• Sarina Bosco

Monday's Not Coming | Tiffany D. Jackson

Updated: Dec 27, 2021

Read If: you're okay with having your heart broken repeatedly, you can adjust to a YA narrator or are willing to give it a shot, you enjoy a mystery with an unexpected turn that has racial and social implications

This book brought me back to being a pre-teen/teenager in a beautiful and aching way. I kept thinking about how similarly I felt to the characters when I was their age. Trying to communicate important things to my parents and the adults around me, but not knowing how to phrase any of it; the fear of being in trouble and the need to solve problems as we all struggled to become individuals. It swept me up immediately. Despite how simple I initially viewed the language, I picked the book up a few times a day, wanting to know what would happen next. The characters are beautiful. The descriptions of their lives – deeply rooted in their race and socioeconomic situations – were also beautiful. This whole book was a beautiful mess that broke my heart a few times over. It serves as both a lesson and a reminder.

What’s interesting is that initially, I kept wondering if this book was technically YA literature. Not a problem at all if it is – it's just such an easy read. I finished it in two days!! But easy in the way that the language – and voice – are simple, that of a pre-teen/teenager, and in a lot of ways undiluted with over-thinking. Concepts are also framed by the main character’s pre-teen/teenager mind, which I’ve aged out of at this point, so looking back and recognizing those thought processes was interesting. I’m never usually a fan of authors adding in visuals, whether images or “handwritten” styled text, but I think Jackson did a great job of adding just a touch of it for authenticity. The short, to the point journal entries from Monday and Claudia only pull your heart strings tighter. Jackson also did an amazing job with tension and suspense! I was juggling four or five possible outcomes, and couldn’t settle on one. In the end I was surprised and shocked by the events, but the great thing is that they were (sadly) not far-fetched or overdone.

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