October - Michael Rowe

Mikey climbed into the Honda and turned the key in the ignition. He revved the engine, tossing mud up into the air as the car peeled out of the clearing and onto the road back to Auburn. He glanced down at the dashboard clock. It was one o’clock in the morning on the last day of September—or rather, the first day of October—and he had just bashed out the brains of an innocent, defenseless animal in order to cast a spell he’d found on the Internet to make the bullies in town suffer for having hurt him. Mikey felt he would vomit. He pulled the car to the side of the road and leaned out of the driver’s side door just as his stomach began to heave. All of this for nothing, he thought sickly, retching into the mud. I killed a living thing for nothing. Yeah, I’m a real sorcerer, aren’t I? I am Mikey Childress. Fear me. Christ almighty, what have I turned into? On the ride home it occurred to him that the best thing to do would be to drive off one of the cliffs and crash his mother’s car into a ravine. It would solve a lot of problems. At the same time, he suspected, he probably didn’t even have the courage for that.

This quote to me very represents the very best part of the book: the almost tangible despair and inner turmoil in the main character, whose life has been shaped by bullies of all kinds. 


With respect to the portrayal of bullying and the impact it can have on a person, October was great. 

What didn't work for me was the execution. The story felt rushed, most of the characters were a bit two dimensional, the plot and characters choices felt at many time ludicrous, and there were some other writing choices that made me either groan, roll my eyes, or want to heave.


Sure, this was a novella and had limitations of length to contend with, but to me the story just felt rushed and trying to do too much.


Not for me.