An Audible Original title, which are pretty hit or miss over all, but this one is both pretty good in a lot of ways, and severely limited in others. The plot here is that Wally Roux, a Black teenager from Maine, is brought down to Georgia by his white adoptive mom. He’s no longer the only Black kid in town, but now he’s living by a whole new kind of consciousness as a Black teenager in the South.
Also, he has the ability to slice through the physical plane of the world into different dimensions. He uses to this to like and meet a girl, but mostly to try to find a plane of existence in which his absent father is still around, to know him better.
So, the good: William Jackson Harper is the reader for this book, and he’s incredibly talented. He’s great for the ecstatic exasperation of the narrator and he’s great for the various voices and the vulnerable elements of a teen narrator. Also, the story and the world created is mostly very good.
The Bad: it’s way too short. This feels like a large plot in search of a novel. Two, it’s a white author trying to present the inner mind of a Black teenager. This could work, and in some ways does (that he is a teenager is well-handled), but otherwise, it’s embarrassingly empty of the various considerations that need consciousness. It’s not that this novel has to talk about those things, but it can’t effectively create a character who, he himself, seems wholly unaware of those considerations.