Books, Briefly: Heatwave

Another wave of “Books, Briefly” is here!

Title: Heatwave

Author: Victor Jestin

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

They were searching the sea because the sea was obviously violent and cold. The sand, by contrast, was too soft and warm; Oscar couldn’t be there. They’d gotten the wrong enemy, just like I’d mistaken the smiles and the laughter, the joy spreading along the paths.

Heatwave – Victor Jestin

READ IF YOU LIKE: Novellas (super short books!), coming-of-age plots, character-driven plots, The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, translated fiction (French)

MOOD: Literary, poignant, angsty

LikesDislikes
Mood-setting on a beach in FranceAmount of sexual references
Very short, quick readFocused primarily on the main character – I wanted to know more about the others!
Effective portrayal of emotions – like guilt and heartbreak – for a teenage boy

FINAL THOUGHTS: While some readers may be bored by the character-driven plot, Heatwave provides an in-depth character study over the span of 24-hours to analyze a teenage boy’s sense of guilt for his part in allowing a boy to kill himself. This novella helped get me through a reading slump between two larger books, and the hazy, warm, late-summer vibes of a French beach creates a sense of coziness before the start of Fall.

The awkward and angst-ridden main character – Leo – reminds me of Holden Caulfield in The Catcher in the Rye, so if you do not like that book, I would skip this one.

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