Reviewed by EL de Jesus
THE SOMEDAY SUITCASE
By Corey Ann Haydu
304 pp. Katherine Tegen Books.
Clover and Danny. Scientist and artist. Fact-checker and dreamer. Organized and spacey. Though complete opposites, they always function best when together. That’s how it’s always been from the very start.
Their story opens in sunny Florida, where afternoons are spent in the pool or waiting for the daily rain to pour. Between their houses is a palm tree, shared across their lawns like with everything Clover and Danny related. From pizza toppings to note-taking to all their other quirky whatnot.
And there we have the beginnings of a pretty promising plot. But as if it wasn’t enough, Haydu goes around sprinkling it with the perfect friendship that’ll surely put your #friendshipgoals posts to shame. Shade aside, she does a compelling job in inviting you inside the protagonist’s private little world of statue games, versions of tag, and burger Saturdays.
It’s pretty interesting experiencing this through the eyes of 10-year-old Clover. She has that enthusiasm about her where everything’s so plain and easy and answers to questions are only a raised hand away. Though, for all her youthful innocence, she’s quite wise and well aware of some of the realities of our world, and she’ll prove this several times as the story progresses.
When Danny gets sick, you’ll get to experience how Clover’s mind works as she herself works on finding a solution to his mysterious illness. She writes all her research inside a trusty notebook, and from there you can see the messy handwritten lists that all add to the intimate feel of The Someday Suitcase.
I liked how Haydu made Clover intertwine the lessons she learned from Art and Science, and weaves them together into an inevitably much bigger picture. There’s a certain hopefulness in the way she keeps her mind open to all the possibilities for her friend and at times, it’s just so endearingly sweet. As the story goes on, you’ll find yourself more and more attached to Clover’s cause. Just be ready for the feels ride once you start realizing that a bunch of kids can plan a better adventure—and succeed at it!—than you. Like I said, they’re #friendshipgoals, okay?
It’s a story you can read in a day, but it’s a story you’ll want to hang on to for much more than one. Reclaim the eyes of a young child and experience the tender and honest ways in which these two view their world. And while you’re at it, arm yourself with a box of tissues and your best friend’s number on speed dial. Tag along their journey to discover themselves, their cure, and ultimately, their magic.
The Someday Suitcase by Corey Ann Haydu is available at Fully Booked Stores and Fully Booked Online.
EL de Jesus is a notorious book sniffer whose writing is littered across messy notebooks, literary publications, and his white-walled room. When not in writing, this self-proclaimed old-person-in-a-boy’s-body does art, creates a dozen photo series, and makes mixtapes with those cheesy covers. He has four dogs and two cats.
EL is a member of the First Look Club.
[Thoughts and views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Fully Booked. Then again, we love our authors anyway.]