All Tom’s friends really are superheroes. Tom even married a superhero, the Perfectionist. But at their wedding the Perfectionist is hypnotized by her ex, Hypno, to believe that Tom is invisible. Nothing he does can make her see him.
Six months later the Perfectionist is sure that Tom has abandoned her, so she’s moving to Vancouver. She’s going to use her superpower to leave all the heartbreak behind. With no idea that Tom is beside her she boards the plane: Tom has until they touch down to convince her he’s there, or he loses her forever…
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I loved this. I really, really loved this. Just because a book is short, that doesn’t mean it’s going to be quick or easy or enjoyable to read – but this was all three. I was smiling from the very beginning when then book opens in Toronto’s Pearson airport (it’s always fun when you can point and say, “I’ve been there!”) and I was smiling throughout the pages of apt descriptions of the people who walk in and out of your life, only in this book, their faults and attributes are portrayed as real super powers.
I don’t read a lot (any) magical realism, so I’m not sure whether this book fits that genre, but it’s certainly whimsical yet totally relatable. And it may have been this aspect of the story that reminded me of one of my favourite TV shows, Pushing Daisies, because about halfway through reading I suddenly realised that I was using the Pushing Daisies narrator as my own narrator for the story. I’ll be honest, just as a good narrator can improve the experience of an audiobook, the story was made that much more enjoyable by this inadvertent addition.
When I read this, I was reading for the story. I needed to know whether The Perfectionist would ever see Tom again. The whole time, I knew that I should have been paying more attention to what was being said about the other characters but in the end I know I didn’t give them the attention they deserved. This is a book that demands a reread to be fully appreciated, and that is a demand to which I will happily acquiesce.