An eerie, psychologically devastating novel by any measure, but it’s Mirabella’s careful, emotionally honest rendering of the ever-shifting relationship between older brother, Justin, and younger sister, Willa, that marks this book as a revelation ... Mirabella shuns comforting dramatic resolutions and predictable redemptive plot turns. Instead, we are thrown into a more emotional narrative flow ... Despite the action verb in the book title, this brother and sister are fascinatingly, and often frustratingly, inert. They continually fail to start projects, unpack boxes, clean up messes, run from danger or text others back. Such stasis, though, proves a brilliant contrast for the times when Mirabella does shake up their world.
As profound as the circumstances straining their relationship may be, Mirabella just touches the surface of interactions that could have been afforded more nuance and subtlety. With more attention paid to actions and events than to the characters’ interior lives, the novel loses many opportunities to delve into the characters' interiorities; in turn, some scenes between the siblings feel effortful in their attempts to create tension, as if relying too heavily on melodrama ... A queer coming-of-age story about the vicissitudes of love and the redemption to be found in family.
A moving story ... Mirabella’s plain prose, meanwhile, belies the melancholic bitterness of the characters’ strained exchanges. It’s a gripping if sometimes maudlin meditation on the difficulties of youth and the salvation that can be found in family.