Daniel Lever is not having a good year. He has been bullied in school, he thinks he caused his parents’ divorce and a mysterious girl just appeared and disappeared in front of him.
Lexi is no ordinary girl, she’s smart, pretty and wonderfully athletic. But Daniel can’t get to the bottom of her mystery, a lot of what Lexi does never makes any sense, particularly her tendency to disappear out of thin air and the fact that her watch ticks backwards.
Hogan’s novel takes the story of boy-meets-girl and throws it into ghostly territory. Told with a hard-edged bite of reality, Daylight Saving is harshly realistic for what is in fact a fantasy piece. The fantasy elements are almost secondary to Daniel’s personal struggles. The best parts of the novel are seen when Daniel is dealing with his father or various councillors, where the grim realities of life are juxtaposed against the fantasy he imagines with Lexi.
The story rushes along, which at times can be confusing for the reader. Daniel’s narrative voice races along as if trying to tell the story as quickly as possible. Certain elements remain unexplained or hurried, such as Daniel’s ability to see Lexi in the first place and her own explanation of her ‘condition’.
Despite this and despite not having quite enough chills for a ghost story, Daylight Saving was itself ‘saved’ by its strong characters and grit. Much like those characters, Daylight Saving is a compelling novel that propelled itself clearly through murky waters.