Rainbow in the Dark

Sean McGinty. Clarion, $17.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-358-38037-5
McGinty (The End of Fun) plays with storytelling and the subconscious as gender- and ethnically-unspecified Rainbow struggles to reconcile memories of contemporary teenage life with their current existence in the Wilds, a video game–esque world featuring RPG-like classes and ranks, machine forests, and glowing fuzzies. Blue call boxes generate slips of paper that assign quests or memories; in Rainbow’s memories, they are a kid living in a desolate seaside locale with their brother, CJ, older by 18 months, and their single mother. Memories featuring “The Eternal God/dess of Teen Depression,” a suicidal immortal who keeps failing to kill themselves, whom Rainbow imagines and wrote about for an assignment, intersperse recollections of an argument with CJ, and a subsequent search for him on a foggy cliff. Rainbow also meets Chad01, an ornery warrior, as well as fast-talking mystic Lark and her twin brother Owlsy, a rational scholar, all of whom are Lost Kids, attempting seemingly nonsensical and never-ending quests to open a portal to homes they no longer remember. Relayed chiefly through an enthralling second-person perspective, this dark yet hopeful tale, ideal for fans of A.S. King or the Shustermans’ Challenger Deep, balances humor, existentialism, and Rainbow’s mental health with great aplomb. Ages 12–up. (Aug.)
Reviewed on : 07/28/2021
Release date: 08/10/2021
Genre: Children's
MP3 CD - 978-1-6650-6637-2
Compact Disc - 978-0-358-57739-3
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