Monday, August 11, 2014
Book Review: The End or Something Like It by Ann Dee Ellis
Author: Ann Dee Ellis
Enjoyment Rating: ***
Content Alert: Nothing objectionable that I remember
Kim knew she was dying, and she made her best friend Emmy promise to watch out for her. Emmy was reluctant and creeped out by everything, but eventually she promised. In the year since she died, Emmy has seen plenty of other dead people, like her creepy teacher, but she hasn't seen Kim. Even though the idea of seeing Kim repels her almost as much as it fascinates her, she also feels a responsibility to Kim, and sees it as a chance to get outside of her crappy teenage existence.
The End or Something Like It is emblematic of Ellis's signature style. She uses short sentences, paragraphs, and chapters and features characters whose teenage lives are complicated. Emmy is overweight and unpopular. She resents the way Kim ditches her for other friends even as she's dying. Ellis does a great job capturing Las Vegas in the story, and in showing Emmy's angst, but sometimes I want a little more lushness in the language of her stories.