Title: This Can Never Not Be Real
Author: Sera Milano
Pages: 352 Pages
Publisher: Egmont Books/Electric Monkey
A compelling, heartbreaking and hopeful book for fans of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, Jennifer Niven and Holly Jackson.
In the unremarkable town of Amberside, the unthinkable has happened: Terrorists have attacked a local festival. No one knows why, and no one knows who the attackers are, but that doesn’t matter. What matters first is survival. And what matters after that is survival, too.
In this brilliantly written account of hope, humour and humanity, five ordinary teenagers are caught up in a truly extraordinary situation. It’s a heart-pounding and gripping account of the fight for survival as the attackers prowl the festival grounds, told from multiple perspectives.
This is a book for anyone facing the barrage of bleak reports that fill our newsfeeds and for anyone who needs to see that behind the hate that makes the headlines, there is always love.
I won’t lie to you, I am a traditionalist when it comes to literature. I like it to be narrative, speech marks, proper punctuation – the whole shebang and normally when a book veers away from this I get frustrated. However, with This Can Never Not Be Real I was able to get past the non-traditional format because the story is so damn good.
It is a story of a terrorist attack that happens during a local festival in a small town and it is told from the perspective of several people. It is told in what can almost be described as soundbites of information interspersed with police reporting. The style is similar in style to how you feel an interrogation would go but also shows how one event can be experienced by several different people in many different ways.
What it also does is highlight underlying prejudices and challenges them. It shows how communities – big or small – can be brought together through tragedy and how powerful the shared experience is.
I thoroughly recommend This Can Never Not Be Real and will be foisting it into the hands of the students I work with whether they want to read it or not.
This Can Never Not Be Real by Sera Milano is available now.
For more information regarding Sera Milano (@seramilano) please visit www.seramilano.com.
For more information regarding Electric Monkey (@EMTeenFiction) please visit their Twitter page.