Reasons for Inclusion: Tyler is gay, Connor is homoromantic and asexual.
When Tyler became Connor’s interpreter, he thought all that entailed was translating the Prophet’s cryptic messages about future events.
However, it doesn’t take him long to realize Connor needs more than that. First and foremost, he needs a friend, someone who will stand up for him at the Academy, the elite school they both attend and where Connor, despite his talent, is far from popular. He also needs someone who understands that, for him, the talent of prophecy is a curse he would get rid of if he only could, a curse that pushes him toward substance abuse and oblivion.
It also doesn’t take Tyler very long before he starts seeing Connor as more than a friend, and he’s lucky enough to have Connor return his feelings. Just as things begin to settle down, however, the arrival of a new Prophet at the Academy threatens Connor’s hard-won and still-fragile peace of mind.
Through it all, Tyler is all too aware that every day brings Connor closer to being eighteen, the age of his prophesized death, two years after their first meeting.
This story grabbed my attention right away. A boy who can see the future but speaks only in riddles, and the boy trying to protect both of them in the face of seemingly inevitable disaster.
I really liked the chapter style. The book was told in snippets, some going on for pages, some no longer than a paragraph. The important events and emotions came across without being slowed down by the need to transition from scene to scene. It suited the plot perfectly: a collection of scenes is how a life really feels, and it’s how Connor sees the future.
The characters’ emotions were honest, both the good ones and the bad ones. Tyler struggles with his attraction to Connor, Connor fights doubt and despair about his abilities. Things about Connor’s life were revealed slowly, while he continued to hold his own, refusing to become a figure of pity. Tyler’s devotion, dedication, and uncertainty all rang true and impacted the story.
I felt some parallels between Connor and autistic characters. Talking in a way that’s incomprehensible to most, having specific interests, disliking arbitrary social stuff, facing bullying from people who don’t understand. Tyler can interpret for him, so the communication problem is minimized, but the officials who want to make use of Connor’s abilities still take no account of his wants or feelings.
I’m looking forward to more from this author!