As I’ve been quarantined, I’ve been riding the stationary bike while listening to a book. I’m usually a podcast person, and I still listen to those when I get a chance, given my kids are in the house and most I listen to are highly inappropriate for kids. But I’m trying to listen to books that are on my PopSugar Reading Challenge and give myself 30 minutes each day of shutting out the world.
At some point, someone online mentioned that this was a book with a made-up language, so I used it for that prompt. The girls in the story, Claudia and Monday, do have a made-up language that only they know, but it’s not a prominent part of the book, but I’m still counting it. This book was really good but very triggering for a lot of people. And it was pretty challenging to listen to because the plot jumps in various timelines- “the before,” “the after,” “one year before the before,” making me really not able to follow *when* things were occurring. Before the before was when Claudia and Monday were friends, living their best middle school lives. The before was when Claudia returned from a summer at her grandma’s to find that Monday is seemingly missing. The after is after Claudia learns what really happened. The multiple timelines are pretty confusing. It was clear when “before the before” was because Monday was there. But the before and the after kept me confused, mostly. Ultimately, the timelines make sense and the full story of what has happened to Monday is revealed.
This powerful book isn’t for everyone. There are plenty of topics that are difficult to read about. However, I also think it’s an important one. Children, too often, go unnoticed. People turn a blind eye to their struggles and voices. So much of Monday’s situation could have been avoided if the right people had done what they could. This book is a cautionary tale, at the very least.