Painless by screen-writer Jamie Mayer starts with a bang. Literally:
“I got hit by a car on the day my dad died. The stupid jackwagon in the BMW just kneecapped me – so it was fairly minor. I didn’t feel a thing. But then again, I never do.”
Mayer’s debut novel is a well-paced YA, contemporary novel that has you cheering for 17-year-old Quinn who struck by a rare congenital, neurological condition, does not have the ability to feel physical pain.
To survive his dysfunctional family and difficult school life, Quinn also shuts down emotion instead expressing himself through a graphic novel and wasting his days away in a bar. He lives with his sister Caitlyn and her family, and is issued with an ultimatum to get a job. Life gets even more complicated when Quinn’s art becomes frighteningly real and he meets troubled, sensitive Reese.
Mayer’s screenwriting experience shines through Painless as she paints a highly visual story for YA readers.
Painless is written from a number of points of view which can be disorientating for the reader, and I would have preferred Painless to be limited to Quinn’s and his sister, Caitlyn’s points of view.
Character development throughout Painless is strong and readers will enjoy a compelling, interesting journey.
Mayer offers up genuine characters who face difficult situations with honest emotion. Each of the characters possesses an authenticity which draws readers into the thick of the story.
Mayer has written a moving coming of age novel and I cannot help thinking how much I would love to see Painless turned into a film.
Painless is published by Rare Bird Books and available wherever you like to buy books. Many thanks to the publishers for an advanced copy of this book.