04 June, 2014

Book Review: The Incredible Here and Now

From Goodreads: Michael’s older brother dies at the beginning of the summer he turns 15, but as its title suggests The Incredible Here and Now is a tale of wonder, not of tragedy. Presented as a series of vignettes, in the tradition of Sandra Cisneros’ Young Adult classic The House on Mango Street, it tells of Michael’s coming of age in a year which brings him grief and romance; and of the place he lives in Western Sydney where ‘those who don’t know any better drive through the neighbourhood and lock their car doors’, and those who do, flourish in its mix of cultures. Through his perceptions, the reader becomes familiar with Michael’s community and its surroundings, the unsettled life of his family, the girl he meets at the local pool, the friends that gather in the McDonalds parking lot at night, the white Pontiac Trans Am that lights up his life like a magical talisman.

Thoughts: The fifth of the Children's Book Council Older Readers books. I swear the more of these I read, the harder the choice is.
This book is quintessentially Western Sydney suburbs. The melting pot of cultures, the pride of those who live there and misconceptions of those who don't. Michael is dealing with the loss of his beloved older brother, Dom. Dom the boy who could charm anyone with a smile. However, the book is not infused with grief. It does express the confusion and almost detachment that comes with having to deal with this level of grief. Learning to move on, but hanging onto the past events.
Told in snippets, The Incredible Here and Now leaves the reader constantly wanting more, needing to delve a little further into the lives of these beautiful, well executed characters and their suburb.