Review: The Lost Boys Symphony by Mark Andrew Ferguson

The Lost Boys SymphonyThe Lost Boys Symphony by Mark Andrew Ferguson
Genre: YA Contemporary Fiction/Sci-Fi/Magical Realism
Publication Date: March 24th, 2015
Publisher: Little Brown & Company

Synopsis from Goodreads:

After Henry’s girlfriend Val leaves him and transfers to another school, his grief begins to manifest itself in bizarre and horrifying ways. Cause and effect, once so reliable, no longer appear to be related in any recognizable manner. Either he’s hallucinating, or the strength of his heartbreak over Val has unhinged reality itself.

After weeks of sleepless nights and sick delusions, Henry decides to run away. If he can only find Val, he thinks, everything will make sense again. So he leaves his mother’s home in the suburbs and marches toward the city and the woman who he thinks will save him. Once on the George Washington Bridge, however, a powerful hallucination knocks him out cold. When he awakens, he finds himself kidnapped by two strangers–one old, one middle-aged–who claim to be future versions of Henry himself.Val is the love of your life, they tell him. We’ve lost her, but you don’t have to.

In the meantime, Henry’s best friend Gabe is on the verge of breakdown of his own. Convinced he is somehow to blame for Henry’s deterioration and eventual disappearance, Gabe is consumed by a potent mix of guilt and sadness. When he is approached by an enigmatic stranger claiming to be an older version of his lost friend, Gabe begins to fear for his own sanity. With no one else to turn to, he reaches out to the only person who can possibly help him make sense of it all: Val.

 

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Wendy’s Review

If any of you readers out there saw this book before, you’ll see that it doesn’t actually have the very best reviews.  I didn’t get it, honestly.  The synopsis sounds so interesting!  I thought there was going to be something so profound inside these electronic pages, and I thought that I would be the one to get it.

Nope.  A big fat Nope.

Starting off I was like ‘alright, here goes… this isn’t so bad… best friends… best girlfriend… first chapter hooked me’.  I even admit that at first I couldn’t stop reading, sneaking glances at my e-reader during work hours so that I could read just one more page.  Unfortunately everything went downhill from there.

Complaint #1: Why did it have to be soooo confusing?  Seriously, I don’t want to pay attention to chapter titles that much.  I don’t want to have to go back to the start of a chapter because I’m so confused by which Henry was giving us their POV.  Was it 41 year old Henry?  29 year old Henry?  80 year old Henry?  Or the one that I liked, 19 year old Henry!  19 year old Henry was the only one I cared about.  When you add that to the fact that the book also contained chapters from Gabe and Val’s point of view, it was just way to much flip-flopping and confusion.  I quickly fell out of the story that was so carefully woven in the first 5 chapters.

Complaint #2: What am I hoping for?  Do I want Gabe to get everything?  Do I want Henry to get everything?  Does Henry want Gabe to get it all, does Gabe want Henry to get it all?  And what in the heck does Val want?  I had no idea which ending I was supposed to want.  And truth be told, it got so convoluted that in the end I just didn’t care anymore anyway.

Complaint #3: I think this is possibly just a pet peeve of mine, but please don’t write a book with the express purpose of sounding intelligent.  There was so much time travel philosophy and jargon in this book that I found myself just getting bored.  Far too little story and far too much waxing poetic, frankly.

Finally Compaint #4: I seriously dislike books that feel like they have no purpose.  Getting to the end of The Lost Boys Symphony left me feeling like I just didn’t understand why we went on this journey in the first place.  I know what ‘The Henries’ told us, but for the reader it just felt purposeless.  Oddly enough, that is a complaint I’ve read in other reviews.

I feel like I should apologize, so I’m going to.  I’m sorry.  I’m so sorry that I just didn’t like this book.  I really really wanted to; I swear.  I completely wanted to be the person who just connected with it, and got what it was trying to say on a deeper level.  Sadly, I suppose I’m just not gonna be that reader this time around.

Mark Andrew Ferguson completely left me behind.

Thank you to Bloomsbury Spark and Netgalley for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: ☠  ☠  ☠  ☠  ☠  = D

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