Tuesday, March 22, 2016

THE DAY I WORE PURPLE by Jake Vander Ark

I don't think I've ever read anything quite like this one. Not only is it a tender love story and grand family drama, it's also an epic of speculative science fiction that spans a trillion years, examines the creation of our universe, and takes a look at what it would be like to live forever and the effect that would have on society. But above all it's a portrait of a complex woman trying to find meaning in eternal life. Not only does the book defy genre, but the synopsis on Amazon barely cracks the surface of what readers are in for.
I read this is as an advance prereader in exchange for constructive notes, of which I gave a ton. So the edition of the book that was released today might be different. But it's most likely even better than the version I read. Vander Ark is a writer of great talent and deserves to be discovered by more readers. Get on the train early! While The Day I Wore Purple isn't as tightly wound and smoothly crafted as his previous novels like The Accidental Siren and The Brandywine Prophet, it's Vander Ark at his rawest; the book is undeniably his most ambitious, and in some ways, the most impressive. The closest I can get to describing my reaction after finishing it was the same way I felt about finishing Christopher Nolan's film Interstellar. After the end, not only did I have to put my brain back together again , but I knew that I'd seen something unique, something that wrestled with ideas beyond what everyone else is tackling in stories. But because of  it's size and ambition, like Interstellar, it's almost impossible for the book to be perfect. It can get a bit long-winded at times and it sometimes stumbles on it's tightrope balance of character development, exposition and sci-fi ideas. But even with its rough edges, you can sense Vander Ark pouring his all into this story, writing as if it's the last time he'll ever get to sit at a keyboard.

Some might love it, some might be confused, some might even think it's a mess, but I'm 100% positive that everyone who finishes it will think of it for a long time afterwards. Everyone should experience it!


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