Genres: Fantasy, Middle Grade
Published by Penguin on April 26, 2016
Amazon, Book Depository
With parents too busy to pay her attention, an older brother and sister who would rather spend their time with friends, and peers who oscillate between picking on her and simply ignoring her, it's no wonder that Fain spends most of her time in a world of her own making. During the day, Fain takes solace in crafting her own fantastical adventures in writing, but in the darkness of night, these adventures come to life as Fain lives and breathes alongside a legion of imaginary creatures. Whether floating through space or under the sea, climbing mountains or traipsing through forests, Fain becomes queen beyond - and in spite of - the walls of her bedroom.
In time, Fain begins to see possibilities and friendships emerge in her day-to-day reality . . . yet when she is let down by the one relationship she thought she could trust, Fain must decide: remain queen of the imaginary creatures, or risk the pain that comes with opening herself up to the fragile connections that exist only in the real world?
“As we stand under the stars,/ the distant cry of a coyote/ reaches our ears./ We tilt our heads back/ and join in its call. / And I swear/ just for a moment,/ the moon answers.”
I haven’t read verse in a long, long time. Hell, I haven’t read a middle grade book in a long, long time, but when Kelsey Sutton asked me if I wanted to read her new MG, I kind of jumped at the chance. It seemed like an almost nostalgic read, and the idea was simply endearing.
This was a very short read, so this is going to be a very short review! Verse books tend to be a fast read, and at 240 pages, it was even faster than I expected.
Despite the few words and short sentences, there’s something about this story that packs a punch. Sutton’s words are chosen carefully, each designed to push a certain emotion into your heart. There’s such an abundance of feelings in such a few amount of words, it almost seems like magic.
The family dynamic between Fain and the rest of her loved ones was relatable, though painfully so. There were so many moments of ambivalence, of wanting to be noticed, of uncertainty and I felt it all. I’m not quite sure how Sutton manages to accomplish this in a mere three words at times, but she did. And I just have to mention Fain’s siblings–who, as apathetic as they seemed at first, made my heart warm because no matter how ignorant they were of Fain before, they were there when it mattered, and I loved that.
I almost wish that we saw more of the monsters outside of Fain’s window though, and I kind of wish we hadn’t known some of the things we did going into the story. The synopsis provides almost an entire summary of the story and (this is just a minor thing, really) I feel like a shorter and vaguer synopsis would’ve improved on the adventure The Lonely Ones takes you on.
Lyrical in it’s free verse, The Lonely Ones reads like poetry and gives you the emotions often accompanied with beautiful words. A fast read worth every minute, this one is simply wonderful.