Published by Speak on April 10, 2014
Genres: Paranormal, Relationships, YA
Source: ARC borrowed thru Around the World ARC Tours
Why’d I do it? I suppose it’s the only question that really matters.
Seventeen-year-old Crow will stop at nothing to protect her younger sister—even if it costs her her own life. But then she’s given a chance to come back and make things right. There are a few catches, though. First, she won’t come back as herself. And before she can set things straight, she’ll have to figure out what’s what—and things aren’t exactly as clear-cut as she remembered.
Powerful and hard-hitting, this is a compelling story about what it means to live your life—for your own sake—from an award-winning author.
~ I wanted to read this because I thought that it was going to be a YA female led reimagining of graphic novel and movie The Crow. Which is brilliant, btw. But while I suspect that it was influenced by The Crow, it’s definitely not a retelling. I wasn’t disappointed though, because Mayday falls more into the category of Before I Fall and If I Stay.
~ I recently read Hellhole by Gina Demico, which featured a male main character. Here we have a male author writing about a female main character. In both cases, it was never anything I had to give a thought to. That’s a sign of good writing. I went to a local author discussion panel not to long ago where a guy in the audience asked how to write female characters, and one of the panelists (who’s a psychologist) quoted a line from As Good As It Gets, where Jack Nicholson says (in response to a question asking him how he writes women so well) “I think of a man, and I take away reason and accountability.”. Which pissed me off, because it’s such an entitled snobdouche thing to say (although that’s pretty much the character Jack was playing). It’s not true that women, in general, are unreasonable and unaccountable. I kind of want to shove this book in that audience dude’s face, and tell him that there’s no secret to writing female characters, you just have to be a good writer. I have a feeling audience dude is not that good if he has to ask (it should be pointed out that he was middle aged, not some young teen). Sorry for the rant. My point is that with truly good authors, it never seems to matter what gender their character in correlation to the author’s own gender. And it’s nice to be able to add a male YA author to my list of good 2014 reads, especially one that can dream up someone one as complicated as Crow.
~ Crow loves philosophy, and every chapter begins with a thought provoking quote. I loved how smart and fierce Crow was, even though at school she played the part of a fool.
~ All we know in the beginning is that Crow and Will were involved in some kind of train accident, and that Crow was desperate to keep Will away from her little sister. Even as Crow hovers in the hospital, she tries to get rid of Will for good.
~ Crow’s between-life is weird, to say the least, but I loved Sadie and her calmness. I also wouldn’t mind having her knit me something. Sadie is the one who offer’s Crow a “Walkabout”, a chance to go in the past to change things. Sadie warns Crow that she needs to focus on saving her younger self, but all Crow wants to do is keep Adele safe.
~ This is the kind of book that gets better in retrospect. Occasionally on Goodreads I’ll go back to re-rate a book. Some books that I rated high right after I finished them have dimmed so much in my memory, or upon further thought just don’t rate the star rating I gave them, will be demoted. Others, like Mayday linger on the brain, the characters firmly entrenching themselves in my heart. Crow is such a memorable character, and I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to shake her.
~ It’s hard to read Crow’s mom and Crow herself, blaming her for her dad’s abandonment. I realize that Jude has pulled a number on their mom, but it’s hard not to feel the sting of injustice.
~ Is there a point in your life where things went wrong or off track? Knowing what you know now, would you go back and try to change it?
~ The ending is bittersweet- there was so much Crow didn’t know, so much hurt that could have been avoided if only she had known. While this book doesn’t end in a shiny bow of joy, there’s a certain peace that things are finally as they should be- not perfect, but better.
Crow- fierce defender of her sister, sleepless warrior.
Adele- younger sister, adores Crow and has a sweet soul.
Will- the boy Adele was seeing, he’s a runaway street kid/foster kid.
Susan- Crow and Adele’s blinder wearing mother.
Jude- Stepdad, a little too interested in Adele.
Basil- one of Crow’s best friends, he wants a lot more from her.
Mel- another friend of Crow’s, only Mel is jealous of Basil’s infatuation with Crow.
Sadie- wise dream intruder.
Shane- loaner body.
Shane #2- another loaner body.
Mr. Loumans- runs Hope Home with his wife Amy, where Will lives.
Thomas- Louman’s son, has a crush on Crow.
Reese- receptionist at Hope Home.
It wasn’t a precise moment in the book, but I like how things shift in this book- characters that seem one way are actually another, or as certain things are revealed other things make more sense. It’s like watching a puzzle get put together. It also serves as a reminder to gather all the facts before you take the plunge.
Stop the Clock:
I think what I took away most from reading Mayday is that you have to learn to trust your loved ones to make their own decisions, because you can’t protect them from all the evil the world has in store for them. All you can do is be there for each other. Crow got a second chance to fix things she didn’t even know were broken, and I found her journey beautiful and heartbreaking.
Mayday gets a Midnight Book rating of: