Another wave of “Books, Briefly” is here!
Author: Victor Jestin
“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
|Mood-setting on a beach in France||Amount of sexual references|
|Very short, quick read||Focused 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.