Monday, July 24, 2017

REVIEW: The Unforgettables / G.L. Tomas

TITLE: The Unforgettables
AUTHOR: G.L. Tomas
PUBLISHER: Rebellious Valkyrie Press

Young Adult - Contemporary

Sometimes, you find the book you didn't even know you were craving until you dive in and find yourself obsessed. That was THE UNFORGETTABLES for me. And I would have finished it a lot faster if life didn't have me running around in circles! I did most of my reading on the subway, and I didn't even mind when it was late... in fact, I nearly missed my stop more than once (the hazards of train reading!).

THE UNFORGETTABLES is a delightful contemporary YA story about two teens who embrace their inner geeks. Paul's the cool kid who recently moved into town from Chicago. Felicia's the smart kid who often finds herself isolated at school. They meet over the summer and become fast friends - drawn together by their mutual love of a comic book series. Soon, they're coming up with comic book codenames for themselves and the people in their lives as well, seeing their own lives through the lenses of superhero derring-dos. They seem destined to end up together... but, as it often does, life throws a wrench into their relationship. While this book has the set-up of a classic teen romance, it winds up veering off into unexpected directions... just like the world usually does.

I loved every moment of this book... like I said, I was obsessed. It was adorable, heartfelt, funny, meaningful... Paul and Felicia jump off the page with their quirks and flaws and their distinctive voices. Oh, did I mention that this is a multicultural story? Felicia's Haitian heritage and Paul's Japanese roots (he's biracial) are prominent parts of their personalities and their stories, seamlessly woven into the fabric of their realities. And yet, the book isn't just about their other-ness, and they're never exoticized. They just are, and that's what makes it perfect.

Though it's not a traditional romance, THE UNFORGETTABLES is still the story of Paul and Felicia's relationship - how it forms and transforms over the course of a tumultuous school year. Heavier issues are deftly handled while still portraying the all-too-real awkwardness and complexities of being a teen. I also loved how well-rounded the characters are. It's so tempting in high school-set books to simplify everyone into '80s-style cliche categories... the queen bee, the nerd, the jock, etc. That wasn't the case in this book. Paul's both a geek and the cool kid. Felicia's both the brain and the sporty girl. And both exhibit many, many personality traits outside even those. Just like the kids at my high school did back in the day, just like real teens - and real PEOPLE, in general - do.

All in all, this was a fantastic read, and I'll happily recommend it to anyone and everyone who enjoys contemporary YA.

G.L. Tomas is a twin writing duo and lover of all things blerdy, fearless and fun. When they're not spending their time crafting swoon-worthy heroes, they're battling alien forces in other worlds but occasionally take days off in search mom and pop spots that make amazing pasteles and tostones fried to perfection.

They host salsa lessons and book boyfriend auditions in their secret headquarters located in Connecticut.

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