I finally got around to reading it! And it didn’t disappoint!
If you read 600 Hours of Edward and perhaps didn’t love it, were wary of this being more of the same, stop now. It’s the same enough to be recognizable as the next chapter in Edward’s story, but different enough to stay interesting.
And Edward himself has changed since we last saw him: not quite so rigid in his routine, and a lot of things have changed for him in the past year, none of them particularly good. By anyone’s standards, not just his.
Needless to say, he doesn’t start out in a very good place.
Once again, it sticks to the realism of him making progress but not being completely fine by the end of the book. He realizes that all the changes and his general discontent is what is making him feel “adrift” – yep, he actually uses that word – and that it might be a sign that further change is needed.
So he ventures far from his comfort zone on a road trip to visit his friend Donna Middleton (now Hays), and learns that sweet kids don’t grow into sweet teenagers and detours can be life changing – in a good way – if you choose to let yourself deviate from your plans.
Two small potentially-maybe-not really spoiler-y quibbles :
The Billings Herald-Gleaner website. I think I sort of just assumed there wasn’t one, but since there is, why didn’t he use that for his weather information while he was gone?
I was surprised he didn’t stop swearing when Sheila kept telling him to. He’s just made a major lifestyle change fairly quickly and he can’t stop swearing when someone asks?
Speaking of swearing, I need to add my two cents to this, a blog post the author wrote in response to complaints about the swearing. The swearing in 600 Hours, which I’m pretty sure had less than this one.
I have to side with Craig, and not just to suck up and stay on his good side in the hopes of a third book: sometimes swearing is necessary and it shouldn’t be avoided. Personally I don’t swear and I’d rather not see it in my books, but I completely understand his point and I know I should stop avoiding it in my own writing.
In 600 Hours, the only “swearing” I actually remember is Edward’s little “holy s**t!” catchphrase which I think he says out loud once and then apologizes. (The books are written in a diary-like format). I always found it more amusing than offensive… I hate to say “in a small child sort of way,” but it’s the best way to try and explain it.
In this one, there’s more swearing. And it does feel like a little much. But it’s necessary – Edward’s in a bad place, having a bad time, and isn’t the best at dealing with life when it’s going well. Not to mention a new friend who’s been teaching him a variety of colourful phrases, everyone changes when influenced by that “cool” friend.
Did the iPhone need to be “bitchin'” every time it was referred to? Not really. Does it work, given how Edward likes to repeat things and really likes his new toy? Yes. Admit it, you’ve had a toy you’ve felt the same about.
So if it happens to bother you, be warned that there’s swearing. If it doesn’t, go and enjoy!