The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza by Shaun David Hutchinson

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4stars

If and when our world ends, it won’t be from a meteor or a viral outbreak or some other cosmic event; it will be us. We will be our own undoing.

Title: The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza
Author: Shaun David Hutchinson
Good things about this book: It’s the right amount of weird.
Bad things about this book: The last page leaves you wanting more.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Rate: 4/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

I was so into the story that I didn’t even realize the book was over when I reached that last part. Why did it end that way?? I want more and more and more!!

It was different, and it made you think. I was so happy about the cameos of Hutchinson’s other books’ characters. I almost cried when Henry appeared! I miss Henry every time I find myself thinking about We Are the Ants; it’s one of my favorite books.

This book can be officially declared peculiar. Elena was born from parthenogenesis; that can be explained scientifically, but her let’s say weird situation doesn’t stop to a virgin birth, because Elena hear voices from the siren of Starbucks to a My Little Pony, telling her she has the power to heal people, and she should do it, or else the world is going to end. That’s a little too much responsibility for a young girl struggling with a massive crush and trying to avoid bullies.

The first person Elena healed, that one first miracle that put in motion the apocalypse, was a girl named Freddie and Elena has a huge crush on her. Freddie is certainly not the person Elena thought she was and getting to know her is going to put her patience to test. It put MY patient to test, but then I got to know her and the reasons behind her hard façade and I ended up liking her.

With the end of world, people disappearing all over the world, her love life being a total mess, and the voices being very insisting, Elena doesn’t really know what to do. She is set on finding out why Freddie was shot like that would make her understand why the world is ending. Why does finding the reason is that important? Elena is trying to avoid the real problem!! Elena is like a lot of us.

We make choices. We make bad choices. But we still deserve the right to choose.

I really liked this book. Like all of this author’s books, there are serious issues being portrayed and analyzed. I found that this had the right amount of serious and peculiar, just the amount that I usually love. Elena is a nice main character, she isn’t without flaw, often irritating, but you just cheer for her to be able to save the world, get the girl, be happy with her bff and family. Easy, right?

Not the lightest of reads, but neither one of the hardest. I enjoyed it and I recommend it. This author needs to have more love from readers all around the world.

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A Tiny Piece of Something Greater by Jude Sierra

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5stars

“You are a normal person. We all are. We all have brains that work differently, that’s all. You guys have been handed challenges. But you are worthy of happiness and health and help.”

Title: A Tiny Piece of Something Greater
Author: Jude Sierra
Number of pages: 258 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: It’s a very sweet book with a good portrayal of mental illness.
Bad things about this book: It’s hard to read. Read the trigger warnings first.
Do I recommend it? Yes, of course. It’s a story to be read by everyone.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

Pretty intense. Read with an aching but hopeful heart. I cared for these characters and, even if I won’t know what choices they decide to make, I will know in my heart that they’ll be okay and living day after day. Together.

Books about mental illnesses are always very hard for me to read. Books like this are somewhat triggering but I can’t help but read them; I feel the need to know other point of views, to learn more, to be able to help myself and others with new information. It won’t ever be easy for me reading about someone struggling to keep themselves afloat. It won’t ever be easy for me reading about someone using unhealthy behavior.

He tries to give his body over to the sounds of a great big earth around him, understanding that he is very small, a tiny piece of something greater, a small glimmer of either light or darkness, depending on his choices and will.

Reid suffers from an illness called cyclothymia that I have never heard of before. It was hard to read how he struggled in the past, is struggling with recovery in the present, and will struggle with it for the rest of his life. Reid is a magnificent boy who has a brain that works in a very peculiar way and it makes his life very difficult. He really tries his best. Reid touched my heart with his personality and the way he wants to be seen by the world, and by the amazing and handsome boy he starts crushing on, Joaquim.

Joaquim finds himself in it too deep and too soon with Reid. Reid is not an easy person to be with, but it won’t be a mental illness the cause for him to walk away from someone he can see himself building something concrete with. Why would he run away when things get difficult? He asks a lot of questions and is destined to make mistakes, but he is a very patient boy and his feelings are deep and real. He can’t run from them.

Reid doesn’t pray, but sometimes he likes to think that the energy he and the others put out into the world might make a small difference.

