Wait Until Twilight
Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone
Release Date: August 2009
Publisher: Harper Paperbacks
Author Site: http://www.sangpak.com/
My Rating: 3.5/5
Synopsis [from harpercollins.com]:
A hauntingly strange and powerfully affecting debut novel that heralds the arrival of a unique and captivating literary voice, Sang Pak's Wait Until Twilight is a coming-of-age story that explores the complex darkness infecting a damaged psyche in a small Southern town.
Not long after his own mother's death, sixteen-year-old Samuel discovers a set of deformed triplets hidden behind closed doors in his sleepy Georgia community. The babies—whose shut-in mother believes they were immaculately conceived and whose menacing brother is a constant threat—take control of Samuel's every waking and sleeping thought. His only escape, he realizes, will be to save the monster children. But to do so, he must rein in his darkest impulses as he undergoes a profound transformation from motherless boy to self-defined man—because sometimes the most terrible monsters are those that live inside us all.
WAIT UNTIL TWLIGHT sounds so different from what I normally read. I was immediately interested in the novel when I received an email from the author in reference to reviewing it. However, as I started reading and really getting into the book, I knew right away that this wasn't what I was expecting. I had mixed emotions after I turned the last page. Even some days later I still struggle to put my feelings about the book into words.
Let's just say I was certainly affected by WAIT UNTIL TWILIGHT. While I found the characters not as fleshed out as I would have liked, they still gave off a presence that was unmistakable. Even though there wasn't the usual development I go for in characters I still felt like I had a good idea of who these people were. I do remember coming to the end of the novel, with a heart-racing ending I might add, and thinking to myself "I get things now!" I remember really liking the way I felt too.
Samuel is a sixteen-year-old teenager who's dealing with the death of his mother. He's working on getting good grades and just being a normal kid. However, Samuel seems to struggle at being "normal". School is important to him as our his relationships with his friends and father. But it's when he becomes fascinated, if not totally obsessed, with a set of deformed triplets he comes across with his friend in search of the perfect video project.
Samuel's horror is clear, not just from the first scene when he meets them, but in his later thoughts of them as well. It seems the triplets have awakened a part of Samuel he never knew existed, a strong violent streak, that becomes even more apparent when Daryl is around him. Now to be quite honest, Daryl scared the crap out of me. Daryl is certainly sick and twisted and around the triplets too much. Samuel's feelings towards the triplets shift in an interesting way and I enjoyed the ending once I got there.
I must admit it took me a while to become accustomed to the pace of the novel and Sang Pak's writing style. But after more and more reflection, I've come to realize that this is a book I will most likely never forget. Even now, after knowing and saying that this is a coming-of-age story, I found Samuel more adult than I could imagine. It goes to show you (or me I suppose) that situations and events have such a heavy impact on shaping people.
At the end of the day it comes down to this: Sang Pak made me think. I wasn't just reading his words, I was experiencing them. And for a debut author that speaks volumes in my opinion. He took me out of my reading comfort zone and I couldn't put WAIT UNTIL TWLIGHT down. I recommend this to anyone looking for a different kind of coming-of-age tale; a gothic psychological mixture that will certainly grab your attention.