This is a book I came very close to enjoying a lot but ended up getting weary of before too long. It also took a long moment for me to even want to keep reading, but there’s a snap-to-it moment about 50 pages in that I thought was going to really hook me. But once it faded, I read faster and faster not to enjoy, but to get through it. It has a lot going for it, but I lost the thread after while.
The book is a diary of a 11/12 year girl living in New York City as she goes through, initially, a series of privileged upper middle class New York problems. Her bohemian parents (a television writer and an English professor) are having money problems, girls at school are mean, her little sister is lovable but annoying, and her period starts.
But what becomes increasingly clear is that the world outside the diary becomes increasingly more violent and in disarray. I don’t mean the girl’s life, though there’s elements of her life that get upended. What happens to her specifically is not ever that terrible or exceptional. Instead, the actual world seems to be falling apart. Politicians are warning of major upheavals, some are assassinated, and there’s even a new financial system to displace counterfeit systems.
This is a world that is dying or killing itself, but the charm of the novel is not that the 12 year old narrator is commented on it and being our conduit, but that she’s barely paying attention to the world around her and we’re picking up glimpses and information of it in beyond oblique ways. For the right reader I think this book could be perfect, but it wasn’t me unfortunately.