- File Size: 11365 KB
- Print Length: 67 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Book Smugglers Publishing (August 22, 2017)
- Publication Date: August 22, 2017
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B074QQY7CH
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #530,873 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Avi Cantor Has Six Months to Live Kindle Edition
|Length: 67 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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Avi Cantor [...] is a quick read, but in that short amount of time it left a powerful impact on me as a reader. Avi is deeply, tragically relatable to anyone who endured (or is enduring) the pain of schoolyard bullying, depression, and the dizzying addition of being transgender when you're already not-quite-normal. The hopelessness, the pain, and the anger are all there, and yet because they aren't drawn out for the consumption of the reader they feel more real and more personal, as if Avi himself were shying away from showing even us this side of his life. It's the kind of self-conciousness that I know well. At many points I felt like I was looking back on a younger version of myself.
Ian's role in the story might seem to be the foil to Avi's negativity -- cheerful, upbeat, well adjusted (and passing) among his peers, invincible... but this is the limitation of Avi's narrative bias, and I think you'll enjoy finding out more about Ian as the story progresses. I don't want to post spoilers!
Other highly enjoyable elements of this story include: Avi's jewishness, Ian's loving and lovely family (two moms!), and the simple, but poignant experiences of trans boyhood that weave themselves in and out of the narrative, unobtrusive but undeniable, as natural as breathing.
After reading so many stilted, pandering, unsatisfying queer YA novels, Avi Cantor is a breath of fresh air.
Avi Cantor is a quasi-magical story of a high-schooler mid-transition. While he has told no one his name--Avi--the words, "Avi Cantor has six months to live" appear on the bathroom mirror at school. What Avi assumes is an uncanny new bullying technique turns out to be a lot more complicated.
Without spoiling this beautiful story, let me tell you, that summary, while accurate, is not what the story is about. It's not about bullying; it's about self-loathing. It's not about avoiding death; it's about facing life.
I'm hesitant to call this magical realism, but it has a beautifully surreal and sardonic prose that fans of The Raven Boys--or even Marquez--would love. And I'll be damned if this isn't one of the most poignant books about depression that I've ever read!
You get really thoughtful, beautiful sentences, like "[The mugs] feel satisfying in your hand, like breaking one would mean something"; gut punches, like "Inscribe us in the book of life. Imagine if I took that decision out of God's hands"; and lines that made me laugh out loud, like "He kicks off his shoes by the door and yells 'Mom!' and a woman yells back 'Which one?' 'Whichever!' ...Ian's mom, whichever, is in her bright, polished kitchen..."
And finally, this is a beautiful summary of the where the story ends up and I teared up rereading it (possible spoiler):
"It still feels like being alive is scarier than dying, sometimes. I think maybe it will be that way forever. But there are things I can point to, now, and tell myself they're worth it, and believe it. Ian and his family and my mom. Talking to Lilit about being Jewish, and about magic, and about cooking. Making life out of life."
This story fully characterizes its protagonist and his boyfriend, richly illustrating how such factors as class, religion, stim preferences, dysphoria, and general Brain Problems can make people fundamentally different without making them any less comprehensible. Also! The text speak is so genuine, such that you can tell who's typing by the voice they use, if not by formatting.
The only reason I didn't rate this work 5 stars is that the pacing was hectic to the point of lessening emotional impact. That's one of the hardest parts of writing a truly masterful short story - making sure that you take enough time to revel in the details of your setting and make noticeable transitions between scenes, without bloating the story overlong. Sacha definitely succeeded in concision and setting up a world with realistic detail, but they lost me on a lot of the scene transitions.
ANYWAY OVERALL I'M AM LOVE THIS STORY AND YOU SHOULD READ IT and also give money to everyone's favorite Lamb.
Likeable characters, likeable families, sapphic parents, a Jewish protagonist, gay trans boys in love, this story had so many beautiful things I can't even count.
Basically worth every penny, please read it.
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