We all have one life to live. But what if you could experience being someone else for a little while. Sure, we have books that offer that experience for us, but what about first-hand knowledge and experience of someone else’s life and emotions? What would you do for that opportunity. Jon Jacks’s Freaking Freak offers a look into the potential lives to be lived.
Jill was utterly in love with the cutest boy in town, Jason, and things were going well until Fiona showed up and stole him away from her. Utterly distraught, Jill is desperate to try on the heirloom gloves of her freaky friend Jackie, which always make her feel confident and beautiful. What Jill didn’t expect was the suicidal feelings to jump off a bridge because she lost Jason to Fiona. After her plummet to the base of the bridge, she is provided with a new way to live through the wearing of garments of other people. By wearing these garments, offered by the Freak King, Jill is able to tap into the rich emotional lives and stories of the women who previously wore them. But as Jill learns more and her skills progress she begins to question the ethical nature of this business.
The narrative was an interesting concept and a little bit on the creepy side, but then again, we’ve had serial killers who have done similar things with and to their victims. The writing style was rather enjoyable and kept the pacing quick, which brought about a rather abrupt ending to the story. The aspect of time travel was an intriguing element to add to the story, but it didn’t feel as if it was fully fleshed out or realized as a feature to the narrative, leaving more questions unanswered. The character development wasn’t really there–we learned more about the girls behind the garments than we really did about Jill or Jackie, which was somewhat frustrating, but perhaps Jacks felt that presenting the concept was more important that creating complete characters.
Overall, I’d give it a 3 out of 5 stars.