Monday, May 23, 2011

Unexpectedly Awesome




I read a description of Unexpectedly Milo by Matthew Dicks that sounded kind of fun: marital problems, OCD (including the need to sing "99 Luftballons"), a found video diary,and a quest to help the clearly troubled diarist.

Okay, in truth, you had me at "99 Luftballons."

Milo Slade has suffered from OCD most of his life. A childhood incident involving the need to pop a balloon impressed on him at an early age that he was irretrievably weird and would have to hide his proclivities.

He's been remarkably successful at doing so, to the point that his wife has no idea that he's OCD. But this need to hide himself away means that he hasn't really connected to his wife, who has become bored an frustrated. She begins asking for "space" and time apart but when Milo moves out while she's away, she's furious.

While at the park, Milo discovers a video camera and a bag of numbered tapes. When he watches the first tape, he discovers that it's a video diary. The making the tape believes that she's responsible for the recent of her best friend and still feels guilty about the childhood friend that she helped to run away who was never seen again.

Milo is captivated and yearns to make the on the tapes realize that it's not her fault, so he begins a quest to find the childhood friend who ran away and reunite the two.

Milo is awesome: kind, good-hearted, nerdy, and completely unable to see that he has hidden himself away from everyone in his life because of a condition that's not his fault. His quixotic quest is charming and forces him to begin to reveal his true self to others. The culmination of his quest is cathartic for all involved, and the epilogue is solid perfect.

Spend some time in Milo's company--you won't regret it.

(Matthew Dicks' Something Missing has definitely jumped to the top of my to-be-read list.)

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