia and Paul quickly become friends after that, bonding over their shared love of comics, and of course, their secret superhero hideaway – The Unforgettable Spot. But soon enough, things change between them. Starting school only overcomplicates things as Paul struggles with his feelings for his best friend, and Felicia struggles with her strict parents’ rule of no dating.
I learned about the existence of this book over twitter and I was so intrigued by the premise that I knew I had to read it immediately. You can imagine the utter joy I felt when I saw it was up for request on NetGalley, and later, when I got approved for it! Granted it took me a while to get to (because reading slumps suck), but here I am, having finished it at last. I was not as blown away by this book as I was expecting (my expectations were ridiculously high, after all), but I did end up enjoying it regardless.
As usual, I’m starting off with the writing style. It did not impress me that much. That being said, the narratives were engaging and flowed seamlessly (without one bleeding into the other, mind you) and carried the plot well enough. As I said, both POVs did not blend into each other, they were distinctive and unique on their own. At times I was a little confused by what I was reading, but overall, the writing was fun and fitting for the genre.
The amount of diversity there is in this book and its characters is absolutely amazing. I loved Felicia and her Haitian parents, and I loved Paul and his Buddhist family. It was such a pleasure to read about different cultures and different ways of life without seeing them belittled by outsiders. The families in this book are not perfect, but they’re tight-knit and caring, which I absolutely melted over. We get a whole supporting cast of diverse characters, as well – a trans character that isn’t ridiculed or alienated, but their transition is accepted and supported; a non-binary character; bisexual character (that doesn’t actually make it to page, but the B word is actually used so that’s a plus!) and more! Everyone is treated with respect both by other characters and by the authors, and each person to appear had something to bring to the table. There is also none of the unnecessary clichés like girls hating on girls because of some guy, neither any Macho Men that get too overprotective and jealous over some girl. The clichés that do appear are the Classic High School Story topes (that I’m absolute trash over, don’t judge me). Also, no slut shaming! Sex positivity!
I did get annoyed at Paul at some point, but I can’t be too mad at him – he’s a teenager and teenagers don’t always have the most rational behaviors. So, I’ll let it slide. (Plus, he got me with his wicked moves. Who can stay mad at a nerd who can dance?) Felicia is the one I really felt for. At one point, her narrative merged with my own thoughts. Her high school experience was a lot like mine (not the same, but still similar) and I couldn’t help but bleed for her. The ending felt just right for the both of them, and I loved how Paul came through in the end. I knew homeboy wouldn’t let me down like that.
Overall, The Unforgettables might have not exceeded my expectations, but I did still end up liking it a great deal. It’s a tale that may not seem like much at first glance, but it really unfolds into something so positive and great. Plus, it’s short and light, and makes for a perfect read at any time of the day, month, year.