Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Monday's Not Coming

Monday's Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson (2018), narrated by Imani Parks

Claudia hasn't heard from her friend Monday all summer. Usually they write to each other while Claudia is at her grandmother's house and Monday is back home, but this year Claudia's letters went unanswered. On the first day of school, Claudia looks everywhere for Monday, but she is not to be found. Day after day is the same. Claudia tells her teachers, her parents, anyone who will listen that Monday must be in trouble but nobody seems very concerned.

The timeline moves around from The Before to The After and even back to One Year Before and Two Years Before. Events in The Before and The After are remarkably similar, Claudia still looking for Monday and wanting to know what happened to her, but you know that something has happened in between. There were lots of hints along the way, and I assumed it would end up being totally different than what we were led to believe.

I was kind of disappointed when the mystery was solved, because it was pretty much what I assumed had happened. However, I also realize I am not the audience for this teen book and have probably read considerably more psychological fiction and thrillers than the average teenager. One of the things that bugged me throughout the book was how Claudia didn't pick up on certain things that people said, and that ended up being explained. Other things weren't though. Like, why does a kid in junior high still play with dolls and coloring books? Why did Monday lie to her about seemingly mundane things like her swimming lessons? There was also a lot of homophobia - someone at school started a rumor that Claudia and Monday were more than friends and there was a whole lot of defending themselves against accusations of being lesbians, and very little acknowledgement that there's nothing wrong with being a lesbian. One teacher, who had recently married another woman, addressed this VERY briefly, but it wasn't nearly enough and didn't seem to get through Claudia's head.

Although the idea of this book was pretty good, I ended up thinking it was only ok. However, I also listened to the audiobook pretty compulsively as I was dying to find out what was going on. So I've got to give it credit for being a page-turner, or whatever the audiobook equivalent is.

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