"Art imitates life. Life imitates art?"
From the very first page, I was captivated by the words I was reading before my eyes, turning into a movie inside my head. When picking up this book you don’t expect what you will find on the aisles of this supermarket. As Bobby Hall writes,
“Standing in front of the Supermarket, bouncing my red rubber ball. I wasn’t sure what to expect from my first day.”
Before having this beautiful piece of literature in my hands, I was familiar with Bobby Hall's work. Hall is not strictly an author. What does Bobby do as his daytime job? You may know him by his stage name Logic. Logic is a grammy-nominated rapper and artist that spreads nothing but peace, love, and positivity through his albums. He dropped an album in conjunction with this novel, also called Supermarket. The album is a completely different sound to Logic's normal up-beat hip hop,; it's more like indie rock with some rap. The album compliments the book very well. I'm a big fan of Logic so it was a no brainer I would enjoy his debut book.
The approach of how Hall starts this journey we’re about to go on with Flynn, the main character, is ridiculously brilliant way to build up the story. Hall writes,
"You know when you experience an intense moment and every mundane detail becomes extraordinarily vivid? It turns into an unforgettable memory?"
Flynnagin E. Montgomery is a 24-year-old white boy from Baker City, Oregon. Half the time Flynn's mind is racing or he's taking out his moleskine notepad to write randomly. When we meet Flynn he is a struggling writer determined to chase after his dreams but it's affecting his life in ways he doesn't realize: he finds himself sitting in a diner booth, staring at a cup of coffee as his girlfriend breaks up with him. In that moment of him losing her, he falls into a deep depression and hides from the world. One day he receives a letter he’s been longing for and it inspires him to get out. He ends up in front of a supermarket called Muldoon's. He enters Muldoon's to apply for a job, thinking what better way to gain experience for his book—after all that's where his book takes place. As we enter the world of Muldoon's, we encounter characters that bring more meaning and life to the story. We have a manager that is always smiling (and freaks Flynn out because who can be happy all the time?), an old guy that loves coffee so much he just mutters coffee to himself, a beautiful girl named Mia who Flynn is interested in, and Frank, a trashy guy that only appears to Flynn's side when he needs help.
He truly walks you through every thought, emotion, and feeling Flynn is dealing with every step of the way in the story. It’s so relatable to life experiences. One morning when Flynn is going into work, he shows up to a crime scene and everyone wondering who could do this. As we approach part two of the book, an unexpected turn in the story takes you to the dark world of Flynn’s mind. Leaving you hanging off your couch, trying to read faster to get to the next page. You are kept on your feet and having yourself guessing how it will end until the very last word. I caught myself rereading passages because of how strong, relatable, and inspiring it is.
"Flynn, you don't need to repay me. This is what people do for one another. I know you can do this. Whatever it is you have planned, I support you. I've seen you fight this. I've seen you suffer and struggle. I've watched you grow and transform. I'm proud of you. I love you."
For me this book was very inspirational and close to my heart because of what Bobby talks about. He writes about mental health and fighting the inner demon we all have to defeat. I connected so much to Supermarket; I feel it's a piece of me because I live with depression and anxiety so it's refreshing to have read a novel that's much more than a story. Bobby's words helped me find some peace within myself, it allowed me to look at things in a different perspective in my life. So if I were you I would stop what you're doing and grab a copy of Supermarket!
"The mind is a very powerful thing, Flynn. If you don't control it, it will control you."
By Bobby Hall
275 pages. 2019.
Buy it here.