Title: The Lonely Ones
Author: Kelsey Sutton
Genre: Paranormal YA in Verse
Received for review as part of the Blog Tour
Summary (from Goodreads)
With parents too busy to pay her attention, an older brother and sister who would rather spend their time with friends, and peers who oscillate between picking on her and simply ignoring her, it’s no wonder that Fain spends most of her time in a world of her own making. During the day, Fain takes solace in crafting her own fantastical adventures in writing, but in the darkness of night, these adventures come to life as Fain lives and breathes alongside a legion of imaginary creatures. Whether floating through space or under the sea, climbing mountains or traipsing through forests, Fain becomes queen beyond – and in spite of – the walls of her bedroom.
In time, Fain begins to see possibilities and friendships emerge in her day-to-day reality. . . yet when she is let down by the one relationship she thought she could trust, Fain must decide: remain queen of the imaginary creatures, or risk the pain that comes with opening herself up to the fragile connections that exist only in the real world?
Novels in verse aren’t something I actively seek out to read, but I remembered really enjoying Kelsey Sutton’s last book, so I took a chance on this one.
I’m glad I did. It’s a short read, but the sort of story that suits the disjointed nature of verse – the short little snapshots into emotions and situations where as much is left unsaid as is said.
Fain’s fractured family life, the troubles she has at school and her strange nightly ‘are they real, are they dream’ adventures with her ‘monsters’ all lend themselves to the verse style of telling. The snippets we get are constructed as such that we gain a much broader understanding of what’s going on – we can read between the lines to see into Fain’s life. Because her troubles are ones that almost everyone can relate too – arguing parents, disinterested siblings, social awkwardness, unrequited crushes. We bring a lot of our own experience into the gaps between the verses.
I really like how the question of the ‘monsters’ is kept open as well. Again, Sutton is trusting her readers to interpret whether they are a force for good or evil, real or imagined. As a counterpoint to the very human, very real problems in Fain’s day to day life, they bring a touch of the bizarre to the story, but it fits because they are an extension of Fain’s own passions for creativity and creation.
Overall, a thoughtful, interesting book that’s well worth the hour or so it will take to read and ponder over.
About the Author
Kelsey Sutton is the author of teen novels SOME QUIET PLACE and GARDENIA. She is also the author of two novels for middle grade readers, THE LONELY ONES and BENJAMIN. She lives in Minnesota, where she received a dual bachelor’s degree in English and Creative Writing from Bemidji State University. She is currently working on a master’s degree from Hamline University. Her work has received an Independent Publisher Book Award, an IndieFab Award, and was selected as a Kirkus Reviews Best Teen Book of 2013. When not writing, Kelsey can be found watching too much Netflix, ordering a mocha at the nearest coffee shop, or browsing a bookstore. You can like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter @KelseyJSutton.