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Mayday Book Review

Title: Mayday
Author: Jonathan Friesen
Publisher: Speak
Publication Date: April 10, 2014

320 pp.

ARC provided by author

The premise for Jonathan Friesen's Mayday is pretty intriguing. Eighteen-year-old Crow tries to protect her sister Addy, but ends up in a coma. During that coma, she has the chance to go on a "walkabout," an opportunity to go back in the past and change things. Except she doesn't go back as herself. She goes back in a loaner body known as Shane. The first time Crow goes back, Shane is a 13 year old girl, the second time, Shane is a 19 year old guy. Shane is able to interact with Crow and begins to see situations and people in new ways.

Intriguing, right?

Except the execution wasn't quite there for me. The first time Crow goes back as Shane, there is a slow burn of a reveal about what happened to Addy, but it was pretty heavily foreshadowed and not much of a surprise.

The second time Crow goes back as Shane, what's supposed to happen to Addy is never made entirely clear, though one could guess, but there's not the urgency of stakes as in the first walkabout. Certainly nothing that really warrants Crow ending up in a coma. And there's a lot of backstory in Crow's life leading up to the coma that is never fully explained, either.

I didn't mind Crow ending up in a guy's body. It raised some interesting questions and brought some humor to the story. But male Shane's involvement in Crow's life is way too convenient and strains credulity. Especially since the way that Shane's presence is explained is that someone thinks Shane is really an angel. Wha...?

And I have to mention Sadie, Crow's guide while on walkabout. Sadie is every Mammy stereotype turned into the wise, black spiritual figure. It's obvious the author wants Sadie to impart profound insight, but she's too much of a caricature rather than a character. Where are the editors to stop this sort of thing? *sigh*