The portrayal of mental illness is done in detail, wonderfully, and painfully. Nothing graphic, nothing just to give us some drama. Things aren’t okay, and they’re explained in a way that you understand both how Reid is feeling and how Joaquim is elaborating the info he’s getting. It’s a painful process, but it’s liberating. Joaquim is seeing Reid for who he is; he is not his mental illness, he is a boy fighting to get better, who wants an adventurous life and to love and be loved. Reid and Joaquim were sweet and cheesy and adorable. All the kisses, the hugs, the little touches, they were all elements that made their love story, one to desire. I will never be loved like that and it makes me sad.

When I finished the book last night, I closed it and realized I wasn’t in the mood for anything else; I was left empty yet full, no space for anything more. I went to bed and waited to fall asleep recalling one of my many happy made-up scenarios, because I knew that if I started thinking about the book, I’ll stayed awake analyzing every single aspect of my life. I hope I’m not the only one that uses made-up fantasies to fall asleep in order to avoid falling into the endless stream of anxious thoughts about life.

I keep sighing thinking about Reid and Joaquim. Those boys stole my heart. I’m so glad I somehow found this little book and impulsively bought it. I knew my impulsiveness had more pros than cons!

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History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

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5stars

History remains with the people who will appreciate it most.

Title: History Is All You Left Me
Author: Adam Silvera
Good things about this book: NYC, relatable and diverse characters.
Bad things about this book: I really don’t know, I found it balanced and perfect.
Do I recommend it? Yes, yes and yes.
Rate: 5/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

“One day, Batman is going to take off his mask and, boom, it’ll be me.”

This book left me with so many emotions but above all it left me with reminders of how strong human beings can be when they have to face something hard like losing your first love. The story takes place mainly in New York City and, even with all the descriptions of the freezing weather, it makes the story feels magical. Fun fact: at some point in the book they tell how cold was the weather at the beginning of 2015 and I was in New York at that time with my sister and it was unbelievably cold!! It was fun sharing that unpleasant feeling with the characters.

People are complicated puzzles, always trying to piece together a complete picture, but sometimes we get it wrong and sometimes we’re left unfinished.

I really don’t want to tell you much about the story because I think what the summary says is the only thing you should know to experience every single chapter. There are History chapters in which Griffin tells the story of his relationship with Theo, his first boyfriend, from the beginning. The history chapters at the beginning are fun and adorable since they also have their best friend Wade that I liked a lot, then they became hard to read without crying a little bit because of so many things.

“Come on, be a bro that helps his other bros buy condoms.”

The Today chapters were hard as hell to read. I have cried and cried, smiled a bit, then cried a little bit more. Theo accidentally drowned while at the beach in Santa Monica with his new boyfriend Jackson. It broke everyone. Griffin is in pieces and doesn’t think he will ever be okay. He “speaks” to Theo telling their History together and trying to understand his history from when they weren’t together anymore. He is trying to get to know the new Theo even if it’s going to break him even more than he is already.

I have all this history with you, Theo, but he has pieces of your puzzle that would destroy me if I ever had to put them together, and yet I still want them.

I loved how the chapters went by smoothly and everything was in the right place. I was a little afraid of the pace at first because going back and forth seemed confusing but it worked really well. I have to say that every time I read the words “Today” at the beginning of the chapter my heart felt heavy because I knew how sad it was going to be and indeed it was. Suffering was beginning to look normal so that anything a little nice was a win. How much I suffered. It isn’t really the saddest story I have read but you start to get to know the characters and you follow them on their everyday lives so their sadness becomes your sadness, their happiness becomes your happiness.

I did criticize Griffin for a few of his poor choices. I knew he was going to learn from his mistakes but seeing how he was underestimating his issues I was really afraid of things going out of control. If he kept doing that it was going to be really hard to go back and get a grip of his life. I loved Griffin, flaws and everything. He is a lovely boy and when he loves he gives his all.

I should really stop blaming everyone and certain events for what’s happening to me. I’m the worst thing that’s ever happened to myself.

I am glad because Griffin was surrounded by very nice parents and a friend, Wade, who was more than the third wheel of their weird trio. I am also glad because he got to know Jackson, Theo’s boyfriend at the time of his death, and could share his grief with the only other boy who truly loved Theo. Jackson is a character you may want to hate but then you don’t because you understand how much he loved Theo and how he was only afraid of losing him to Griffin and their strong first love.

There’s nothing wrong with someone’s saving my life, I’ve realized, especially when I can’t trust myself to get the job done right. People need people. That’s that.

I knew this book was going to be great and painful to read because of the author, the magnificent and really adorable, Adam Silvera. I read his book More Happy than Not without even knowing what was it about and it broke my heart. I knew it had lgbtqi characters and representation is very important so that was the main reason I read it in the first place. Books about characters not really defined by their sexualities that narrate their everyday lives and adventures are books I love to find and read.

