King’s novel touches on some very important aspects of teenage life in a very interesting and unique way. Rather than expressing her characters’ mental anguish through internal dialogue, she chooses to give physical life to their pain.
China is a walking digestive system, red and pulsating. She has swallowed herself for her own protection. Her friends and family have come to terms with the fact that they only are able to see China’s insides. Stanzi is a character which has literally been split in two, one part of herself feeling one way and the other part feeling something completely opposite. Lansdale tells lies to deal with her pain; each lie giving length to her beautiful blonde hair. Gustav is building a bright red helicopter which no one can see, except for Stanzi on Tuesdays.
King’s surreal prose is at once heart-wrenching and intriguing. The book begins with just a few pieces of a puzzle, and as the reader progresses, more pieces are found along the way. The completed puzzle is one of perseverance, friendship, loyalty, and hope.