The Nest by Kenneth Oppel

the-nest-9781481432320_hrWhaaaat a weird book.  Now that I’m done with it, I guess it’s about a pre-teen with some severe mental disorders – anxiety for sure, but also possibly schizophrenia.  It is utterly disorienting to be in his brain, especially for me, because my reading habits predisposed me to think that this was fantastical.  I’m still not entirely sure it wasn’t.

Steve, the aforementioned pre-teen, has a history of anxiety and OCD-like symptoms.  They have taken a turn for the worse ever since his parents had an unhealthy baby that may or may not survive.  He’s always had nightmares, but now his dreams include a seemingly benevolent wasp who promises to replace his baby sibling….if only Steve will help them by opening the window and letting them in so they can do their work.

If that sounds ominous, IT REALLY IS.  Now, I have a negative tolerance for scary stuff, so perhaps I am overreacting.  But his dreams and the subtly shifts in the wasp’s tone from understanding to demanding really creeped me out.  Oppel does a phenomenal job allowing for Just Enough reality to make sense of Steve’s hallucinations…but then there are times it really does seem the wasps are relaying information to him while he’s asleep!

It’s super weird.  But it’s also super short, so I highly recommend you set aside a couple hours to read it and let me know how you made sense of it all.  

Book Jacket

She was very blurry, not at all human-looking.  There were huge dark eyes, and a kind of mane made of light, and when she spoke, I couldn’t see a mouth moving, but I felt her words, like a breeze against my face, and I understood her completely.

“We’ve come because of the baby,” she said.  “We’ve come to help.”

All Steve has to do is say, “Yes.”

But “yes” is a powerful word.  It is also a dangerous one.

And once it is uttered, can it be taken back?

Release Date:  September 2015

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