The Build-Up Season follows Iliad Piper. Seventeen, angry and at war with the world, as her name suggests. Living with her mother and grandmother hiding from her violent father Iliad struggles with personal relationships and letting people in, until she meets Jared, the principal’s son.
Full disclosure: overall I did not like this book. I forced my way through it although part of me did not want to continue. I do feel guilty at my harsh rating of this book but I can’t help the way I feel. I will tell you straight up that this is no criticism on this book or the writing, in fact I do want to read Jacobsen’s debut novel Yellow, my dislike comes from my personal reaction to the story. I did enjoy the character immensely. Mum, Nan, Mia and Max. They were all great, exuberant, memorable characters that I feel in love with. For the most part I enjoyed Ily too. Unique, defiant, not afraid to stand up for herself. I just disliked how much of an asshole she was. Personally I found the flaws of her character difficult to reconcile with, especially with the extremes she took it too. I mean, I get the misdirected anger don’t get me wrong but she was awful and took it way too far. I actually found Jared repulsive to read about. He was awful from pretty much the beginning and I just could not understand how Ily could not see it. Personally, for me to believe it more I would have liked to see a little more subtlety and intricacy in their relationship.
What I did love was that Jacobsen took on such a taboo and important subject in domestic violence. We need novels like this, particularly in YA, getting people talking about these issues and the general response to this novel was that it was done well. There are a plethora of positive reviews out there for this book and if you think it is something you will like I do urge you to give it a go. I wish I could have given it more but sadly it wasn’t a fit for me. I give The Build-Up Season two flowers, that Illy detests so much.