I think I need to read this one again. I seriously think you might need to experiment with drugs to really get it. That being said, it was a decent story. Davi seems kind of simple-minded and Anna Z definitely seems to be using him in the beginning. There is a lot of build-up, and that mostly feels like I imagine an acid trip would be like? There’s some amazing imagery and some seriously weird theories tossed around. The action/suspense part of the story doesn’t really start until you’re almost 2/3 of the way through. The story gets intense, but it still maintains that glam-rock, spacey feel.
Part of this is fairly annoying single-page chapters. There’s chapter breaks in the middle of cohesive ideas, which is pretty irritating. However, the short chapters make for fast reading and move the story along at a decent pace.
Anna, as a character, grows on you, but she still feels somehow like she’s conning Davi. Davi never really gets past that simple-minded feeling. He feels much younger than he potentially is. He refers to Anna’s speech as “talk-talk-talking” and I feel like much of the book is just that. There are vague references to shady characters, but overall nothing much actually happens until the 66% mark…and even then it’s really rather basic. There isn’t a great trial, really. There’s no real conflict. This feels rather fluffy, actually. Lukas and Carlos are both detestable characters, but they are definitely on the periphery of the story.
I’m not sure it was a science fiction story, though. It felt more like an alternate history focused on the glam-rock era. The names for places and certain people were different, but the general history was similar enough. There wasn’t enough actual settings or dealing with science for me to classify it as science fiction. There are allusions to aliens as theories, but no concrete exploration beyond the moon landing and Mars probes–both of which are recent history.
Overall, it was an enjoyable, quick read, but I’m definitely left feeling like I missed something.
Meet Me in the Strange
Publication date: March 27th 2018
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
From the author of Beautiful City of the Dead and Stonecutter comes a dreamy, atmospheric coming of age story that will appeal to readers of all ages.
Davi tries to help a new friend, Anna Z, escape a cruel and controlling brother, and the teens end up running away to follow the tour of their rock idol, the otherworldly Django Conn. The story is set in a weird and wonderful retro-futuristic city of glam-girls and glister-boys and a strange phenomenon that Anna Z calls the “Alien Drift.”
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An avid musician, Leander Watts has played and sung for decades in a wide variety of bands. His interests range from garage rock to skronky jazz, from baroque organ to Appalachian gospel. The first rock concert he attended was David Bowie on the Diamond Dogs tour in 1974. He teaches writing and literature at the State University of New York at Geneseo (his alma mater). Leander Watts is the author of Stonecutter, Wild Ride to Heaven, Ten Thousand Charms, and Beautiful City of the Dead.