The Impossible Fortress by Jason Rekulak immediately drew my interest because of its amusing and somewhat odd synopsis, and the novel itself ended up being an enjoyable journey.
Three teenage boys (Will, Alf, and Clark) hatch an elaborate plan to steal Playboy magazines from a store because Vanna White’s NSFW photos are being featured. Their plan hinges on Will basically seducing Mary Zelinsky, whose father owns the store where the coveted magazines are sold.
The plot starts to go completely off the rails when Will and Mary become good friends, bonding over their love for computer programming.
There were moments when I shook my head in disbelief over Will and his friends’ stupid decisions, and other times where I remembered how painfully awkward it was to be 14 years old. (I wouldn’t go back in time for all the money in the world, that’s for sure.)
But how could I explain the truth? I still didn’t understand it myself; I didn’t know the words to explain it.
– The Impossible Fortress
Being a teenager in itself is an “impossible fortress” — we make some pretty stupid decisions when we’re young and tend to wreck things even more when we try to fix them.
Will’s journey is full of screw-ups and stupid decisions, and that makes him a really endearing protagonist. Even when he makes the worst possible move with the girl he refuses to admit his interest in, somehow he’s still likeable (that doesn’t mean I didn’t want to smack him over the head with a keyboard a few times).
Its take on friendship is probably my favorite. Friendship is never black and white, and certainly never simple. But when you’ve really met the ones you click with, whether that’s at 14 or 34 years old, you’re in it together through the weirdest and wackiest parts of life.
From the magazine heist gone unbelievably wrong to the downright strange decision to break into a Catholic high school for girls, this novel ended up being a fun and entertaining read once the pieces all began coming together.
Admittedly, the story’s message did take some time to manifest itself, but the warm–if somewhat predictable– ending is worth the wait.
The Impossible Fortress is available for preorder now, and will be available at retailers for purchase on February 7, 2017.