I loved the book. The depth of the characters made the book very interesting.
This book is a raw and real story of how the suicide of a high school boy affects those around him. Great narrative style in which each chapter comes from a different character's perspective. Really wonderfully written. Gritty and gripping. Another fantastic Canadian author to watch out for.
"Kids can be so cruel" just about sums up "Monoceros," an imaginative, quirky and emotionally devastating novel set in a Catholic Calgarian high school. The book opens with the voice of the Dead Boy, so bullied by his classmates and ignored by his teachers that he hangs himself by the end of the first chapter. A cast of supremely real students, parents and staff narrate the remainder of Mayr's chapters: a nerdy unicorn-obsessed virgin who served the Dead Boy iced caps, the Dead Boy's secret lover, a newly divorced and frazzled English teacher, the closeted school principal, an incompetent guidance counsellor and, to top it all off, a drag queen.
The novel’s plot progresses steadily even though most of the action is emotional. Readers witness the characters grieve or refuse to grieve, care or refuse to care, and examine their lives from glass houses. Mayr deftly offers compelling detail both in convincing teen-speak and in the words of burnt-out teachers trying to make it through each day.
Unfortunately, the low point of the book comes at the final chapter, where unicorns appear on the scene in a sudden switch to magical realism; the abrupt shift throws the rest of the novel into upheaval. But, at the same time, it may be a fitting way to bring us to the end of a story that will inevitably endure as the fallout from the dead boy’s choice reverberates in the psyches of those he left behind.
Quite a different approach to a tragic event. I liked reading the different perspectives.
I loved the unconventional way that this book was written! The different characters were very well intertwined in the story. It was a very realistic story of bullying and the hardship of being different on many different levels.
From G&M review http://tinyurl.com/6hb3kmz
"Monoceros is one of the most imaginative, quirky and emotionally devastating novels I’ve read in a long while. Set at a Catholic high school in suburban Calgary, Monoceros illustrates just how painfully un-evolved high schools remain, even in the era of It Gets Better. Kids can be cruel and indifferent, and so can teachers and parents – dangerously so."
Was imaginative and quirky, but didn't grab me enough to keep on going. Maybe the characters were just a bit too quirky for me to like them - maybe it was all the em dashes in the dialogue. On to next book in my pile.
EuSei thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over
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