Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Come As You Are

Come As You Are by Jennifer Haupt
3/1/22; 320 pages
Central Avenue Publishing

Come As You Are by Jennifer Haupt is a recommended novel that is part family drama, part coming-of-age story.

Zane and Skye meet as creative, lonely young teens, 14 and 12, and become best friends. As Zane is the lead singer for his band, the two become part of Seattle’s grunge scene in the early ’90s and dream of moving to LA. Then an accident happens to Skye's sister that totally changes their world. The two become lovers, Skye becomes pregnant and they leave their homes and any support system behind. Now, ten years later Zane has been long gone for years, Skye is a single mother to daughter Montana (Tana) and is newly engaged to Aaron. The Skye's estranged father dies, Zane calls her, and she decides to finally return to Seattle after a long absence.

The narrative unfolds through a dual timeline, alternating between the early 90's in Seattle and the present, in 2002, in New Mexico. There are also flashbacks. Often I appreciate novels that use alternating timelines, but the plot device wasn't entirely successful in this novel. Perhaps it was the number of transitions between the earlier time period and 2002, as well as flashbacks, that made this narrative device seem an overly confusing ploy rather than a good choice to propel the plot forward. After sticking with the novel, it was easier to just go along with the writing choice in order to find out what happens.

Many readers will be entranced by the depiction of the early grunge scene in Seattle. Really, much of this novel consists of characters coming-of-age while all repeatedly making bad choices and bad decisions as they deal with family drama. That can be entertaining whether you find the characters appealing or not. The characters can be a bit frustrating because of their choices, but, then, much of that is due to immaturity. The ending wasn't entirely believable for me, however, plenty of readers are going to enjoy Come As You Are.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Central Avenue Publishing via NetGalley.


No comments: