“I think what I’ve realized is, life is all about climbing up, slipping down, and picking yourself up again. And it doesn’t matter if you slip down. As long as you’re kind of heading more or less upwards. That’s all you can hope for. More or less upwards.”
This was one of those books where after giving it some time, I don’t really like it that much anymore. When I first finished this book, I thought I really enjoyed it, but as I reflect back on my reading experience, I realized that there were a lot of problems I had with this book that I didn’t really notice immediately after I finished it.
The biggest issue I had was definitely the characters. I know Linus is supposed to be the love interest that we should love, but in all honesty, I didn’t see anything that would make me like him. He was like the medicine for Audrey and his only purpose in the book was to make Audrey feel better. I feel that love interests for the main character should have a more reasonable purpose for being the love interest, and obviously, Linus was only there to cure Audrey. I also didn’t like how simple Linus’ character was. He was so flat and boring and honestly didn’t seem any different from any YA contemporary romance male love interest that I’ve read about.
I myself don’t have any mental illnesses, but from common sense, I can see that the anxiety portrayed in this book is odd. It is kind of weird that even though Audrey is incapable of talking to people, she still can make out with Linus? Like how does that make any sense? In fact, I don’t even know how Audrey could overcome anxiety in such a short amount of time. Many mental illnesses take time to fade away, but Audrey’s anxiety was gone pretty much when Linus came. Again, this part just doesn’t make any sense.
This review by Grace explains this in more detail (since I myself don’t have anxiety and I wouldn’t know if the portrayal of anxiety is accurate or not): https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1891230768?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1
The movie script thing that was included in several portions of the book were confusing and didn’t seem to relate to the story at all. I had this similar problem in both Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell and Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia where these small little clips of these other things just interfere with the actual story. The movie/film script didn’t really mesh with the story well, so it started to become a problem for me as the story went on.
Every book has some redeeming qualities, and of course, there were some in this book. Probably this biggest factor I consider in every book is its entertainment value. Obviously, because of the three-star rating, I was invested in this story. I never got disinterested or paused because certain scenes became boring, so I guess this is the main reason why my rating is decently high.
I also like the video game part of this book too, and the situations Frank was in is something (not as extreme) that I do experience sometimes too. Obviously, he takes his video games way more seriously then I would take them, but his parents are similar to mine in a way which I liked since it was relatable.
Overall, I don’t hate this book. Even though the majority of this review is negative thoughts, I still did like this book to some extent. I definitely don’t recommend this book to anyone, but it was worth my time.