St. Martin's Publicity asked if I wanted to be part of the pre-publication tour for The Tragic Age. I had heard about the book, so I gladly said yes!
Author: Stephen Metcalfe
This is the story of Billy Kinsey, heir to a lottery fortune, part genius, part philosopher and social critic, full time insomniac and closeted rock drummer. Billy has decided that the best way to deal with an absurd world is to stay away from it. Do not volunteer. Do not join in. Billy will be the first to tell you it doesn’t always work— not when your twin sister, Dorie, has died, not when your unhappy parents are at war with one another, not when frazzled soccer moms in two ton SUVs are more dangerous than atom bombs, and not when your guidance counselor keeps asking why you haven’t applied to college. Billy’s life changes when two people enter his life. Twom Twomey is a charismatic renegade who believes that truly living means going a little outlaw. Twom and Billy become one another’s mutual benefactor and friend. At the same time, Billy is reintroduced to Gretchen Quinn, an old and adored friend of Dorie’s. It is Gretchen who suggests to Billy that the world can be transformed by creative acts of the soul. With Twom, Billy visits the dark side. And with Gretchen, Billy experiences possibilities.Billy knows that one path is leading him toward disaster and the other toward happiness. The problem is—Billy doesn’t trust happiness. It's the age he's at. The tragic age.
It took me a bit to get into this book. At first I didn't really like Billy. He's rude, disrespectful and just generally hard to like. I really thought that if I don't see some change in him, I don't know if I can finish this book! BUT the good news was that I did start to see a change, and I began to understand him and why he acted the way he did and made the choices he made. There is so much baggage in his life with the death of his twin sister, that it becomes very easy to understand how Billy became the way he is. Did I always agree with him?? NO! Many times I completely disagreed with him! (I'm not one to be ok with breaking the law!) But as you follow Billy his character becomes less closed off, and I began to care more about him and want him to pull out of this and have a good life.
I apologize if I'm being a little vague, but there are certain things I can't talk about because I can't give things away!
The secondary characters were well done. Twom was such a strong and clear character. I honestly could see him as a student at the high school in my school district. He's flawed and stubborn and makes HUGELY bad choices, but he was real. So was Ephraim. I felt for that kid! I've seen kids like him - not 100% like him but the socially awkwardness he has. I felt for him too. Those two characters added a lot of realism to the story and balanced out Billy.
I think what really made the book for me was the ending. I had to see Billy change. I had to! He was kinda hard to like the way he was at the start, so if he didn't change I could not have been positive about the book. But Billy does change a great deal, and that change made me really like the book because he grew and I could see how and why. That was very well done!
St. Martin's Publicity asked me to host a giveaway with my review of the book!
Enter to win 1 of 3 copies of The Tragic Age!
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