Sometimes, it’s good to take a break from life. And that’s just what the main character of …And Never Coming Back does to the point where when he gets hit on the head, he remembers an entire different life.
First, I’d like to start of by saying this book is probably not the best for younger teens. It’s more of a young adult/new adult book, even though the protagonist is seventeen at the time of his accident. There’s also some more ‘adult’ situations that younger teenagers would be surprised about, and they would probably ask their parents at the dinner table about it.
So the teenager, Jack, then goes off to Hollywood with a new identity, called in psychological terms as a ‘fugue’ state (I thought it was multiple personalities at the end, but I looked it up and I was wrong about that). He establishes a new life as Frank, grows up, gets married, and has an amazing reputation and career as a Hollywood director.
But there’s something traumatizing from his past he’s running from, and after another blow to the head, and some help from a friend-turned rival, he’s determined to find out what it is.
1. Multiple formats. The author plays with the traditional novel format, using words to tell a story, and has a few sections where, in mirroring Jack/Frank’s life scenes, he uses the screenwriter’s format. It’s cool, and something that more writers will likely do in the future as more and more people see movies.
2. Character development. The plot is largely driven by Hooper, who easily stands up as the champion of good, especially compared to Frank’s confusing and topsy-turvy adventures.
3. Psychological Thriller elements. I’m always up for a good thriller if it’s well-written and keeps me guessing. That’s what this book did pretty well.
Overall, interesting read. If you’ve read it, please leave a comment below to let us know what you thought about it!