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fans of the impossible lifeWhat: Fans of the Impossible Life by Kate Scelsa

Who: Balzer + Bray

When: September 8th 2015

How: A copy of this novel was provided by HarperCollins for review via Edelweiss.

This is the story of a girl, her gay best friend, and the boy in love with both of them.

Ten months after her recurring depression landed her in the hospital, Mira is starting over as a new student at Saint Francis Prep. She promised her parents she would at least try to act like a normal, functioning human this time around, not a girl who sometimes can’t get out of bed for days on end, who only feels awake when she’s with Sebby.

Jeremy is the painfully shy art nerd at Saint Francis who’s been in self-imposed isolation after an incident that ruined his last year of school. When he sees Sebby for the first time across the school lawn it’s as if he’s been expecting this blond, lanky boy with a mischievous glint in his eye.

Sebby, Mira’s gay best friend, is a boy who seems to carry sunlight around with him like a backlit halo. Even as life in his foster home starts to take its toll, Sebby and Mira together craft a world of magic rituals and secret road trips, designed to fix the broken parts of their lives.

As Jeremy finds himself drawn into Sebby and Mira’s world, he begins to understand the secrets that they hide in order to protect themselves, to keep each other safe from those who don’t understand their quest to live for the impossible.

A captivating and profound debut novel, “Fans of the Impossible Life” is a story about complicated love and the friendships that change you forever.


This is the story of a girl, her gay best friend, and the boy in love with both of them.

Yeah, let me just clear that the fuck up for you, and say that Fans of the Impossible Life is NOT about a boy who falls in love with two best friends. That boy is not bisexual. He’s gay, and he’s only romantically interested in the gay best friend. SO yeah. Thanks a bunch for that misleading synopsis opening.

If I was going to write a one liner review (should I do those? Summarise my reviews in one line? Lemme know if you like the idea down in the comments!) it would be: an attempt at writing a 21st century The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

Which it was. It really was. Awkward boy with no friends? Check. A girl and a guy (who is gay) are already best friends and completely “unique”? Check. Girl and guy befriend awkward boy? Check. Awkward boy is infatuated with one of the friends? Check. Like for crying out loud, the parallels were a little ridiculous, and unfortunately Fans of the Impossible Life did not live up to its predecessor.

To be honest, I was quite liking this book. I thought Jeremy was an awkward little turtle, which I am always fond of, and I liked Sebby, and even Mira. And then everything went and hit the fan at about 80%, and everything got so freaking weird and messed up and 100% unexpected, and I lost all interest.

I said in one of my updates that I would actually call this novel a fantasy contemporary, because it is so freaking unrealistic. No one is as witty and unique and wonderfully “out there” as Sebby and Mira are. They’re just not. And as sad as it is, awkward turtles tend to stay awkward turtles, without somehow finding amazing best friends to survive high school with.

I did like the diversity, both sexually and racially. I think we need more books where an LGBTQIA+ character actually has other friends who identify in the spectrum, and I like that this was included in Fans of the Impossible Life. Probably the only realistic aspect of the whole thing.

I also liked the way that Mira’s depression was explained, and how she identified it, and what she said helped her (buying clothes). I think it was handled really well, and in an understandable, relatable, and respectful way.

The points of view were pretty jarring sometimes. Fans of the Impossible Life was told from the perspectives of all three characters, except that Jeremy was first person, Mira was third person, and Sebby was second person. I was like: okay, we get that you can handle all of the “persons”, but I would have probably preferred some consistency, to be honest.

All in all, I was pretty disappointed in Fans of the Impossible Life, especially in that last 20%. It probably would have been a three star read, if not for that.

© 2015, Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity. All rights reserved.

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Posted on: September 21, 2015 • By: Chiara

21 Responses to Review: Fans of the Impossible Life by Kate Scelsa

  1. AW NO, misleading book is misleading!!!! D:!!!

  2. I’ve heard mostly positive things about Fans, but I’ve been waiting for your review ever since your rated it 2 stars on GR. The blurb is very misleading, which is never cool. I was not a fan of Perks, so I doubt this would work for me. And that last 20% sounds kinda crazy… It sounds like the diversity and depression were handled well, so at least that’s something I suppose.

    • Chiara says:

      I have heard mostly positive things, as well. But it was definitely not for me. Yeah, the synopsis was a HUGE let down, and I’m super sad that this book wasn’t what I though it would be. The last 20% was intense and weird, and I didn’t like it. But yes, the diversity and depression were the two aspects of this book that I thought were done well!

