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Review: The Past is Red


The future is blue. Endless blue…except for a few small places that float across the hot, drowned world left behind by long-gone fossil fuel-guzzlers. One of those patches is a magical place called Garbagetown.

Tetley Abednego is the most beloved girl in Garbagetown, but she’s the only one who knows it. She’s the only one who knows a lot of things: that Garbagetown is the most wonderful place in the world, that it’s full of hope, that you can love someone and 66% hate them all at the same time.

But Earth is a terrible mess, hope is a fragile thing, and a lot of people are very angry with her. Then Tetley discovers a new friend, a terrible secret, and more to her world than she ever expected.


Rating: 1 out of 5.

Normally once you’ve read one of an author’s books, you have a pretty decent idea of what to expect from the next ones. It is very rare for an author to be in the 1-3 side of a bracket for one book and then the 3-5 bracket for another. Valente is one of the very few authors I have read that I have both 5 and 1 star reviews for.

She has written some of my all time favorite pieces and some of the worst things I have ever been unfortunate enough to come across. However, I can’t say that this is a criticism of her. She is an extremely experimental author and when you are so open to new ideas and styles, its unreasonable to expect that every single one is going to be a hit.

For me, this was a miss. It is a first-person, stream of conscious, South Park style satire that I could not connect with. It was honestly one of the hardest books to not zone out on practically the moment I opened it and felt like a slough from page one.

While this is the 2nd book this year that I cannot recommend of Valente’s, I still feel comfortable recommending her as an author. This is a miss, but Six-Gun Snow White, Deathless, and Radiance certainly are not.