Monday’s not coming

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Hi, Welcome to my blog. It’s been a week since my last post. As you might have guessed, I was quite busy and couldn’t read much last week. On the brighter side though this week is turning out to be quite promising! I am already on the verge of completing two books, the reviews of which I’ll be updating in my next post. Meanwhile, this post is a review update on the single book that I managed to complete last week which is: Monday’s not coming by Tiffany D Jackson.

Monday’s not coming

Genre – Contemporary Fiction
Author – Tiffany D Jackson
Goodreads rating – 4.16
Rrkreads rating – 4

A very interesting and thrilling read for sure but by the end of the book I was left wondering why I put myself through such manufactured agony and heartbreak? If you have any thoughts on this question, do let me know in the comments section.

Now, this is a story of neglect and apathy of parents, teachers, and society at large. Monday Charles, a tween is missing and Claudia her best friend seems to be the only person bothered by this. It’s a story of innocent unconditional friendship, hope, and determination. A story of trusting your instincts even when the entire world is looking the other way. It’s mostly a heartbreaking story with some very sweet moments of the girls’ friendship interspersed within.

This book has a trigger warning for child abuse, homophobia and highlights the inherent racism & bias prevalent in the society so keep that in mind before jumping into this one.

I liked the novel. The writing was good. The anguish and confusion of the characters felt eerily raw and real. I could feel Claudia’s frustration and disbelief. She’s just a tween and yet is forced by the adults to find her missing friend all by herself. I was devastated by the apathy of people around her, all the more because this is not a fantasy, it does happen and is happening all over the world, even now! This could be any child’s story and not every adult who’s supposed to watch over them is doing it well or even adequately. It’s a scary but all too real trend.

This forceful shift of the novel’s character from a fictional setup to a nonfictional reality is what upset me when I finished the book. I was deeply affected by it and had to make an effort to get out of the zone this book put me in.

I loved the way Claudia grew as a character. I felt Michael as a character was a distraction and unnecessary for the plot, yeah maybe he was needed for the recovery (I can’t say beyond this as it could be spoilery) but I still think he could have been done without. I liked Ms. Valente and Claudia’s mother, they were solid characters.

This story is told in phases: The Before, The After and One year before the before. Though this might be a good storytelling technique, I don’t think this technique worked well with this book. As many readers have mentioned this technique led to more confusion than clarity. I still am confused by many things in this book and am not much inclined to re-read it again to make sense of them so I am leaving it at that.

Aside from the timeline confusion which almost everybody who’s read this book has commented on, I had issues with certain chapters themselves, for example: What really was April’s story? How did she fix anything? Also, there was no back story or any perspective on Monday’s parents, their neglect or any other aspect of their lives. Also, there were many unrelated, unnecessary bits of fillers thrown into the story, like, the dance moves, church and it’s interference/non-interference in people’s lives. Were they being used as Red herrings? I am not sure. I think there were just too many fillers in an otherwise short and fast-paced story.

I was also not very comfortable with the subtle religious tone used in this book. For example, good people are portrayed as regular churchgoers with community backing whereas the antagonists and their degenerate lives are somehow linked with their atheism and disregard for community life. While I completely agree that a community inspired life is essential to the well being of society, I am wary of books/movies that have character profiling based on their religious preferences, as it has the risk of nurturing unconscious biases in readers/viewers especially the young ones.

I won’t recommend this book for your holiday reading but it’s a hard-hitting novel inline with the culture of our times. So do give it a try and give an ovation to Claudia the wonderful MC of this book.

Rrkreads verdict: Pick, after heeding the trigger warnings.

I have ditched the novel All the light we cannot see, for now, I couldn’t bear to read another heavy book post Monday’s not coming. I am currently reading two fantasies, both are fast-paced and fantastic. Do keep an eye out for my review post on them this week. Till then, stay blessed and happy. Om Shanti.

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