Book Review: I Crawl Through It

I Crawl Through It
By: A.S. King
Published By: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: September 22, 2015
Page Count: 336
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher via Edelweiss
Audience/Genre: YA Surrealist/Contemporary Fiction

I wish I could give this book 17 million stars, or birdies as it were. A.S. King is a genius, and I desperately want to know how her brain works because I can't even BEGIN to fathom creating this odd, surreal, wonderful world. This book won't be for everyone, not even a little, but it was for me.

To quote the friend on Goodreads whose review prompted me to pick this one up: "You cannot over think this one. Just read it, take it for what it's worth, and appreciate how tremendously unique it is." Just let it be, and allow this wonderfully written book to transport you to a world of imaginary helicopters that can only be seen on Tuesdays (and sometimes not even then), girls who swallow themselves, and dangerous bush men who give you letter in exchange for kisses.

I'm rarely at a loss when writing a review, but in this case, I'm not sure I can tell you anything plot-wise about the book that will make sense. I Crawl Through It follows four people through a surreal, magical world not unlike our own, where students take standardized test after standardized test, lock-down drills happen so frequently teachers opt to teach outside because they're out more than they're in, and teenagers are often left to discover themselves and their world far sooner than they should.

I hate making comparisons, but if you enjoy movies like Being John Malkovich, Magnolia, Fargo, The House of Yes, Mulholland Drive, or Memento, you will love this book. I can't recall anything I've ever read that takes it surrealism as seriously as I Crawl Through It does, as seriously as the movies listed above do. And I want more! I liked A.S. King before this book, now I love her.  I love her like frogs falling from the sky like rain, invisible red helicopters that can only be seen on a Tuesday, and dangerous bush man's glittery lowercase e. (If you read the book or have seen Magnolia, maybe you'll understand.)

Summary via Goodreads

Four talented teenagers are traumatized-coping with grief, surviving trauma, facing the anxiety of standardized tests and the neglect of self-absorbed adults—and they'll do anything to escape the pressure. They'll even build an invisible helicopter, to fly far away to a place where everyone will understand them... until they learn the only way to escape reality is to fly right into it.


  1. I am insanely intrigued. Nobody does surreal YA fiction. I want this book and I want it now!

  2. I think I would have a hard time reviewing this book as well. I didn't even know how many stars to give it on GR. I love A.S. King, but this book went over my head.

  3. You had me at "I wish I could give this book 17 million stars." I like books that make me THINK, and it seems like I Crawl Through It would do that.


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