Wasted by Nicola Morgan is a pretty unusual book. I bought it awhile back, after hearing a lot of buzz about it when it was first published, but I still felt a little bit unsure if it would be a book I'd enjoy. And when I finally did pick up Wasted, I was very pleasantly surprised.
The story is about two characters, Jack and Jess and their relationship, but what I find very different about this book is the third person narrator who gives little hints of foreboding as well as passing comments on the characters. At times, I felt like this narration style could easily become irritating, but it never quite reached that point for me. Because it's a style of writing I've not come across veru often, I found it pretty novel all the way through.
And aside from that, I also really felt for both Jack and Jess. They're both going through some difficult issues and how they are portrayed made me instantly care about these characters and all they are dealing with. Jack is a musician in a band, quite confident and good-looking, but he's also holding on to some pretty serious guilt after the deaths of his mother and his step-mother at a very early age. And Jess is a talented singer who has mostly given up on her dreams of going to music college in order to stay at home to look after her alcoholic mother. They meet by chance and Jack invites Jess to sing in his band. Fueled by the idea of singing in a band and spending more time with this hot guy she's attracted to, Jess says 'yes' but our narrator continually reminds the reader that Jack is in fact dangerous.
And dangerous things do end up happening. Jack introduces Jess to this game of luck that he plays. In order to organise the chaos in his life and to maintain some small level of control on the world who would take away both of his mothers, Jack allows decisions to be made on the flip of a coin. He has an entire reasoning behind it and believes in it in this desperate, gradually obsessive way. And as I watched Jack getting involved deeper into this game of luck, it was almost impossible for me to turn away. I cared about Jack, I cared about his new relationship with Jess and I really wanted everything to turn out OK. And as a reader, there were opportunities to take part in this story, to flip a coin and experience different outcomes. It was strange but fascinating.
I really found the ideas of luck and chance to be very compelling to read about, I love how emotionally involved I felt in Jack and Jess's lives and the way in which philosophy and really abstract ideas played a part in the novel. Wasted is a very different and enjoyable read, and I'm very happy that I gave this book a chance!