By: Victoria Scott
Publication Date: May 2, 2017
Bang Bang Rating:
Domino is a homeless teen girl who squats in an abandoned house in Detroit with her friend, Dizzy. BTW, Dizzy is Iranian immigrant who was sent with his brother to Philly (?) but something happened to the brother and now he’s also homeless in Detroit. Sound interesting? Well don’t get invested because that story line gets dropped.
Domino has a dark past that she doesn’t share with anyone and to hide from her shame, she wears colorful wigs and sky high heels (the author does explain this contradiction). All she really wants is a home and you won’t forget that because the author reminds you ever so often. Domino doesn’t trust people yet she does trust people and this often gets her into trouble. Dizzy gets arrested and she wants to bail him out but of course she has no money but a mysterious woman sees her awesome graffiti of the word HOME and wants to hire her to work in her home of girls so she can earn money. Now any street savvy person would think this is prostitution but Domino doesn’t and gets in the car. Oh, I forgot to men that she has a little voice named Wilson speaking to her and he kind of tells her it’s prostitution and constantly desires to maim everyone who wrongs her.
So Domino is taken to a different state to a fictional town called Pox where she works with a bunch of girls-12 maybe. They clean all day and entertain men and women but not in a sexual way-yet There’s a caste system using flowers and girls have to work their way up to be a violet but as they advance, the parties become more sexual but at no time does the author say the word prostitution. Not sure why when there’s violence, drugs, profanity, and a sexual assault attempt. Of course the girls are competing so of course there’s some bullying and although the type of bullying varies it’s still repetitive and the message is quite on the nose.
Now there’s Wilson which is the addition that should set this book apart from the pack. Wilson comes out when Domino or her friend is bullied but he’s weird. He threatens with sinister poetry before he bashes heads. Domino is switching personalities and her friends see this yet they are not worried or scared. It is a snap switch in personalities that would terrify the best psychologist in the world but not her friends.
I had high hopes for this book because it seemed to be going down the magical realism road. Dizzy at one point was described as fast and I thought he was something and I thought maybe her parents were famous killers because the author referenced Charles Manson and Jonestown Murders (which teens won’t know about Jonestown) but no. I’m not sure I’d place this in the mental illness category because Wilson wasn’t a metaphor for schizophrenia. This book ended up being predictable with tropey characters. Her past was summed up in one page and wasn’t really explained. There were also diverse characters for the sake of having diverse characters because they contributed nothing to the plot- I hate when authors do this.
One thing that drove me nuts is that a couple of times Domino said the guns were glocks. WTF? I’m a grown ass woman and I don’t know what a glock looks like. Just say gun-GEEZ!