The Many Half-Lived Lives of Sam Sylvester - Maya MacGregor

Cover belongs to Astra Publishing House
 and Maya MacGregor

Sam Sylvester is a non-binary teenager with autism, who moves to a new town. Thirty years before this, a boy died in the house they are moving into. Many think his death was not an accident. Sam wants to figure this mystery out while starting their life in a new place. A new beginning is very much needed after some traumatic events in their previous hometown.

This book did not disappoint! I love some good mysteries that need to be solved. Halfway through the book, I was not sure whether I wanted to rate it 3 or 4 stars. I decided to rate it four stars because of the ending. I’ll explain everything in this review. My advice, check the triggers before reading the book!

First, the characters. Wow, they are well written. Sam is awesome. I think they could make a lot of people feel represented. Their backstory is impressive and well thought through. It is tied to the story, and I’m so happy that at the beginning of the book you are informed about their past, but you are told what is necessary to know at that moment. You get bits and pieces throughout the story and eventually, everything makes sense. It all unfolds when the time comes for details to become important. The relationship between Sam and their dad is so lovely. Their dad is the sweetest, and I think I can say that everyone wants a dad like him! So supporting!

Shep and Sky are Sams friends, but I do not love both of them. Shep was amazing, such a great character with her own problems, but also so accepting and supporting. I really liked her, she might even have been my favourite character. Sky, not so much, I often forgot he was part of the story and this made me feel like he was not that important for the story. I feel like we get to know Shep way better than we get to know Sky. I would have liked for him to get more time in the story. More about him. 

As I said before check the trigger warnings for this book. It is intense, the harassment Sam goes through and their past. I can imagine this could trigger someone. So no harm in checking those out. It is not a heavy read though, but I think it is important to keep this in mind.

The reason I rated it four stars instead of three? The ending. I did not expect that and It really baffled me. I actually was reading this on the train whilst on my way to meet a friend and when I arrived there was so much happening, I just wanted to keep reading. Looking back, there were definitely some clues that could have pointed you to how it was ending, but I did not figure that out. 

The reason I did not give it five stars? I had to get used to the writing style. Not necessarily a bad thing, but it took me a while to get into the book, because of the way it was written. It did not grasp my attention at first. But eventually, maybe halfway through the book, I could not let go of the story.

The book is set to be published on March 3, 2022.