Publish date- 2013.
Publisher- Strange Chemistry.
(A Brief) Synopsis:
A mysterious, twisting tale of two people, a young girl being brought up a lady, and a closed off boy who has run away to the circus. Their stories intertwine and with each revelation of truth comes a fight to keep a hard won freedom.
What I thought:
Pantomime was so much more than I hoped it would be, than I anticipated it would be. It's kind of one of those books you want to discuss at length, to think about deeply in the quiet of your mind and consider how profound and gorgeous it is. I've wanted to read it for years (thanks, Cayce!) and now that I have I am past pleased. Offline, I'm fairly quiet on the book front, but I talked about this one. My passion was so strong for it.
Pantomime tells two stories about one person. There is Micha Grey, a 16 year old who had fled their old life and, miraculously, joins a circus; and Iphegenia, or Gene, a girl bought up to be a lady, despite the fact she doesn't feel it, doesn't want it. They're told through alternate chapters and I loved both distinct voices. Neither Micha or Gene necessarily identify as female or male, which was so fantastic to read about, and their sexuality is something they're also discovering and comprehending. It was done supremely well.
The scale of acceptance Micha and Gene have to go through, both with others and within themselves, was written in a truly touching manner. Laura Lam's skill was truly marvellous and the fact that gender identity and also sexual preference weren't really the main story but at the same time weren't ignored, not at all, was just incredible and exactly what I think we need more of.
Not only did I enjoy both chapters (which is a rarity), but the world was vivid, even if we were rather confined within it, and so intriguing. I did have a few issues with the pacing, at times, where it would rush forward and a build up could've been a benefit, and also there were a handful of noticeable spelling mistakes, which made it feel overall less finalised.
The ending is this massive rush and I was afraid and didn't know how much was true and the emotion + worry I felt was true for the care I held for this story, although I still don't know exactly how I feel about it. It's big and changes lots of things and one element makes it feel convenient, but it was also pretty fantastically done. Like the whole book.
Pantomime was gorgeous and memorable and exactly what I wanted, plus some.
Rating: Excellent/Big explosion MIND BLOWN.
Exquisite. I cared for the world and the characters. The stakes are high, the feeings were true and fully explored, and it was just so darn good.