Early on in A. S. King's brilliant new novel, I surrendered. I resigned to not being able to figure out whether a scene or conversation or character was real, imagined, or something in between. And it was exhilarating. I lost my fear of the unknown, of not understanding. So it goes with the four teenagers in I Crawl Through It, struggling through trauma, shame, and anxiety by using their imaginations, emotional shields, and each other. King writes with breathtaking disregard to the rules of reality, balancing just close enough to a world we understand that when the friends fly away in an invisible helicopter, turn inside out into a digestive extract, or grow Pinocchio-like hair with every lie, it doesn't feel far-fetched. It feels like guilt, confusion, stress, and real experience. I Crawl Through It is a smart, brave, heart-wrenching conception about navigating high school and emotional turmoil, commanding complete attention until the last page is turned.
Four teenagers are on the verge of exploding. The anxieties they face at every turn have nearly pushed them to the point of surrender: senseless high-stakes testing, the lingering damage of past trauma, the buried grief and guilt of tragic loss. They are desperate to cope, but no one is listening.
So they will lie. They will split in two. They will turn inside out. They will even build an invisible helicopter to fly themselves far away...but nothing releases the pressure. Because, as they discover, the only way to truly escape their world is to fly right into it.
The genius of acclaimed author A.S. King reaches new heights in this groundbreaking work of surrealist fiction; it will mesmerize readers with its deeply affecting exploration of how we crawl through traumatic experience--and find the way out.
About the Author
A.S. King is the author of the highly acclaimed books Glory O'Brien's History of the Future;Reality Boy; Ask the Passengers, a Los Angeles Times Book Prize winner; Everybody Sees the Ants; and the Edgar Award nominated, Michael L. Printz Honor book Please Ignore Vera Dietz. She lives in Pennsylvania.
Praise for I Crawl Through It:
A Booklist Editor's Choice Book of 2015 A Booklist Top 50 YA Audiobook Novels of All Time
"I Crawl Through It proves that A.S. King is one of the most innovative and talented novelists of our time. This is King's masterpiece--a brilliant, paranoid, poetic, funny, and at times overwhelmingly sad literary cocktail of absinthe and Adderall. What a trip!"—Andrew Smith, acclaimed author of Winger and Grasshopper Jungle
* "At once a statement on the culture of modern schools as well as mental health issues, this novel is an ambitious, haunting work of art."—School Library Journal, starred review
*"Masterfully written and brilliantly bizarre, this is King at her most innovative yet."—VOYA, starred review
*"Beautiful prose, poetry, and surreal imagery combine for an utterly original story that urges readers to question, love, and believe--or risk explosion."—Booklist, starred review
*"King's novel blends the magical and the mundane in a deadpan delivery
that makes it difficult to tell one from the other. This, of course, is
the point of her ambitious and affecting work."—The Horn Book, starred review
*"It's bizarre, compelling, and not like anything else."—Publishers Weekly, starred review
"A meditation on grief, guilt, and survival.... Readers [will be] rewarded with the self-actualization of finely wrought characters.... Absolutely worthwhile."—KirkusReviews