In this creative collaboration, six wildly different teens become unlikely friends after destiny brings them together one day in an elevator and a certain incident cements their fates as forever-entwined. It would take a hard-core fan to pick out which successful YA author wrote each of the main characters, whether it’s Kaitlyn the witty but insecure teen hiding a vision impairment, Dawson the has-been child star or perhaps Joe, a working-class lad with big dreams. While the collaboration runs the risk of feeling disjointed, surely a unified tone with seven writers is an impossible task, the changes in style and pace are softened by not only the jumps between point of view, but also clever formatting. Finally, an objective and omniscient narrator unifies the story.
This is an uplifting and often humorous tale despite being rooted in the serious issues it tackles such as sexuality, heartbreak, bereavement and character building set-backs. The constantly evolving passage of time affords an emotive distance and allows for major developments while also being forgiving on less likeable characters by giving them the space for growing-up and ultimately, achieving redemption. How can seven well-known authors find one voice in a collaborative novel? Well, this is how.