"What I will do here is what all heroines in the novels do. I will endure...But the whole time, I'll be hoping that we're going back at the end of it. Because home is where Prim is."
Emily O'Beirne and Ylva Publishing were both new to me, and how glad I am to have met them! Here's the Thing is a charming bit of fresh air, dramatic enough to hold attention, but comforting enough to sit back and sigh with on return reads.
Zelda is a wonderful, crabby, judgemental, expansive teenager who's been dragged to her homeland--Australia--for a year. Brokenhearted at being pulled away from her best friend Prim, an enigmatic, solitary girl, she expects to grin and bear it. With the blessings of her family and the new artsy high school, she finds herself flourishing in Sydney, working hard on a project to bring attention to the plight of refugees in Australia and finding herself enchanted by a redheaded dancer. However, she just can't let go of Prim and their unfinished project, exploring every subway line in NYC from end to end.
"I could tell she was into it as I watched her tip her face up to the sky when a flock of birds flew past or cackle at an old couple wearing matching fur top hats. The last few weeks, all our trips had been Manhattan-bound, emerging from the subway into neighborhoods that didn't have the same distinct character or that sense of the exotic that the borough lines did. But Coney Island had it in spades."
This framing device--the subway project and their adventures therein--was one of my favorite parts of the book, bringing to light neighborhoods that get very little play in literature in general, not to speak of YA. Zel, this wonderful heroine, grows and changes, and has the freedom to do so--there is minimal homophobia or angst in the book, just the caution that we live with, the world being what it is. The denouement, rather than making a villain of Prim, handles topics such as consent and asexuality in such a graceful way. The cast is wonderful, the plot zips along, and the writing is casual and funny and quirky and occasionally heartbreaking. So much love for this one, and can't wait to read more.
Acquisitions: I received a free copy from Netgalley in return for an honest review. Previously posted on Goodreads and Amazon.com
Here's the Thing: Ylva Publishing, Amazon.com,
Emily O'Beirne's Website