“Until it goes bang”: the great love… toxic

“Until çit goes bang: toxic big love”

Alexandra Larochelle

Until it goes bang, new novel by Alexandra Larochelle, who has written a lot for teenagers in recent years (Fearful Stuff, Third Star), tackles a very real problem head on: toxic love and this sneaky, subtle, but very destructive psychological violence that infiltrates many relationships.

Maélia, 17 years old, make perfect love with Oli, a new student in his class who arrived from Gaspésie. The boy causes a real Big Bang in the heart of his sweetheart, who sees in him her infinity, the expansion of her universe.

Oh, maybe Oli dares to be secretive here, is in the grip of a mood swing there. But he is so kind, so tender. He convinces his “Maélou” to listen to his heart and his talent for drawing and to leave his native Charlevoix to enroll in graphic design at CEGEP in Quebec, when she planned to remain wisely in her region and follow the rational path of science and maths, which she doesn't like more than she has to. He is a great help on the farm of Maélia's parents, who consider the young man as their own son.

It's simple, everyone adores Oli.

« Until çit goes bang: the great toxic love

The cover of the novel Until it goes bang, by Alexandra Larochelle< br>Courtesy Éditions de la Bagnole

Gaping hole

Why, then, once exiled to the city – where she learns the hard way of solo apartment life, bed bugs included! –, Maélia feels a gaping hole settle in her and grow, grow, over Oli's visits and their telephone conversations?

After all, Oli is always so pleasant. It is she who annoys him, with her excessive reactions, her inappropriate questions, her broken promises… If he wants a sexual relationship, Maélia can force herself to please him; doesn't he multiply all the attentions to make his sweetheart happy?

All in her sincere passion for her lover, Maélia is silent, cashing in on each storm, only hoping that her Oli will be in a good mood again and that the butterflies around them will not start flying again. Until… it really does bang?

Alas, if our compassion for Maélia grows according to the plot of Until it makes a bang, at the same rate as our aversion for the “perfect” Oli grows, it is not immediately that we will have right to the conclusion of this very gripping story (regardless of the age of the reader), which we read with a little more twisted heart on each page. Alexandra Larochelle concluded her new opus with an annoying “To be continued”, which suggests that the young heroine may still have to struggle before freeing herself from the grip of her Romeo… We are already impatient to know the conclusion!

Written in the language of 17-year-olds, tinged with their concerns, with a tasty touch of light humor, Until it goes bang explores also a side of existence rarely dealt with in Quebec adolescent literature, that of leaving the family home, moving to an apartment, taming CEGEP, the first ups and downs with a landlord.

To have your future adults read it… who can lend it to you later, because love can make bang at any age.

Until 'until it makes a bang, by Alexandra Larochelle. On sale now, from Éditions de la Bagnole.

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