SPOILER WARNING - I tried really hard not to spoil this book for any potential reader but there may still be some things which can be considered to be spoilers so please read with caution. If you want to go into this blind, read it yourself and come back to read the post afterwards!
When I first offered up my services to the writing community, and received an outpouring of support from you all, I still wasn’t really sure what kind of stories I wanted to review. As I have said on many occasions (to a point where even I am tired of hearing it), I am the writing community’s biggest fan and so I had no doubt in my mind that I would be inundated with hard-hitting, chill inducing, mind blowingly complex stories to dive into. I was confident that I'd figure it out as I went along (if not in my own ability to review them). I knew that you guys wouldn’t disappoint because you never do. However, what I wasn’t expecting (an oversight on my part), was to find myself reading stories that really touched me on a personal level and left their mark on my heart.
Daylight chasers is that story. Sorry to spoil the grand reveal of my feelings towards this book in the second paragraph of my review. I’ll go into more detail I promise but it seemed only fitting to include that sentiment here. I couldn’t go any further without making it clear that this book has left a lasting impression on me.
A day that nearly never ends. It sounds like a wild concept and some may even call it far-fetched but as the author herself has stated on her own website - ‘I came upon the idea of moving west to jump time zones, to gain as much out of technically being in the same day as possible.’ so it is plausible.
The point I'm trying to make (unsuccessfully) is that this is one of the most original concepts I have come across as a reader. I have read plenty of novels (mostly sci-fi) which focus on the concept of time and being stuck in a continuous loop but never one that aims to make one day of someone’s life last forever (almost) through jumping time zones. I was struck by how quickly this novel caught my eye and how fascinated I was with this concept. I didn’t know that I had been looking for something like this until she reached out to me and it made me realise that I actually did have an idea of what I wanted to review. This was it.
I want to review books that are creative and innovative and draw from personal emotional experience. This novel is and does all of those things. It tells a heart-warming story about two characters who embark on the same journey, experience the same things but ultimately end up learning different things. As the story concludes the two characters share this wonderful moment (which I won’t spoil) where they reflect on the day and what they personally took from it and I have to say that it was a scene that really tied everything together for me.
Do I think everyone will like this book? I would hope so but I understand that it may perplex some people. When I first read it, there were moments that had me furrowing my brow but later on a light bulb would go off and the significance would hit me. So this is not so much a criticism of the writing and more a criticism of myself for letting certain things go over my head.
The individual characters are believable and all play a vital role in the story. There are side characters but they all do contribute to the overall narrative. I am someone who hates reading stories where characters are basically disposable so the fact that the author chose not to do this is a positive for me.
The story is well told and well thought out. I really felt the emotion behind the words (so much so that I got a bit emotional at the end where it is revealed why one of the characters wanted the day to last forever). This book evokes a range of emotions from the reader including wistfulness, longing, grief, nostalgia and even sometimes surprise.
It isn’t very long. It’s a short story so even if everything I’ve said may not be your thing, it may still be worth picking it up to read just to see if you would like it. It’s not a big commitment to try.
Would I recommend it to my friends? Yes I would. I would recommend it to anyone who likes reading short stories or novellas and I would recommend it to those who have experienced any kind of grief because I think that there are themes in this novel that are really relatable. It posed a question in my mind - how do I handle grief/tragedy? Can I see myself in these characters? - and the answer was yes. I could see myself in them.
I will go back to what I said in my last review. I appreciate that this may have been an overwhelmingly positive review but sometimes there are novels that deserve such high praise. We shouldn't automatically assume that a review should be negative in order to be valid. We should expect the best from the community and sometimes that is what we get. I'll always be honest in these reviews. I won't shy away from telling the truth because you (the writing community) deserve someone who not only roots for you but someone who cares enough to give you constructive criticism too.
My only complaint (and it's really not much of one) is that sometimes things can be a little bit confusing just because there is so much that goes on but I also wonder if this was sometimes intentional to show how chaotic the adventure was in parts.
I liked it. I liked it a lot. It's going to hold a warm place in my heart as my second review. It's something that i'll probably read again someday so really that speaks for itself.
Try it for yourself and let me know what you think. Hearing from you guys fuels me to keep going. Feel free to leave a comment or tweet me what you think. Tweet the author too! I'm sure she would like it.
Thank you for reading again! I look forward to speaking to you all soon!
The writing community's biggest fan - Hannah Writes.