By KATIE CRANE
Special to the Sun-Gazette
Though the setting is in modern Canada, young Americans can fully relate. References to Hurricane Katrina, The War on Terror and the bird flu signify that it was written by one of our own.
Whittall dives deeply into the once taboo subjects of homosexuality, transgenderism and suicide as well as anxiety and relationships in the modern world of technology.
This story reflects a generation this is not much represented in this way. It has the qualities of being a timeless piece of literature.
The book is broken up into four major sections highlighting certain months of the year. The characters are clearly placed in the correct era. Whittall uses her three characters to stress the themes as they clash and connect.
Each chapter is the point of view of one of the three allowing a lot of self-reflection and insight. Josh is a transgendered man working as a paramedic in Toronto.
Amy is a student filmmaker in the city from a rich family. Billy is a former teen idol trying to get a grip on reality since fame has made her question it.
The use of minor characters is also unique. They play a role in the story also weaving in and out of major characters' lives.
There are points within the book where the author digs very deep into the complex human mind yet she makes it so simple. Whittall explains the innermost feelings during an anxiety attack in easy terms.
Worry is one of the characters' main emotions and there was a clear understanding why she felt the way she did. Every action and emotion had reasoning behind it in this story. There was a lot of clarity.
There is also humor wrapped up in all the seriousness. The characters, all in their twenties, enjoy the activities that most twenties-somethings engage in.
There's a sense of rude sometimes vulgar humor in the characters that is present in most young adults today though the author does not go overboard with showing the reader how this generation interacts today.
Fast Forward Weekly, a weekly publication in Canada, said "[This is] a story that really speaks to the generation while offering some sage advice about living."