As point of proof of what I was saying in my last review, The Realm of Possibilitywill be remembered (by me) for its concept, not its characters or story. As it says over on Goodreads: “One school. Twenty voices. Endless possibilities.” That is, if by “endless possibilities” they mean “endless possibilities for insipid teenage angst (written in free verse).”
The Realm of Possibility is the literary equivalent of the “lyrics” I wrote back when I was in high school, when my aspiration was to become a professional lyricist and I called myself Electic Makeshift, since I thought my name having a made-up word would set me apart. I say this because I was as put off by it as I was by my own words when I came across one of my old notebooks in the basement years back.
Every last one of these teenaged morons thinks they’re William Shakespeare, that they have something heart-breakingly profound to say and are equipped (and qualified), at this stage in their life, to say it. And they’re all wrong to think that, each and every one of them. I’m okay with portraying teenagers, angst included, but I don’t want all angst, all the time, which is what this book is. I especially don’t want to see it as told through free verse that I can’t help but think would look a lot better were it put into normal paragraphs and followed normal grammatical conventions.
That’s something Levithan simply cannot allow, however. No, he must be the cleverest and spend all his time flaunting it. I think he just needs to put on some Queen and not try so hard.
Travis Smith’s blog, containing this review, as well as others, photography, and more, can be found here.