Hell yes. This is good stuff. A book where parents eff their kids up without remorse, all in the name of capital A-R-T. I can relate. Replace “A-R-T” with “R-E-L-I-G-I-O-N,” and you have The Family Ivy.
By Ch. 2, I was lolling all over the place. And…. I actually stayed interested as the story progressed, which is a great feat for me. At times, I swear I accidentally switch brains with my dog Annie and can only think of food and sleep, which interferes with actually FINISHING good books (I have had 100 pages left of The Historian for the past year). Sigh.
Back to the Fangs.
Kevin Wilson is really damn good at ending paragraphs. Every last line of the first few chapters made me stop, go back, and reread. Nice job, Kev.
To sum it up, I stayed interested until the very end. The end disappointed the heck out of me for reasons I can’t exactly place. The plot seemed to be working towards some cataclysmic event, and then all of the sudden, the balloon didn’t pop. It sputtered out. It made one of those fart sounds. I can’t say I’d like it more if it had had some explosive ending, but I know I was mildly disappointed. I felt very “Hmmmfph” about the ending.
But, I’ll admit, I can’t think of a way he could have done it better or differently.
Aside from the ending, the middle was freaking delish. I loved the way he crafted his sentences. The way he weaved this twisted family of characters together really worked.
My favorite selection from the novel comes at a moment when Annie Fang thinks about a life without her parents (Damn this format for making block quotes look retarded):
And then, no one to prevent this unfounded optimism, she imagined a future where her parents had never existed in the first place. Once she allowed herself this miracle, as soon as it had taken shape, it immediately burned up in the atmosphere, turned to vapor, and Annie realized that, without her parents, there would be no way into the world for her. She could not, despite every attempt to do so, figure out a way that she could arrive ahead of her parent, to outspace them. It would have to be her parents, young and still tender, entirely unaware that their children, Annie and Buster, were moving, inexorably, toward them, waiting to be named (209).
In a sentence or two:
Annie and Buster Fang find themselves in an awkward state of adult rebellion as they come to the realization that their parents’ involvement in their live is in the name of art rather than love. The Family Fang is witty, well written, and outlandish in an endearing way.
Rating: One T-REX*
*I don’t officially have a rating system since I’m new to blogging and reviewing, but when I do, it will be a system consisting of dinosaurs and aliens. T-REX = Powerful read. Worth it.
Note to my mother:
Mom, you should read this book and think of the times you made us visit nursing homes armed with bananas and peppermints in an attempt to socialize us, your two, homeschooled nerds. FAIL. (Didn’t you also make us attend FFA (Future Farmers of America) meetings, despite the fact that we didn’t own an animal or a farm?