Five thoughts about The Impossible Fortress by Jason Rekulak –
01. It’s full of glorious eighties details (so beautifully accurate that I’m wondering if it’s a tiny bit autobiographical…?).
We played marathon games of Risk and Monopoly that dragged on for days and always ended with one angry loser flipping the board off the table. We argued about music and movies; we had passionate debates over who would win in a brawl: Rocky Balboa or Freddy Krueger? Bruce Springsteen or Billy Joel? Magnum P.I. or T. J. Hooker or MacGyver?*
02. There’s an innocence to this story which is kinda sweet and funny… Which is odd given that it’s the story of a group of boys trying to get their hands on a copy of Playboy.
“She’s sitting on a windowsill, like this? And she’s leaning outside. Like she’s checking the weather? Only she’s not wearing pants!”
“That’s impossible,” Clark said. The three of us all lived on the same block, and over the years we’d learned that Alf was prone to exaggeration.
03. Because it’s a YA novel set in the eighties, I’m concerned that it won’t reach an appreciative audience (because YA) and it won’t be appreciated by its intended audience (where do Millennials stand on the eighties – daggy? Retro? What’s the eighties?).
04. The dialogue between the boys is well done. Nice to see a YA book about ‘relationships’ (with a male focus), fills a niche.
“How about U2?” Clark suggested. Alf shook his head. “One-hit wonder,” he said dismissively. “I’m thinking Cutting Crew.”
05. There’s a whole bunch of stuff about computer coding in this story (it’s actually a critical part of the plot). Anyhoo, I know nothing about coding but I love the fact that the fictional game the characters talk about, was actually made. Cool beans.
3.5/5 Will be sending this book by the way of my 15-year-old son. Yes, even though it’s about Playboy.
I received my copy of The Impossible Fortress from the publisher, Faber & Faber, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.
*Balboa, Springsteen, Magnum
The three friends snack on pop tarts – try these homemade ones.