Sans You by Hannah Fantana
‘Sans You’ is Hannah Fantana’s growing of age story. While she grows up she gets further away from previous incarnations of herself. This is commonly referred to as aging. The story deals with this ‘aging’ in a non-linear fashion. From the present to further into the past to the present again Telsa lives a life of determining emotions. Every emotion is hyper-analyzed. Poor Telsa wants to live life to the fullest or something. People around Telsa seem to elicit only neutral emotions from young Telsa. Telsa is unable to handle human interaction in a real life manner. Often Telsa worries that others think she is a mean or not particularly responsive. This is reflected in how her parents encourage her to go out with friends. Sometimes her parents fail at this making her sad by asking questions like ‘Are you on drugs’ when she is in a good mood.
Much of the book deals with Telsa enjoying herself on the internet. The internet lacks the intimacy or disappointment of real life. Hence why Hannah enjoys the interactions she has online more than those she has in real life. In real life people annoy her. Various people dislike her (Ari, etc.) for reasons she cannot accurately express or chooses not to divulge. Real life offers little in the way of enjoyment besides twee drugs and twee alcohol. Vodka is twee. However on the internet Telsa comes into her own happy planet of her own devising. Validation on the internet is a huge part of why people go on the internet. Feedback is instant on the internet. Hipster Runoff’s Carles approves of her look calling her cute. What she writes receives ‘likes’ on Facebook. YouTube videos of hers get comments. Why would she look for validation offline? Offline offers few benefits. Online offers many benefits.
Life off the internet hurts a little bit for Telsa. She wakes up without water. She fears for her life. During Halloween she drinks with people and blacks out often. People bore her during this time. Her friends hook up in front of her. Decorum is not much of a thing in real life, particularly high school. In high school people generally lack any form of ‘control’. Telsa makes this obvious. Her friends are bored most of the time. They drink. They walk to places for little to no reason eating horrible junk food or health food junk food (almond soy milk).
Before her current incarnation she went to Paris France. This trip is described in vivid detail. Apparently it was the first time Telsa imbibed alcohol. Her experience in France consists mostly of drinking, wandering around Paris, and getting hit on by French boys. Ultimately this is similar to her time in California, excluding the whole ‘speaking in French’ thing. Back into California she returns to the present. Then she gets to the ending.
The ending is beautiful perfect amazing. Everything in the end feels like it is rushing down extremely quickly. Hannah switches the point of view from the third person ‘she’ to the first person ‘I’. Giving it an intimate, heart-felt touch to the story is particularly wonderful. For every little thing is slowed down to a barely moving pace. She learns how to feel. She experiences joy and the closest thing to happiness. Little things become great big things in ‘Sans You’. With these little things she adds up into a big person who appears to be going in the right direction, in a direction not unlike millions before her and millions after her. ‘Sans You’ is a tweenage riot by the cutest girl in alt lit.