Quick review for a quick read. This book hit me like a sucker-punch to the gut in several moments. I had some context to the inspiration by this book, and I had an idea about what would happen to the novel’s namesake character, but not quite how the novel would progress for events. It starts out like a story between two best friends, where one friend – Monday – suddenly goes missing without anyone really asking about her whereabouts. Claudia, the viewpoint character in this novel, is doggedly determined to find out what happened to Monday, but what she finds along the way in unraveling the mystery is far more horrible in its truth than she can really come to terms with.
The choice to move between past and present throughout the narrative didn’t bother me, especially since it gave a fine portrait of Claudia’s character development and interactions with the cast of characters and a plethora of conflicts that felt realistic and identifiable. Claudia’s voice is strongly asserted and I honestly felt for her in the mix of many events where she’s mistreated, left confused and angry. It’s not even the fact that this has a very distinct unreliable narration that throws what the reader thinks they know and what turns out to be the truth. The continued questioning of Monday’s fate kept my interest and momentum with the book, though certain lulls in the story did drag the pacing. I think it took a little too long to get to the “big” reveal, while resolution of the pieces of the story together came too fast in comparison to the build-up. I had this issue with Jackson’s last book, but still enjoyed the story. “Monday’s Not Coming” has emotional moments that feel real for grief, trauma, and psychological tension – but I think if the overarching plot reveal had been more even, this would’ve been a stronger book. I did enjoy the audiobook narration by Imani Parks, the overarching mystery and blending of real world conflicts and experiences as well as the voice of the primary character, but I wish it’d felt a little smoother and cohesive for presentation.
Overall score: 3.5/5 stars.