  3. Beth says:

    I’ve been waiting for your review of this since I saw it on Kayla’s blog last week! It’s sad that the author has had high hopes for her novel, but ultimately failed by writing a very controversial scene (I’ve read a spoiler review, and I’m SOOOO glad that I did… I would not want to stumble upon something like that in a novel!). Still I hope that the author writes more novels, because I am intrigued by this, even though I know it’s not really for me.
    Beth x

    • Chiara says:

      It was less the fact that it was controversial, and more so the fact that it came out of NOWHERE. I just wasn’t a fan of it, and the other things that happened towards the end of the book. Hmm, I’m not so sure I would pick up another book by this author, because I didn’t particularly like anything about the storyline or the writing style …

  4. Romi says:

    NOOOOOOOOooooooooooooo. *Moans quietly in a corner* But I’d heard amazing things about this, Chiara. Amazing. Things. And I mean, obviously I could still (and might, although I am faintly doubtful) give it a try, but I intently disliked Perks and don’t really want to try it in another decade or two. Nup. It was not for me, in a fiery way- although it has gorgeous quotes- and this just sounds really similar in elements. And grr to misleading synopsis’ which are misleading and make one unhappy.
    Have you read Love Letters to the Dead? I was so. confused. by that one. It was written by someone Chobosky mentored and worked on the Perks film, and felt really, uncomfortably similar to Perks. It was really bizarre.

    • Chiara says:

      Yeah, so have I. I thought this would be amazing, but I really did not end up liking it. I wouldn’t recommend it, because I had too many problems with it, but hey. You might like it? IDK. I didn’t think Perks was as amazing as everyone said it was, but I think it handled the similar themes in a better way than this book, for sure.

      I have not! I haven’t heard many good things about it, so I decided to stay away, haha (even though the cover is GORGEOUS). Eep, that’s weird.

  5. Aw man. The first sentence of the blurb caught my eye immediately, so I’m kind of very disappointed to hear that this book does not, in fact, include a bi character. :( I do like the fact that Mira’s depression was handled in a realistic way – because I am never opposed to sensitive depictions of mental illness in YA fiction – but tbh, if it comes at the expense of a good story, I’m not sure if that’s a price I’m willing to pay, you know?

  6. Aww, what a shame (and that first line of the blurb IS pretty misleading). And like Beth up there, I read a spoiler review and I’m not sure I’d be comfortable reading about that O_O I think I’ll stick to Perks.

    • Chiara says:

      I KNOW. I need to find an awesome bi love triangle book, or maybe write one, haha. I think I know what part you’re talking about, but it’s not as bad as you might think. I didn’t really appreciate it, though.

  7. I had never heard of this one before, but it sounded rather promising. It’s unfortunate it didn’t turn out to be as good as it sounded. I think I’ll give this one a miss. Great review, very informative.

  8. I’m so glad someone else shares my opinion of this book as it was so popular among a large handful of reviewers. It dealt with some things well and others not at all. Although Perks is much more intense, I felt it dealt with the themes much better. Here is my review of the book:

    Great review!

    • Chiara says:

      I know! I kept on seeing so many positive things about it, and I didn’t really understand why, since I wasn’t a huge fan. I think Perks was better at handling the themes that were similar across the two books, as well.

      Thank you!

  9. Argh, that’s a disappointment. As soon as I saw the blurb I was like BISEXUAL CHARACTER?! SIGN ME UP and then I realized how misleading the blurb was. So that was definitely a bad blurbing choice. And the POVs sound like they wouldn’t really be my thing, either—I’m all for experimentation, but not if it negatively affects the way the book reads as a whole. Great to hear your thoughts on this (I hadn’t really heard much about it before), but I think it’s one I’ll skip.

    • Chiara says:

      Right? I want more bi books, and this is the SECOND TIME I have been mislead by a synopsis in that regard. SIGH. Yeah, I wasn’t a huge fan of the POVs, really. I think it might have worked better to just have alternating chapters in the same POV. Ah, well. Yeah, you’re not missing out by skipping it, Christina!

  10. *sighs* That last half of the book. WHYYYY. From the misleading synopsis to THAT ENDING I just couldn’t love this book at all. But my heart broke for Sebby and I wanted to see more of a resolution of his storyline as well.

    • Chiara says:

      I KNOOOOOW. Everything about this book I just. I can’t even. I definitely know what you mean about Sebby’s storyline. It was like intense shit happened and then that was it. We don’t even know what happened to him, really :/

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