Title: When Everything Feels Like the Movies
Author: Raziel Reid
Format: Digital ARC, 176 pages
Publication Details: August 4th 2016 by Atom
Genre(s): Contemporary YA; LGBT
Disclosure? Yep! I received a free copy in exchange for an HONEST review.
Everyone wanted to break me. But stars aren’t broken, they explode. And I was the ultimate supernova.
My name was Jude. They called me Judy. I was beautiful either way.
School was basically a movie set. We were all just playing our parts. The Crew, the Extras, the Movie Stars. No one was ever real . . . especially me. I didn’t fit any category.
All the girls watched me – I could walk so much better than them in heels, and my make-up was always flawless.
All the boys wanted to, well, you know . . . even if they didn’t admit it.
They loved me, they hated me, but they could never ignore me.
I only had eyes for Luke. A red carpet rolled out from my heart towards him and this year, on Valentine’s Day, I was going to walk that carpet and find my mark next to him. It would be like a dream.
But my dream was going to turn into a nightmare.
This is my story.
Contemporary YA is always quite hit and miss for me. Usually I either completely fall in love, or end up despising them – it’s definitely a Marmite genre for me. When Everything Feels Like the Movies was an exception to the rule – I’m still torn.
Jude, (who is mockingly called Judy by his schoolmates – a nickname he chooses to embrace) thinks of his life as a movie, and he is the star. The haters at school are the bit-part actors and he lets their insults wash over him like confetti at an awards show. The more they talk about him, the more famous he gets.
Jude is hopelessly in love with Jock-type Luke and dreams of going to the Prom with him. No amount of rebuttals (or the fact that Luke appears to be very straight) will deter him from asking him to the dance, but little does he realise that this one question will be his ultimate downfall.
I don’t think it’s a huge spoiler to tell you that Jude is killed by the end of this book because that’s one of the things I didn’t like about it – the reader is told quite early on that Jude does not live to tell the tale and I really wish it was kept as a surprise. However, I think it’s so important for books like this to exist. It was heartbreaking and sadly plausible, and for me that’s what gives it the impact.
I really didn’t enjoy the beginning of this book. I found it overly vulgar and cheap, and it takes a lot for me to think of something as vulgar – I’m not easily shocked and I think I’m about as open minded as they come – but it took me a while to understand the tone of this book. Once I did, it was more enjoyable though.
The more I read, the more I understood Jude’s character, and I did end up loving him and his I-give-no-shits attitude. However, I found the endless movie analogies a little bit clichéd and irritating, but saying that, it did ring true to who Jude is.
#WEFLTM is a short novel, and a really quick read in terms of pace too. If I had to rate it at the 25% mark it wouldn’t have been as favourable but I’m glad I gave it a chance. maybe you should too…