Long story short, this book is a book that has to be read. It has various elements that can and will get to you, that you understand, that in some way you have come around some time during your life.
I will keep this story in my heart for a very long time, that’s for sure.

I feel like a rock being skipped through the ocean— pain, relief, pain again, relief again, eventually destined to sink.

I’m ready for your next book, Mr. Silvera!!

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[ARC] All Birds Have Anxiety by Kathy Hoopmann

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3stars

Even thinking about being anxious can make you anxious.

Title: All Birds Have Anxiety
Author: Kathy Hoopmann
Good things about this book: It’s for children and it’s about mental health.
Bad things about this book: Would’ve loved some funny comparison between birds and humans.
Do I recommend it? Yes, everyone should read this even if you don’t have or know children.
Rate: 3/5

Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here

[ARC received via Netgalley]

This is a children’s book, a book that will help children realize that what they are experiencing is not abnormal; after all the birds have anxiety so why wouldn’t I?
It’s a very short book of easy comprehension and colourful pictures. It helps you identify if you indeed suffer from anxiety or you just experience anxiety caused by stressful situations.

But no one realises how hard it is to leave the safety of home if you are aware of every possible thing that can go wrong.

I did know I had anxiety so relating to so many parts of the book wasn’t a surprise. A lot of quotes from this little book were how I feel every single day. Unfortunately people don’t understand it’s not just you being asocial because you don’t want to hang out but so much more. I have cancelled so many plans because I felt save at home and, after playing in my head how things could go, the interactions with other people, I felt so overwhelmed I decided to stay at home with my safest sounds and space to breathe and be myself.

Even if we want company, the thought of being in a crowd fills us with fear. We have no idea what to say, where to go or how to behave.

Do you know how hard it is to plan things with me because of that? I have told my friend that if she tells me a week in advance to go eat out, my brain will search for an excuse not to go every day until I cancel the date in the end. So now I tell her to tell me to go out the day before so that I don’t have enough time to look for an excuse to sabotage the date. It is hard and I have to be sincere with her. I used to tell so many lies to avoid going places, now I am honest and tell her I just don’t feel like going and she understands. I’m glad she knows I’m not a bad friend and that I’m trying to go outside my comfort zone but sometimes it’s just too much and I need to recharge. I’m glad there are people who understand.

For a while, it helps to be by ourselves. Then we start to fear that we will be alone forever.

This book is important for a lot of reasons. Children don’t need to feel they are not normal. Children need to reach out and ask for help but they can’t do that if they think they are wrong for the world and they don’t belong. They will isolate themselves. We are not alone. What we feel, it is felt by many others and seeing people going on with their lives with problems like ours gives us strength and hope that everything will be ok even if our lives aren’t like the ones of our friends and family.

I enjoyed reading it and the cover is just perfect. Owls are the best!

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We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson ☆

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“We may not get to choose how we die, but we can chose how we live. The universe may forget us, but it doesn’t matter. Because we are the ants, and we’ll keep marching on.”

Title: We Are the Ants
Author: Shaun David Hutchinson
Why you should read this book: Because this is one of the most beautiful and moving books I’ve ever read and the world needs to know it.

Summary from Goodreads:

There are a few things Henry Denton knows, and a few things he doesn’t.

Henry knows that his mom is struggling to keep the family together, and coping by chain-smoking cigarettes. He knows that his older brother is a college dropout with a pregnant girlfriend. He knows that he is slowly losing his grandmother to Alzheimer’s. And he knows that his boyfriend committed suicide last year.

What Henry doesn’t know is why the aliens chose to abduct him when he was thirteen, and he doesn’t know why they continue to steal him from his bed and take him aboard their ship. He doesn’t know why the world is going to end or why the aliens have offered him the opportunity to avert the impending disaster by pressing a big red button.

But they have. And they’ve only given him 144 days to make up his mind.

The question is whether Henry thinks the world is worth saving. That is, until he meets Diego Vega, an artist with a secret past who forces Henry to question his beliefs, his place in the universe, and whether any of it really matters. But before Henry can save the world, he’s got to figure out how to save himself, and the aliens haven’t given him a button for that.

“We remember the past, live in the present, and write the future.”

