Saturday, March 16, 2024

What's Not Mine

What's Not Mine by Nora Decter
4/2/24; 248 pages
ECW Press

What's Not Mine by Nora Decter is a recommended coming-of-age novel.

The summer Bria Powers turns 16 she is living with her aunt Tash and bestfriend/cousin Ains because her mother is long gone, her father is in jail for drug-dealing, and his girlfriend she was living with died from an overdose. During the day Bria and Ains babysit Ains’s younger siblings. Then they both go to work at the Burger Shack. After work Bria is personally struggling with drugs, alcohol, a bad relationship with a man she calls Someboy, and trying to find her place in the world. As if that isn't enough, some male is texting her pornographic images.

Bria is not a likable or trustworthy narrator. She will, however, elicit your sympathy because she is such a mixed-up broken teen who needs more support than she is receiving from those around her. She is in a rough situation that would leave many teens struggling. The hot, dry summer and the plethora of insects invading the area help set the desperate tone.

The pace is steady, but slow. There is some dark humor, but I was left mostly feeling depressed by the novel. (It feels like a YA novel, although it is not presented as one.) The novel does succeed in capturing the sad social realites of fentanyl infiltrating the community and the descriptive passages concerning the natural events of the summer are quite well-written. It does have a satisfying ending. Thanks to ECW Press for providing me with an advance reader's copy via NetGalley. My review is voluntary and expresses my honest opinion.

No comments: