Book Title: Evidence of Things Not Seen (Standalone)
Author: Lindsey Lane
Number of pages: 224
When high school junior Tommy Smythe goes missing, everyone has a theory about what happened to him. Tommy was adopted, so maybe he ran away to find his birth parents. He was an odd kid, often deeply involved in his own thoughts about particle physics, so maybe he just got distracted and wandered off. He was last seen at a pull-out off the highway, so maybe someone drove up and snatched him. Or maybe he slipped into a parallel universe. Tommy believes that everything is possible, and that until something can be proven false, it is possibly true. So as long as Tommy’s whereabouts are undetermined, he could literally be anywhere.
Told in a series of first-person narratives from people who knew Tommy and third-person chapters about people who find the things Tommy left behind—his red motorbike, his driving goggles, pages from his notebook—Particles explores themes of loneliness, connectedness, and the role we play in creating our own realities.
(re: Goodreads @ Evidence of Things Not Seen by Lindsey Lane)
Should this book be picked up? the tl;dr spoiler-less review:
– Open, interpretative narratives about the realities of life masked behind the mystery of Tommy’s disappearance. Some are coming-of-age stories with limited scope, others are charming tales of family, but they’re all uniquely independent lives with tangible difficulties
– Twenty very different narrators joined by the six-degrees of separation to Tommy Smythe; reads like a collection of short stories
– A quick, well-paced read despite a variety of darker societal issues that may not be explored in much depth (i.e. child and teenage sexuality, mental health disabilities, science versus religion, murder, physical and substance abuse)
I’m stumped as to how to go about saying anything about this novel. It’s different; twenty POVs different, and there’s a certain disjointed connectedness (wait, that doesn’t even make sense does it?) about this read that’s mind-bogglingly weird and interesting at the same time.
Also, I just reviewed the synopsis and I’m confused as to whether or not there’s supposed to be a name change or not (re: Particles, in the last paragraph).
Full disclosure: I received an advanced reader copy of Evidence of Things Not Seen through Netgalley for an honest review. I extend thanks to Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) under Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group for providing me the opportunity to review this book.
Disclaimer: Potential spoilers inherent to this review from here onward.