Review: Meet Me in the Strange by Leander Watts

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“It was like she’d lost everything. Her name, her voice, any idea of who she was or what she looked like, who the people were around her. The only thing that mattered was right there in front of her on the stage,” observes Davi, the main character of Leander Watt’s Meet Me in the Strange, awestruck by Anna Z, the captivating girl whose passion and charisma will lead the fast friends on a magical, glam rock-fueled journey of self-discovery.

Set in a futuristic city with parallels to Rome, Davi, whose gender is never specified, is a follower of androgynous glam rocker Django Conn, whose lyrics and presence are worshipped by profoundly devoted fans, Davi is drawn to the confidence and unapologetic authenticity of the musician. Davi finds a kindred spirit in Anna Z, who understands the power of Django Conn’s music and believes the rock god may be something more than human. Drawn into Anna Z’s confident theories about human evolution, aliens, and the transformative power of music, the two follow Django Conn’s tour in search of answers… and meaning.

With a sensibility reminiscent of Andrew Smith, M.T. Anderson, and Francesca Lia Block, Watts’ writing is often dreamy, sometimes unsettling, and always weird and engaging. A coming of age story that celebrates the irresistible glister of glam rock, the importance of community and connection, and the fluidity of identity, Meet Me in the Strange fully immerses readers in its unforgettable world.

About The Book:

Meet Me in the Strange is an intoxicating adventure set in a glittery, retro-futuristic world of glam rock, spectral aliens, and gender-bendy teens. Davi is mesmerized by a girl at a concert, who appears to lose herself in the power of the otherworldy music of Django Conn. Later, through a chance meeting, Davi becomes friends with the girl, Anna Z. She is like no one Davi has ever met: she loves to talk, talk, talk and has grandiose theories of the next evolution of humans and a strange phenomenon she calls the “Alien Drift.” But danger lurks around every corner, because Anna Z is on the run, and her cruel and controlling older brother is determined to find her, at any cost. Davi faces a daunting decision, go on living a safe existence at the magical Angelus Hotel, which has been in the family for generations, or help Anna Z escape her troubled past. When the two take off to follow the concert tour of their glam-rock idol, Django Conn, Davi and Anna Z will face the biggest threat of their young lives.

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