This book deserves a rating of 144 stars. 144 like the remaining days our main character, Henry, has to decide whether he wants to push the button or not to save the whole world. This book is important. This book is not about aliens; this book is about life and all the collateral effect it causes. The author digs into emotions, into hard themes that, willing or not, surround us every single day. Maybe you are not aware of them, but trust me, they are there, very present in your life.

Despite what you’ve spent your entire life believing, you are not a special snowflake. Somewhere out there, another you is living your life. Chances are, they’re living it better.

Henry Denton has problems. The first time he’s been abducted by aliens he was 13 years old. They have abducted him several times, doing experiments on him then leaving him far from home naked or only in his underwear. Now it seems they are going to blow up the Earth and they are giving Henry the power to choose if it happens or not. A big red button: pressing it means the world is save. Guess what Henry’s going to do? He doesn’t want to press it. He hates the world, a world where his mother is struggling with money, his father abandoned them, people are making school a living hell and his boyfriend committed suicide the year before without leaving a note explaining why.

“What if I don’t give a shit about the world?”
“I’d say that’s pretty fucking sad.”
“Why?”
“Because the world is so beautiful.”

Henry is bullied at school; they call him Space Boy because they know about the abductions. High school boys are cruel in a way that always leaves me perplexed. I can’t seem to understand where all that cruelty comes from, why they seem to gain popularity by doing awful things to their weaker school mates. Henry is weak because the ghost of Jesse, his now dead boyfriend, hunts him. He thinks it’s his fault because he didn’t see the signs, he didn’t realize his own boyfriend needed help and was thinking about hurting himself. This situation makes him weak and an easy prey to bullies and it makes his life at home harder that how it already is. But nothing is an excuse for bullying. If Henry went to school dressed as an alien, you don’t have the right to bully him, NOT A SINGLE RIGHT! No excuses whatsoever! Let’s put an end to this nonsense!

Maybe love doesn’t require falling after all. Maybe it only requires that you choose to be in it.

One day he meets Diego, a newly transferred student from Colorado with a secret past we later found out about. It left me speechless but I didn’t blame him. How could I blame someone for doing what I was thinking of doing in his situation but I’d always be too scared to do? Henry meets Diego and it puts his life in perspective. Henry starts seeing other faces of the dice that is the life he thinks he knows. Diego will make Henry question his decision to not push the button and let the world end. But Diego can’t and won’t make that decision for him; Henry has to want to push the button or else it’ll be pointless. Henry needs help and someone needs to see it before it’s too late.

“Depression isn’t a war you win. It’s a battle you fight every day. You never stop, never get to rest.”

I struggled with Henry because I felt his pain, his indecisions. I am an over thinker like him and that leads me to a lot of anxiety filled scenarios. Henry doesn’t like people hiding things from him; all of this because of what happened to Jesse. He decided to believe his lies and not ask for explanations and that resulted in his suicide. Henry can’t let something like that happen again. He won’t be responsible for someone else’s death. The pressure of life is too much and he can’t bear it. We will never know why Jesse took his own life and knowing it won’t change the fact that he is already gone. The grief will accompany them forever, memories will be cherished but life has to continue, it’s the ugly truth: we may need a break from life, but life doesn’t stop for us. Don’t let that overwhelm you, go at your own pace like I do.

I’d let myself believe the lies because it was easier than digging for the truth.

He won’t allow himself to have feelings for Diego. Diego is hiding his past from him and Henry is still pretty lost in the memory of Jesse, feeling that he’ll be cheating him if he starts liking someone else. More importantly, with the world ending, what’s the point? What’s the point of everything? Nothing really matters. Not for Henry. With the end of the world he will free his Grandma from her Alzheimer consuming her, his mother from the money problems, his brother from bringing to this awful world another human being; and he will be free from bullies calling him Space Boy and from the grief from losing Jesse that is eating him alive. But maybe you don’t have to save the world or end it, for the sake of others. Maybe you have to be a little selfish and make that decision for yourself.

“There’s an amazing world out there for you to discover, Henry Denton, but you have to be willing to discover yourself first.”

I love Henry. I want to hug him and help him in his road to be better, to accept and move on. To have a life filled with difficult situations but knowing there are people out there to help you, that you are not alone in this. I love Henry. I love how he changes throughout the book, the more the day of the end of the world approaches, the more he doubts what he believed in the beginning. And that’s perfect. I think we have to question what happens to us but being careful about not over thinking because that leads to an infinite loop of fear from which is not easy to get out. I know that loop all too well, I hate that loop. But I love Henry. I love him very much.

