I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Evidence of Things Not Seen by Lindsey Lane
Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) on 2014-09-16
Genres: Country Life, Emotions & Feelings, Lifestyles, Social Issues, Visionary & Metaphysical, Young Adult
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When high school junior Tommy Smythe goes missing, everyone has a theory about what happened to him. Tommy was adopted, so maybe he ran away to find his birth parents. He was an odd kid, often deeply involved in his own thoughts about particle physics, so maybe he just got distracted and wandered off. He was last seen at a pull-out off the highway, so maybe someone drove up and snatched him. Or maybe he slipped into a parallel universe. Tommy believes that everything is possible, and that until something can be proven false, it is possibly true. So as long as Tommy’s whereabouts are undetermined, he could literally be anywhere.
Told in a series of first-person narratives from people who knew Tommy and third-person chapters about people who find the things Tommy left behind—his red motorbike, his driving goggles, pages from his notebook—Particles explores themes of loneliness, connectedness, and the role we play in creating our own realities.
I totally decided on reading Evidence Of Things Not Seen because it was the shortest book on my TBR pile and because I was invited to be on a blog tour for a book. But, even before that, the book appealed to me because it was told from all these different points of views. Also? Physics. I mean, let’s be totally honest and have full disclosure, I think science is cool even though I do not entirely understand it and even though I have never ever taken a single physics class. However, after closing Evidence Of Things Not Seen by Lindsey Lane, I immediately said out loud “what a weird fucking book.” I mean, I liked it and thought it was unique. However, it’s also weird.
When Evidence Of Things Not Seen opens, we start with the point of view of Kimmie Jo, a cheerleader who is being interviewed by the sheriff. She has had few interactions with Tommy Smythe who is missing. You see, this entire book is about Tommy Smythe, a kid who is kind of socially awkward who disappears out of thin air. We then move on to characters like a kid who works at a junkyard, a girl who is a virgin nerd, a jock, a migrant worker, Tommy’s parents and even more characters. Anyways, the book is divided up into 19 chapters based around 19 different points of views. Either the character the chapter is based on is someone who knew Tommy or it is a someone who found an object relating to Tommy’s disappearance. The chapters are loosely connected, well some do not seem all that connected. The chapters span from immediately after Tommy’s disappearance to several months after to a year after. Some of the chapters have characters that cross over, some do not. I have to admit that the chapters and different points of view were interesting. It’s not like I read this and felt bored.
I thought that Lindsey Lane was pretty daring in her writing style. By this I mean that this book is aimed at young adults, yet, it takes on some pretty dark themes and goes to dark places. I thought some parts were a little bit much for me — like this underage hooker who brutally murders one of her johns with an ax. What even. I mean, not that there is anything wrong with reading books that go to dark places, but it was kind of jarring. There’s also quite a bit of this book that centers around rape and consent. It turns my stomach, but that’s a personal thing and given my job it’s not like I don’t know that rape affects teenagers, it is just hard to read. I also thought it was pretty daring to go with all the different points of views and to loosely connect them. It kind of reminded me of The Truth About Alice, only that book had Alice’s point of view at the end and with this book we never get Tommy’s point of view.
I think this is a book for people who are really into deep thinking, brainy books. I am not saying that I am dumb, but my current mood dictates that I want to currently read a book that has an actual legitimate answer to the question that it poses — which is what happened to Tommy Smythe who disappeared — instead of reading all these chapters about people who did or did not know Tommy. Also, I would have liked a solution to the kid’s disappearance. Like — where did he go and is he dead? That never happened. Call me a simple kind of girl, but I just want a real ending where I have what happened laid out for me. Overall, this is a book that is DIFFERENT and cerebral, and maybe not entirely an April sort of book, but hey at least I did not hate it.