After an “incident” and a suicide attempt, Hunter finds himself heading to Camp Sunshine, the happiest place on earth and haven for depressed teens. Once he arrives, he meets fellow camper, Corin, who hatches a plan to break out of camp. In helping with the plan, Hunter ends up going deep within himself to figure out if he plans to run from the incident that got him to the camp in the first place or if he wants to stay and face it head on.
This is a totally different book from what the #cjsreads crew typically reads and, I’ll have to admit, when I first read the synopsis, I was hesitant. I had some serious issues with Thirteen Reasons Why and that whole craze earlier this year, so I wasn’t sure what to expect as I delved into a book about teen suicide. However, the tagline for this book stated it was The Bell Jar meets Chuck Palahniuk. I was intrigued but a little bit confused. “What a combination that would be”, I thought to myself. So, my curiosity got the best of me and I dived in. Now that I have finished Sunshine is Forever by Kyle T. Cowan, I totally get it.
Given the subject matter, it is no surprise that this narrative is raw and honest but it is also, ironically, pretty funny. Using dark humour, Cowan’s narrative prose completely stood out using Hunter’s narrative voice. As he discussed his insecurities, his feelings, and his everyday life, I found myself accepting the information as if he was an old friend. I don’t usually read YA, simply because I don’t usually enjoy it nor can I relate. However, I found something different about this one. Perhaps the subject matter made it seem more mature? I’m not sure but I had no issues flying through the pages.
In my line of work, I often come across teens with suicidal ideations and I found the perspective of this book incredibly eye opening. You can read textbooks for days on the subject but this account felt so honest and real, it actually felt like it gave me a better understanding.
4/5 stars from me!
Thanks to the author and the publisher for a copy of this novel; it was my pleasure to provide an honest review.
Want to see if the other #cjsreads book appreciated this book as much as I did? Keep reading to see what they thought about Sunshine Is Forever.