Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Lonely Ones

The Lonely Ones
By Kelsey Sutton
Philomel Books, 2016. Fiction. 240p.

“I want to inform them
 that I am not silent
because I have nothing to say.

 I am silent
because nobody is listening.”

Fain misses the days when she felt close to her siblings, when her parents weren’t stressed and arguing about her father’s unemployment, and when peers at school didn’t have complicated ulterior motives. As her loneliness grows, Fain spends more and more of her time writing the fantastical stories that she loves. During the night, her fantasy world comes to life and she lives for the adventures she will go on with her monsters and imaginary creatures. But as new people at school seek to befriend her and loyalties between her siblings are tested, Fain must decide if she will stay hidden in her fantasy world or if she will embrace the messy vulnerability of real relationships.

This novel in free verse is a very quick read but has a lot of depth, sensitivity, and emotional truth. A realistic but hopeful story about growing up, family problems, and the loneliness that can be felt even within a crowd. Fain’s search for the balance between the comforts of escaping into imaginary worlds and the self-respect and connection that comes from reaching out to others and pushing through emotional hurt is brilliantly done.

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