It's always exciting to see a first-timer with major talent appear on the scene, and author Barry Jonsberg is all that and more. This is a passionate, complex, humorous, and moving story with some satisfying plot twists and a truth that is only gradually revealed. Told in the first person by Calma, it has a witty, sardonic voice and gritty realism.
It also has plenty of rookie mistakes. The narrative goes off in too many directions, and the pointlessly ambiguous ending will frustrate many readers. Jonsberg also seems determined, as many first-time authors are, to throw in every good idea he's ever had: funny horoscope entries, imagined movie dialogue, flashbacks, last-minute revelations, comedy, tragedy, letters, essays, etc. But the core of the story, Calma's and Kiffo's friendship, feels authentic and touching, and it remains in the reader's thoughts after the last page is turned.