Title: We Need to Do Something
Author: Max Booth III
Number of Pages: 188
Moody teen Mel and her family (an abusive alcoholic father, well-meaning mother, and annoying younger brother) are stuck in their bathroom during a ‘natural disaster’ that turns out to be a lot more unnatural than they had first suspected.
There’s a tree in front of the bathroom door, and when the minutes become hours and the hours become days Mel and her family start to succumb to starvation, becoming increasingly disoriented. Mel has a secret, though… she believes she did something that caused the situation they’re in.
And as they deteriorate Mel’s dad goes from being a bully to nuttier than a squirrel turd, putting his family in even more danger. Okay, so this book is WEIRD. It’s grotesque and over-the-top yet the family dynamic feels strangely realistic.
I didn’t like the ending, which was too ambiguous and left me feeling cheated, but I liked the way Max Booth III evoked this claustrophobic environment and let the family’s anger and fear wear away at them and eventually detonate into violence.
I’m a sucker for books and movies that are set in one location or have a strong feeling of claustrophobia, and Max Booth III did a great job with that. I fully believed in the characters (until maybe the ending, which jumped the shark a little bit.) He manages to write a book almost entirely set in a bathroom that ISN’T boring, making the most of a seemingly limited premise.