Publisher: Astra Publishing House
Page Count: 272
Release Date: October 17, 2023
*I was provided with an eARC by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!*
CW: depression, suicide, poverty, death of loved ones, emotional abuse
I’m pretty sure I heard about Jonathan Abernathy You Are Kind via Twitter. It didn’t have a cover yet – and I can’t say that this is the cover I pictured for it – but I immediately added it to my TBR and jumped at the chance of reading an advance copy. So, I’m grateful for that opportunity.
From the beginning, the narrator’s voice is quirky and presents Jonathan Abernathy with all his lovable traits and flaws to us. Abernathy is quite the indecisive and passive character, an anxious yet optimistic people-pleaser on top of that. All of which makes sense considering his history, while simultaneously making him quite infuriating at times. Possibly that is why I found it hard to connect with him and the other characters. Or, maybe, it’s because we were being told so much of what was happening.
Don’t get me wrong, some stories need you to tell instead of show things. I totally get that, but here I felt we were told everything – even the things that didn’t end up happening.
Regardless of how much I actually connected with the characters, I thought that the concept was really fascinating. As a vivid dreamer myself, I loved exploring other peoples dreams and what taking them away meant for them. Even if all of this is fiction, I can see some truth behind it. Add the hard-hitting realities of poverty and capitalism, and you have quite the mix. I definitely mean it as a compliment when I say that I got Black Mirror and Severance vibes while reading the novel, albeit Abernathy tried to keep it more upbeat.
In the end, I found the story and its themes really interesting. It was a quick read that muddled reality and dreams in the later stages, offering a hard-hitting resolution. I wish I had connected with it a bit more, but I still think it offers a lot of food for thought. Maybe I’ll even dream about it …
Fazit: 3/5 stars! Interesting for sure!