*Warning: Major spoilers ahead
“Lionel said as much to me once, how so many of the same people who are quick to empathize with physical disabilities don’t understand why someone with depression can’t just get up and get on with their day like the rest of the world. It’s like they need a receipt that proves someone is actually going through some shit before they care about them.”
It was kind of hard to rate this book. I really liked the meaning behind this and I stayed invested in the story, however, at the same time, there were also some things I didn’t like. I’ll settle with 3.75 stars for now, but it might change.
The main issue that caused me to lower my rating is simply that many things aren’t clarified in this book. There is so much confusion that happens that us readers don’t fully understand some things. We really don’t know if Suzette and Emil are technically dating and are still together, and we also don’t know if Suzette and Iris have broken up. This is mainly why I didn’t want to point out any emotional cheating in this book since nothing was completely set in stone. I wasn’t exactly sure if Suzette was still with Emil after the events that happened towards the end of the book. Based off of what Suzette has said, we could assume that she and Iris broke up but then towards the end she says that she needs to clear up the things that happened in Massachusetts? So I really am confused on the whole relationship status with Suzette which was my main problem.
I also didn’t really like Linus. I think that his mental illness (bipolar disease) was all he was, and he had absolutely no personality or character. Personally, I felt like this made a huge impact on the way I viewed this story. It seemed that Linus was only “bipolar” and practically nothing else. It’s sort of rude first of all to Linus, and he just ended up being a boring character. I don’t think he should’ve been just “bipolar”, but he should’ve also had a personality and a character too.
Because I myself don’t have bipolar disorder, I can’t really say if the representation is accurate. I will just say it was a nice addition to the story and it’s 2018, and if young adult books can’t include any representation, then really it doesn’t take place in our modern world. It’s nice to see bisexual, lesbian, and characters who had mental illnesses. The representation in here is great and I definitely appreciate the author for going that extra step to add this to the story.
The main character was okay, but I did think that she felt real and very relatable. The situations she faced revolving around sexuality and identity are what many in this world face today. I think the author did a great job crafting her character and making sure that she was someone that could realistically exist in our real world. The other side characters were great too, and it was interesting to see the intricate relationships they all shared with each other. I think this is mainly why I personally enjoyed this book a lot and was having a hard time deciding my rating.
The entertainment value of a book is the most important factor, since if you aren’t interested or invested in the story, then the rating would probably be really low. I was hooked from start to finish and I couldn’t put the book down. Again, this is another reason why I was struggling to settle with a rating for this book since I enjoyed it so much, but deep down I knew that there were some issues with this book.
My rating for this book might change in the near future, but I’m content with what it is right now. This book doesn’t seem to have any hype, but I will definitely recommend it to all of you. It is a contemporary book worth picking up and it deals with the struggles and problems many people have faced, so if you haven’t considered picking this book up, I’d definitely think again.