My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Life : an Exploded Diagram is transcendent. It is beyond. It is a book that should not be shelved under YA fiction, it is not a book that should be read solely by one demographic. In a very quiet way, this book is one of the best I’ve read this year.
But it’s not easy. It is reminiscent of Brideshead Revisited and Flambards and When the Wind Blows, with a plot that sprawls cinematically through a good few years, countries and perspectives and because of that self-aware scope, it’s not easy to get into. But oh my God, once you’re into it, you’re locked into it.
There’s a very lovely warmth in Peet’s writing all through this book. From the startling juxtapositions between massive world-shattering events and that moment where a boy meets a girl; it’s just so damn good. And he’s right. It doesn’t matter what’s happening in the world, the biggest of things may be happening, sometimes it doesn’t matter when you’re locked in a maelstrom of your own. I love his writing. I love how, on every page, there’s a fragment of the most beautiful images I’ve ever witnessed. The last pages in particular blew my mind more than a little. I howled. I’ll admit that right now, I howled.
This book took me from breath to breath, happiness to sadness and back again, and I was hook-caught every step of the way.