4.5 stars rounded up, because genuine tears and laughs are the most precious things, aren’t they? Midnight at the Electric relates several stories entwined, stories about loss and courage and hope and choices. You jump straight into new characters’ lives and you just care instantly and isn’t it baffling? When I see that I can read an entire book without giving a damn whatsoever and that Jodi Lynn Anderson manages to create a connection between her characters and I in the span of 2 pages, I feel awed.
“The longer I live, ” she looked up at the ceiling, “the more I think our big mistakes are not about having bad intentions, but just not paying attention. Just bumbling along, a little self-absorbed.”
I want to label this book as slow and then I don’t, because I’ve noticed that people associate slow and quiet to long and boring and that just won’t do. At no moment did I feel anything but enthralled, yet that’s true that’s Midnight at the Electric isn’t an action-packed novel.
Action-packed, again an adjective that annoys me, because there’s nothing that frustrates me more than trying to explain how futile actions are when it comes to pacing. A novel can be filled with events and a chore to get through all the same. Another – and yes yes yes I’m talking about this beauty – can be one million times more compelling even if it mostly deals with relationships and all that we humans ever feel and dream or fear.
“Lily shrugged. “I think that’s what you say when you can’t have something you want, isn’t it? You say you don’t want it in the first place.”
Above everything, Midnight at the Electric explores the strings that hold ourselves back. Does leaving is breaking them or is that another thing entirely? This question has been at the heart of my early years as an adult, and at 32 now, the only thing I can say is that I’ve found my answer, but that I genuinely believe that there’s no such thing as an universal one. Go and find yours.
Jodi Lynn Anderson‘s writing is stunning in all the ways that count for me, emotional without forcing and filled with these thoughtful moments that ring so true, as Leonore’s definition of grief :
“Sadness is only something that’s part of you. Grief becomes you; it wraps you up and changes you and makes everything – every little thing – different than it was before.”
The quote above is why I’ll always come back to her books, even if the subjects don’t appeal to me at first glance : because I know that in the end, her stories are so full of life that they’ll always contain little parts of me, they’ll always perfectly capture that feeling of possibility, and isn’t that the most magical side of life? I guess they just inspire me, and I can’t say that’s true for many books. I can’t recommend them enough.