Title: Monday’s Not Coming
Author: Tiffany D. Jackson
Published: May 22, 2018
TW: child abuse
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?
I read Tiffany D. Jackson’s first book, ALLEGEDLY, last year when it came out and had high hopes for her further releases. Let me tell you, MONDAY’S NOT COMING did not disappoint. It was equally harrowing, disturbing, twisty and turny, important, and amazingly written as ALLEGEDLY and now I’m convinced I’ll be reading all of her books. Here are some of my thoughts about the story:
- The setting was really vivid. Usually, I find that contemporary novel’s settings are unimportant and interchangeable and that the story could happen anywhere and be the same. With MONDAY, the author’s depiction of the Washington, DC setting really added to the book and the suspense. Her descriptions covered not only what each part of DC that is in the book looked like, but also the politics behind DC including especially gentrification, mixed in with bits about DC history, most prominently the parts about go-go music.
- Claudia was a fully developed character. Obviously you’d hope that the protagonist of a novel is well-developed, but in most stories I’ve read that focus on a best friend or another character, the person narrating the story can often get left behind in terms of characterization. I liked that even though Monday was super important to the story, we still knew more about Claudia from just her personality to her nail painting talent to the unique way she saw things and people as colors. Claudia’s character was complex and nuanced in ways that made the story all the more rich and interesting to read.
- The relationships were all unique and complex. Something else that made the story great was that even though it is focused on Claudia’s friendship with Monday, other relationships in her life were still deeply explored. My favorite was her relationship with her and Monday’s teacher, Ms. Valente. It was also great to see a positive, supportive family in a YA book, since YA can get a little absentee-parent-y at times.
- I didn’t like one of the twists. I really dislike it when a character’s mental health becomes a plot twist in a book. I feel like it’s a really cheap storytelling device that’s also pretty problematic and insensitive to people with mental illness. This particular plot twist also didn’t feel needed because there were so many other twists and honestly it was suspenseful and shocking enough without anything added.
- I wished Claudia and Monday’s relationship had been portrayed as more complex. Before Monday disappears, there is an incident that does complicate her relationship with Claudia, but it is not extensively explored. I think Jackson was trying to show readers that Claudia might not have known Monday as well as she thought, but I wish that was more fully explored throughout the entire story so we got hints of it all along and not just through other characters in the book.
- The final reveal is shocking. The whole story is obviously building up to Claudia finding out what really happened to Monday, and to avoid spoilers, all I will say is that the ending is disturbing and shocking and is the exact opposite of anticlimactic.
All in all this was a very impressive sophomore novel from a very impressive author who I will for sure be reading more of. Tiffany D. Jackson’s books deserve SO MUCH HYPE and I will recommend them forever to anyone looking for thrillers with a little something different.