People wait for the countdown to tell them that it’s okay to believe in themselves again. They end each year with failure, but hope that when the clock strikes twelve, they can begin the new year with a clean slate. They tell themselves that this year things will happen, never realizing that things are always happening; they’re just happening without them.

So I as said, this book is not about aliens. I still have my doubts about said aliens but that’s ok, I don’t need to know. This book is about all of us. This story is filled with emotions, raw and deep and hard. The world is an ugly place and we have to find a way to live in it. Whether we want to fight for what’s right, or live quietly far from chaos, the world is ours, is a big community and it’s an ugly one. So many bad things keep happening, and if you think about it for a bit you just come to the conclusion that IT SIMPLY DOESN’T MAKE A FREAKING SENSE!!

“When the days are darkest, dear, you latch on the happiness wherever you find it.”

We have to choose what to fight for, we have to look for small personal victories, at home, at work, at school and the bravest of us, will look for large scale victories and we are going to support them because we are in this together.
We aren’t going to give up on the world just because we are sure things aren’t going to end well.

“So, when you’re offered bacon for breakfast, do you refuse because you’re worried about what’s going to happen when it’s gone?”

If I knew the world was going to end and I was given the possibility to stop the end from happening by pressing a button, would I press it?

I guess you will never know ;D

Do I recommend it? Yes, and read it soon, it’s really worth it.
Rate: 5+++/5
☆: It made my “favourite books” list

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All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

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“The problem with people is they forget that most of the time it’s the small things that count.”

Title: All the Bright Places
Author: Jennifer Niven
Why you should read this book: I don’t know why you should read this. It has a strong theme, you need to be prepared for it. If you are prepared then you really should read this book.

Summary from Goodreads:

Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.

Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.

When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the ‘natural wonders’ of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself – a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.

“I do my best thinking at night when everyone else is sleeping. No interruptions. No noise. I like the feeling of being awake when no one else is.”

Maybe this review got too personal, forgive me. I don’t think there are spoilers.

I don’t know how to review this book. I liked it even if some parts were hard to read. The bullying always gives me a hard time with books, movies and real life. I can’t seem to cope with that kind of behaviour and it makes me so mad. I don’t understand and will never understand how someone ends up thinking bullying is fun and fine.

I’m giving this 4 stars because it spoke to me. I didn’t think someone could think the way I think in a book, it surprised me. I relate maybe to too many things and it scared the hell out of me. At some point I just closed the book and started staring at nothing in complete silence. I could hear my heart beating in my throat, my head, and my ears. Then I decided to eat something because that’s always the right remedy to overthinking. It worked, as I knew it would.

Theodore Finch wants to die, he doesn’t want to give himself a label but he can’t deny that he is sick. He doesn’t want to get help; he thinks he can do everything by himself. Theodore Finch lies to himself and to everyone around him. Theodore Finch is like me. No, even if a few times I have thought about everyone’s life without me, I don’t want to die. My mind is full of catastrophic thoughts that make me want to isolate myself from the world, that’s true, I am one with my fears and sadness and there’s only one person that can save me and that’s me. I’m working on that, every single day.

Violet is miserable and in mourning. Her sister died and she blames herself. She is trying to live her life miserably like she is punishing herself. She needs to really talk to someone but opening up is the hardest first step one can make, a first step a lot of people who needs help don’t make. It’s just like “Challenger Deep”, a book I loved with all my heart, in which the main character says that mental illness is not easy to identify neither from the victim’s pov nor from the people around the victim’s pov until, unfortunately, it’s too late. I like to think that it may be hard but not impossible. But boy, if it’s hard.

Violet meets Finch and their encounter helps them both. Not in the miraculous “my illness was just temporary, I am a happy person now” kind of way, but in a “life no matter how short is better with you in it” kind of way. That part I liked the most. Finch is not delusional but I think he needed someone in his family to notice something was not right. He, thinking about how horrible having a label like “bipolar” was worst that not being alive, was hard to digest. His family has the most unreliable people on the planet as members. Your son disappears all the time, he changes appearance and behaviour every single week, he doesn’t look his best, and you don’t ask yourself if there is something wrong? If you can help him a little bit? People are so blind when there is something uncomfortable on the table in front of them.

“All I know is what I wonder: Which of my feelings are real? Which of the mes is me? There is only one me I’ve ever really liked, and he was good and awake as long as he could be.”

This book hits too close to home. By home I mean my soul, my fighter soul, my Viking soul, my smiling face that sometimes hides a fragility that the world doesn’t need to see. I get the help that I need watching the people I love being happy. I get strength reading books people love and that I think I can love too and can discuss with them. I get my smile sharing my everyday life with people who appreciate and respect my need for space, the need to stay home, to not want to do things out of laziness, the pleasure to just sit down and do nothing.

