Title: Monday’s Not Coming
Author: Tiffany D. Jackson
Imprint: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: May 22, 2018
Series Details: Standalone
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult
Blurb from Goodreads:
Monday Charles is missing, and only Claudia seems to notice. Claudia and Monday have always been inseparable—more sisters than friends. So when Monday doesn’t turn up for the first day of school, Claudia’s worried. When she doesn’t show for the second day, or second week, Claudia knows that something is wrong. Monday wouldn’t just leave her to endure tests and bullies alone. Not after last year’s rumors and not with her grades on the line. Now Claudia needs her best—and only—friend more than ever. But Monday’s mother refuses to give Claudia a straight answer, and Monday’s sister April is even less help.
As Claudia digs deeper into her friend’s disappearance, she discovers that no one seems to remember the last time they saw Monday. How can a teenage girl just vanish without anyone noticing that she’s gone?
Trigger Warning: child abuse, domestic violence, homophobia, PTSD, bullying
Tiffany D. Jackson writes important and thought-provoking stories. She writes it in a very realistic way. She tackles some very important issues that happens in all parts of the world. And she doesn’t sugarcoat anything. In her stories, we see the tiny, ugly, dark holes in our society’s various systems.
In this book, Jackson brought yet another serious issue to the table—society turning a blind eye on possible signs of abuse until it was all too late. This one is a hot topic even in my country and I appreciate Jackson for writing this. But after Allegedly—which I loved—I was hoping for a stronger book. Monday’s Not Coming is no doubt a brave and incredibly important book but sadly it wasn’t as gripping as Jackson’s debut novel.
Rumors are born with legs that can run a mile in less than a minute.
Rumors eat up dreams without condiments.
Rumors do not have expiration dates.
Rumors can be deadly.
Rumors can get you killed.
The story follows Claudia who seems to be the only person who was worried when her best friend, Monday, stopped showing up at school. No one seems to know where Monday is. There’s no other means of contacting her but through her family who gives nothing but inconsistent information about her whereabouts. What’s sad is that the adults around Claudia—including police officers—seems to brush off her concerns about Monday’s disappearance.
“Sometimes the people we love the most can hurt us the most.”
The story has three alternating timelines. The “Before” which is when Claudia was only starting to suspect that there’s something terribly wrong about her best friend’s sudden disappearance. The “After” which is after they uncovered everything that happened. And the “Years Before the Before” which looked back to the important events in Claudia and Monday’s friendship.
And here’s where I started to have issues. The timeline gets a little confusing. The “Before” and the “After” almost felt like one timeline. There’s not much difference between them. So there were times when I have to go back to the beginning of a chapter just to check if I was reading the “Before” or the “After” part. The other chapter switches from “One Year Before the Before” to “Two Years Before the Before” and back again, which only adds to the confusion. It wasn’t until the big twist that this timeline arrangement started to make sense. But at this point, I’ve long given up on trying to track of where in Jackson’s timeline I am every time I’m in a new chapter. And “Before the Before” still sounds ridiculous.
Unlike Allegedly, this book doesn’t have much mystery because it was obvious what happened to Monday even early in the book. But just like Allegedly, I did not find the big reveal very shocking. It was something that I definitely did not expect but it didn’t come to me with an impact.
Overall, Monday’s Not Coming contains a very important subject matter. And it did great in putting the message out there. It’s sad that it wasn’t as gripping as I hoped, but I see that in its own way it is nudging the society, calling our attention, and teaching us to care more about each other. I’m still eager to read Jackson’s future works.