Twelve Long Months could have had a better title. And a better cover. But the book itself was great! It’s about Molly, who has a huge crush on her lab partner, Mark Dahl. He’s not interested, though, in that way. This is understandably upsetting to Molly, but she’s still thrilled to find out that they’re both moving to the New York City area after graduation, Molly to attend Columbia, and Mark just to move, though he’s staying with relatives and painting houses to make that dream a reality.
Molly is ecstatic when Mark suggests they hang out in NYC, as they will be each other’s only links to home in Minnesota. She is, however, really far from ecstatic when she discovers what has been Mark’s long-hidden secret which he has successfully kept from everyone back home. There’s a big reason that Mark never fell for her, and it’s nothing against her personally. Mark, shockingly, is gay. Which I don’t think is a big spoiler because anyone who reads the flap copy will know. Molly’s more than a little clueless, though, and is devastated when she finds out. It doesn’t change her feelings, though, as much as she’d like them to change, and she still promises to be a friend to Mark. That relationship is more than a little complicated, though, by Molly’s inability to fall out of love with him.
I really enjoyed Brian Malloy’s first young adult novel. Molly is a realistic, relatable protagonist, struggling to adjust to a new city that’s a big change after her life in Minnesota, and life as a college student, all while mending a broken heart and trying to be a friend to the boy she thought she was destined to be with. Molly’s just trying to figure out her life and her independence. I was entertained by the whole cast of characters, though they didn’t have much depth. I wasn’t really bothered by it while reading, though, as caught up as I was by Molly’s story. Still, the secondary characters could definitely have used some work. Brian Malloy’s writing was not noticeable, which meant it flowed nicely, not painful to read or anything, but wasn’t remarkable. This review is making it sound like I thought this book was mediocre, which I guess maybe on a purely objective level it was, but it really drew me in, and I loved it. I loved the subject, I loved Molly, I loved that it was set in New York City. I’ve got to recommend this book, even though I’m not sure why!