“Everyone’s interesting if you stare at them long enough.”
I’m peeling off a hangnail from my pinkie as punishment for not having read this sooner. I didn’t even get to vote this for GR 2015 Best YA fiction because I’ve been putting this on hold assuming this was going to be another sad and heavy read about a sick or dying kid because I may have already reached my tolerance limit for these kinds of reads this year. I was wrong about this one. I was so wrong! Now, it’s too late and I’ve got nothing left to blame except…ooh wait…I blame the government!
Anyway, onto the review. I have just recently read a book about the same subject matter: schizophrenia and it was taken rather too heavily. This one was a surprising and refreshing light read although it didn’t take the subject lightly at all.
In this inventive debut novel, we get to see the meticulous, fascinating and colorful world of someone like Alex, a teenage girl who is schizophrenic. What makes this an invigorating read is that Alex fully knows about her condition and is completely aware that the things she sees may or may not be real. She is such an adorable, admirable character because she doesn’t let her illness stunt or define her. In this story, the reader gets to understand how someone like Alex socially cope and blend in despite her state of mind.
I admire how the story narrated by Alex herself read almost like a fantasy story because of her hilariously creative imagination conjuring out of this world mental pictures like black-clad and armed men on the school’s rooftops or a python slithering stealthily along the school’s ceilings(you’ll never know which is real or not so prepare to be surprised!) The story is made even more ingenious because of this other character, Miles, a boy just as special and as unique, possibly the smartest teenager under the sun but who can’t seem to process emotions properly.
Put a nerdy schizophrenic girl and an even nerdier boy with mild autism together, add these other sympathetic characters, unexpected plot twist (I was sure one of these important characters weren’t real but OMG! I hadn’t expected it to be that character), smart and endearing writing, the most unusual romance and mystery with a very satisfying conclusion and you get one of the most incredibly original and adorable YA fiction even written.
I admit some of the events were a bit far-fetched and some characters and stereotypes a bit overdone but somehow, this charming novel found a special spot in my heart. That spot where unicorns and rainbows and chocolates reside. Except for two or three times when my heart broke, I was grinning like an idiot half of the time. Other times I was giggling and snorting in laughter and the other remaining times, I just wanted to hug the book close to my heart which obviously can be summarized in one sentence. I adore this book! ❤