FLOORED - a novel by 7 YA authors
Published: July 2018 - Macmillan's Children's Books.
Genres: Young adult / contemporary / drama.
Triggers/Content Advisory: Bad language / sexual innuendoes / some explicit sexual content.
Source: Thank you so much to Pan Macmillan SA for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review.
I love the concept. But the book is strange, and in a way that's neither bad nor good.
So I don't know which author wrote which chapter or which character, but I admit the writing comes across very similar in each character's voice/chapter. I think it easily could've been from one author. In terms of quality, the style also isn't bad - just pretty average. Basically, the writing isn't unique. It doesn't leave much of an impression.
The premise is fantastic, but the story is only sporadically entertaining. Occasionally interesting, but also bland and frequently boring. The theme (what I imagine is the theme?: that family isn't who you're born with, it's who you choose to spend time with, etc etc) often comes across very forced and cheesy. And maybe that's because we don't get to see much development of relationships, only the "end result", so to speak? We see the characters once a year, and their journey in that past year is summarised, rather than shown. We see their whatsapp chats, their heart emojis and support for each other, but maybe because we don't see the continual, steady growth of those relationships, they feel superficial? I don't know. It's hard to explain ;)
BUT. The story does improve as you keep reading. The ending is also sublime; it couldn't be more perfect. So I guess that does kind of redeem what's come before.
There are too many points of view. It also doesn't help that the chapters are short, hardly giving you time to get in a character's head. The characters' voices aren't distinct, either (although maybe with the exception of Hugo) and no one's personality is clear and vivid from their first POV chapter, which is obviously the critical time. By the end, I did have a clearer idea of who everyone was (I even liked one character: Sasha) and I definitely warmed up to them, but they still aren't memorable or strong. Their personalities don't leap off the page.
Floored is somewhere between average and great. It's not unpleasant to read, but it isn't amazing, either. I think it would have been so much stronger if the characters had been more individualistic from the start.