Pop culture, the supernatural and a strong female lead are three of the top five attributes that usually make a book become one that I love. There are exceptions to the rule of my preferences, but a quick glance over my top five books of all-time would garner a check, check, check to those three things being a part of each of the five. I also will be quick to tell you that the strong female lead I mentioned before needs not be perfect, because flaws and the survival of dysfunction, whether it stem from the internal of the external, usually just makes me love her more. I will admit the characters I can root for, cringe with, and relate to are the ones I tend to tuck into my heart and forever remember, no matter how self-indulgent that may sound.
Autumn Brody is one that has found a place in the circus tent of characters that play around in my psyche, forever part of my literary fictional psyche, and Change of Season will find its spot in my list of best books.
Autumn is in the midst of a major transition as she moves into a boarding school, bringing along with her the baggage of a terrible secret and the burden of responsibility that this secret has created. She is trying to move forward, while also attempting to keep herself hidden and isolated. In the midst of her “take no prisoners” mentality she both makes friends and possibly loses her mind. Is her new school actually haunted, or is this a final split from reality breakdown that she seems to expect to come and get her. Is sixteen –year-old Autumn in more danger now, in her school of both rehabilitation and the arts, then she was from the secret past she is so driven to escape from? Is it something supernatural that is haunting and possibly coming for her? Is it the horror of an abusive ex-boyfriend who may be keeping his promise of finding her no matter what or where? Or, is it all in her mind?
There is something so delicious in riding along in the quest to find what is real, and what is not.
Along with Autumn, who I had such an immediate kinship and connection with; Change of Season introduces an array of colorful and unforgettable characters, my other favorites Miraj, Emma, Andrew and Veronica. And all the pop culture, most notably in the musical (and musical theatre) variety, though potentially polarizing to some readers, was reason to celebrate and obsessively page-turn, to me. A.C. Dillon is a skilled storyteller, with a gift for dynamic characters and scene setting, both in vivid details and fitting referenced soundtrack, that give this first novel so much electricity. This is a worth the time invested kind of read that may very well turn you into an insomniac, much like Autumn, if for no other reason than you will not be able to stop reading.
I know I could not stop, and I am already missing Autumn quite a lot.