Shortlisted for the 2016 Carnegie Award – well deserved!
This is a hard book to write a synopsis for. Although the first line of the book tells you that Shelby is going to be hit by a car, this turns out to simply be an event in her future – there are many more revelations to come and to reveal them would spoil the reader’s enjoyment of the book. What can be revealed without spoiling is that Shelby lives a protected life with her single mother. Her life is organised and routine and she has very little interaction with other people – even children her age because she is homeschooled. Then one day she is hit by a car and suddenly her life changes is ways she could never have imagined.
The story takes the reader on an exciting and tortuous journey – as we learn more about Shelby and her life, Shelby learns more about herself. The story is recounted by Shelby and her voice is true, funny and witty. The book is part adventure, part fantasy and part mystery but it is totally compelling and powerful. The ending is quite gentle given the twists and turns and excitement of the story and, whilst in part I felt a little let down, another part of me welcomed the calm after the storm. I am not surprised the book was shortlisted for the Carnegie 2016 Prize – an unexpected, intriguing and unusual read.