Monday 7 November 2011

Book ~ "Holding Still for as Long as Possible" (2009) Zoe Whittall

From Amazon ~ This captivating glimpse into the lives of three twentysomethings showcases Whittall’s ability to create complex characters. Connected through social circles in their Toronto neighborhood, they struggle to accept the past while mapping out the future: Josh, a female-to-male transgender works strenuous shifts as a paramedic and tries to erase from his mind the atrocities he witnesses daily; Amy, his ex-girlfriend and an amateur filmmaker, lives off of her wealthy parents; and Billy, a former child pop star, now endures extreme anxiety attacks. As the three become wrapped up in each others’ lives, the emotional roller coaster dips and rises. Haunted by memories of the tragedy of 9/11 and of the rampant fear of a SARS epidemic, which served as the scenery of their youth, this new generation’s members proclaim their true feelings through text messages and drown their excess emotion in booze. A poignant climax seems almost like a dream as the characters drift toward the shattering conclusion. An unforgettable depiction of growing up in the new millennium.

I came across this book in my quest to read more books by Canadian authors. As a bonus, it takes place in Toronto.

It's an interesting story of Josh, Amy and Billy, each with their own demons and how they deal with them. Josh and Amy break up but are determined to remain friends. Billy and Maria have just broken up and are trying to remain friends. Tensions are added when Billy and Josh get together.

This story "happened" in my 'hood. They live and hang out not far from where I live which made it more enjoyable as I knew exactly where they were and the type of places they were hanging out in. The author did a good job of capturing the mood and atmosphere of the area.

I enjoyed the writing style. The voice of each chapter changes from Josh to Amy to Billy so you get an idea of what is going on in their head and hearts.

I'd recommend this book.


Cindy said...

Sounds interesting and sad.

Buried In Print said...

I really want to read this one and it keeps slipping down the stack, getting overlooked because other books have duedates attached to them. And I love reading books set in this city too (I'm not sure which neighbourhood it's set in, but I agree that it's especially fun to read a novel set on the very streets that you walk regularly yourself!)