MIRA is a chronic fatigue syndrome-suffering, vintage dress enthusiast. She’s starting over at her old school St. Francis Prep, where she promised her parents that she would at least try to pretend that she could act like a functioning human this time, not a girl who can’t get out of bed for days on end, who only feels awake when she’s with Sebby.
SEBBY seems to carry sunlight around with him. Even as life in his foster home starts to take its toll, Sebby and Mira together craft a world of magic rituals and impromptu road trips designed to fix the broken parts of their lives.
JEREMY is the painfully shy art nerd at St. Francis who’s been in self-imposed isolation after an incident that ruined his last year of school. When he sees Sebby for the first time across the school lawn, it’s as if he’s been expecting him – a blond, lanky boy with mischief glinting in his eyes.
As Jeremy finds himself drawn into Sebby and Mira’s world, he begins to understand the secrets that they hide in order to protect themselves, to keep each other safe from those who don’t understand their quest to live for the impossible.
Fans of the Impossible Life is your perennial coming-of-age story, inspired by Brideshead Revisited with echoes of John Hughes’ classic 80s cult movies. Perfect for fans of The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Looking for Alaska and I’ll Give You the Sun, this captivating and profound story about love, loss and growing up is an astonishing debut novel from a true rising talent. Above all else, Fans of the Impossible Life is a story about the magic of finding those friends who truly see the person you are and the person you’re trying to become. As Mira, Sebby and Jeremy try to fix their broken selves and live their impossible lives, Kate Scelsa beautifully portrays those transformative teenage friendships that burn hot and bright, resonating with anyone who has ever felt a little bit different from their peers.
Fans of the Impossible Life would best be described as a mix of buddy story and coming of age drama. It follows the lives of three teenagers who for all intents and purposes are social outcasts. Take Mira – she suffers with mental health problems and is the black sheep amidst a family of over achievers; Sebby – a little lost boy – with no home, no family and no one to impress or worry. He is a law unto his own. The more people perpetuate his belief of his worthlessness the more he encourages them. Oh and he is gay. And finally we have Jeremy – also gay, lives with his two dads, doesn’t know his mum and he suffers from social anxiety.
This motley crue form an unlikely friendship and make you realise that sometimes family are the people who aren’t related by blood.
All of this is great. The story is really interesting and the multi-perspective narrative gives great insight into each character. Furthermore, each voice feels individual. Scelsa makes you truly empathise with each character.
What is also really good about the storyline in Fans of the Impossible Life is that it does feel unique. Mental health is a contentious issue surrounding teenagers and it is great to see writers tackling the topic head on.
However, I do feel like I should have enjoyed Fans of the Impossible Life more than I actually did. It had all the ingredients of a great story and it is really well written. I think maybe my age hindered my overall enjoyment of what is a really well written and interesting novel.
Fans of the Impossible Life by Kate Scelsa is available now.