Finch doesn’t have the kind of surroundings that could help him getting to cohabitate with his illness in his everyday life. Finch needed people to notice him but his family was never there, his friends didn’t watch him close enough to see the fractures of the masks he wore to face the world. Finch started getting his strength from Violet when it was too late, in my opinion, and the mechanism of his life was already failing to a point that it couldn’t be repaired anymore.

“We do not remember days, we remember moments.”

This book might be important or it might annoy you. It all depends on how your heart is when you start reading it. I may not remember very well how does it feel to be a teenager but I know how little sometimes one can feel standing and trying to live in this big scary world.

Do I recommend it? Of course.
Rate: 4/5

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Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman

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“There are many ways in which the “check brain” light illuminates, but here’s the screwed-up part: the driver can’t see it. It’s like the light is positioned in the backseat cup holder, beneath an empty can of soda that’s been there for a month. No one sees it but the passengers—and only if they’re really looking for it, or when the light gets so bright and so hot that it melts the can, and sets the whole car on fire.”

Title: Challenger Deep
Author: Neal Shusterman
Why you should read this book: Because it’s important to understand what’s on the other side of mental illness, the side of the person suffering from it.

Summary from Goodreads, I can’t really write summaries lately, I want to write everything and spoil the book:

Caden Bosch is on a ship that’s headed for the deepest point on Earth: Challenger Deep, the southern part of the Marianas Trench.
Caden Bosch is a brilliant high school student whose friends are starting to notice his odd behavior.
Caden Bosch is designated the ship’s artist in residence to document the journey with images.
Caden Bosch pretends to join the school track team but spends his days walking for miles, absorbed by the thoughts in his head.
Caden Bosch is split between his allegiance to the captain and the allure of mutiny.
Caden Bosch is torn.

“Dead kids are put on pedestals, but mentally ill kids get hidden under the rug.”

I don’t know what to say. This book was special, it felt huge and it made me feel so little inside. Caden’s journey is unique, its his own, it’s the most difficult he has ever been to.
I can’t begin to describe how real it felt, you were there with him, through his struggles with this mental illness that made the world feels fake. He was suspicious of everyone, they were all possible impostors, even his parents. He thought that his actions determined wether a day would be good or bad, wether his sister would be safe or in danger.

“The scariest thing of all is never knowing what you’re suddenly going to believe.”

When he is put in a hospital he finds himself with other boys/girls with problems like his. He meets his room mate, Hal the navigator, obsessed with maps, Skye, a blue haired girl and his never ending puzzle, Callie and her window watching routine, Carlyle, the volunteer who was the head of his therapy group and Dr. Poirot, the one eyed doctor in charge of his weekly evaluations. Every single one of this characters have a major role in Caden’s made up world, they assist him, they take him down, they are part of what he has to do to heal even when he doesn’t know what it is.

It’s not easy to review this book because it’s not a book, it’s so much more. It’s a journey through mental illness not to healing but to cohabiting with it and knowing what to do in order to not make it reach the surface anymore. It is deep in Caden’s brain, it is there, will always be there and there is nothing he can do to take it away. This illness is mean, he is not in control of what he sees, of what he believes, of what’s real and what’s not. It’s something that takes so much out of a fifteen year old boy and you want to help him and you do, with all your might, but in the end he has to do his part, and his part is the most important, without it he is going to go deeper and deeper until a point of no return.

“They want to do something – anything – to help me. Anything to change my situation. But they are as powerless as I am. The two of them are in a lifeboat, together, but so alone. The boat leaks, and they must bail in tandem to keep themselves afloat. It must be exhausting.
The terrible truth of their helplessness is almost too much to bear. I wish I would take them on board, but even if they could reach us, the captain would never allow it.
Right now it sucks to be me – but until now, it never occurred to me that it also sucks to be them.”

Caden is like any of us, he knows what is real but then he doesn’t know anymore, he is torn. It can happen any day, you are “normal” until you are not anymore. The only thing left to do is fight, face the world head high everyday and when we are feeling weak and there is a voice in our head saying “you will come to the depth one day”, you will have to be strong and say “Maybe one day, but not today!”.

Not today!

Do I recommend it? Yes, it is written in a marvelous way, it hits you hard and it does it in a way that you are not the same when you finish reading it.
Rate: 5/5

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