I received a copy from Netgalley.
I also purchased a copy when I saw it in my local bookshop (couldn't resist).
It took me a while to warm up to this one. I was sort of hoping for a romance that would eventually turn into a threesome (which I didn't get). What I did get was what turned out to be a moving story about three very different people each with their own struggles finding some comfort in each other and their friendship, until it all spiralled out into a surprisingly dark mess.
I found the method of storytelling rather unique. Three characters, a different point of view for each character, Mira in third person, Jeremy in first and Sebby in second. Sebby's point of view told along the lines of You do this and you do that was the hardest one to get used to. If the entire book had been written this way, I don't think I would have finished it.
I didn't like it much at first, I found the characters hard to get used to, the only one I had any sympathy for or liked in the slightest was Jeremy. Jeremy was a quite boy who was returning to school after a horrible bullying incident that made him miss the end of the previous semester. He's almost painfully shy and wants to get through the rest of school with as little trouble as possible. He has a very caring home life, his two Dads are very supportive and involved and really want to see him succeed and do well, which was lovely to see. He wants to start an Art club. And he meets Mira and Mira's flamboyant friend Sebby.
Mira came across to me at first as flaky and there seemed to be no real reason for why she was missing school and just came off as spoiled lay about. The more of the book I read, the more I began to feel for her as the reasons behind her attitude came to light. Her depression was serious and moving and it almost hurt to read how no one would ever really listen and take her hurting seriously. She did wind up in the hospital a few times, but even when she came back and seemed to resume something of a normal life. her parents just didn't get that the depression wasn't really gone. They want a certain standard of life for her, they don't seem to care what she wants. So Mira loses herself in thrift store shopping and designing clothes and hanging out with Sebby.
Sebby, the openly gay foster kid, was flamboyant, cocky, and a lot of fun. But of course, there's a much deeper and darker side to him that is rarely seen by anyone. He's got layers of personality, the surface ones everyone sees, and his darker struggles that cause some major problems and upset towards the balance of friendship with Mira and Jeremy towards the novel.
The novel tells the story of how Sebby and Mira came together and how they start to bring Jeremy out of his shell. There's a lot of emotions swirling back and forth as the three of them figure out where they stand and get to know each other, lots of drama as they all have their own issues, and a host of entertaining side characters that work their way into the plot as well.
Though towards the end it took a surprisingly dark twist as things particularly for Sebby began to change in a not so good way. Mira's depression gets worse and Jeremy doesn't seem to know what to do only that he can't seem to face the idea of possibly losing the two new brilliant friends he has. Jeremy was the most sensible, stable character. Some of his actions had consequences for other characters, but all done with a trying to do the right thing even though you might not like the results attitude which made the narrative all the more heart wrenching.
The conclusion seemed open ended, if bittersweet. I can't really say it was a happy ending or not. It left me a sort of sad smile and the hope that things would work out for these characters.
So I'm glad I finished the novel rather than DNFing it early on, as it turned out to be a very good read.
Thank you to Pan MacMillan for approving my request to view the title.