Tuesday, April 09, 2019

The Infinite Lives of Maisie Day

Edge, Christopher. The Infinite Lives of Maisie Day
April 9th 2019 by Delacorte Press
E ARC from Edelweiss Plus

Maisie is excited to wake up on the morning of her tenth birthday, because she knows that her parents are throwing her a big party, complete with gazebo and lots of food, to make up for the fact that she has few friends. She's very bright, and taking Open University classes instead of going to the local primary school. This is okay with Maisie, but seems to irritate her fifteen year old sister, Lily, very much. In the first chapter, though, we are introduced to a very different world than Maisie's real one-- her house sits on a vast plane of nothingness, and no one is there. In alternating chapters, we see two very different stories played out. In one, Maisie's birthday proceeds as normal with house cleaning, errand running, and snacks being prepared. She even spends a little more time with Lily, whom she loves but feels estranged from. In the other chapters, we experience Maisie's discombobulation as nothing in her world seems real. When these two worlds converge, it's a story worthy of The Twilight Zone, but I don't want to spoil the surprise twists!\
Strengths: This was a page turner, and the ending was brilliant. Not one, but two twists! It reminded me of Bradbury's All Summer in a Day, since it combined every day sorts of things with a terrifying twist. My students like that very much when they read it in class, so I think I could get them interested in this.
Weaknesses: Very few tween readers want to read about super bright children; Lily could have been irritated with Maisie for any number of readers. I guess it was a good way to fit in all of the science background, though.
What I really think: This read more like a short story, so will be good for students who really like science fiction or who are being forced to read it but don't like it. It may take some explaining to get students to pick it up and stick with it, but I'm definitely purchasing a copy, since it was extremely clever, and had a fair amount of horror (but also sparkly birthday trappings).

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