Format: Audio-book – Library
I’ve read quite a few of Green’s books, and I like them a lot. I did have to stop for awhile after I read Paper Towns and Looking for Alaska back-to-back (because they are the same book: nerdy whiteboy loves out-of-his-league manic pixie dream girl who disappears, has to find her even though that is dumb). I took a break after that. But The Fault in Our Stars broke my heart in nine different ways, so I gave this one a go.
As a person who struggles with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, this book felt incredibly visceral. I don’t struggle with OCD the way that our protagonist clearly does (despite the fact it’s rarely or never referred to by name) but its portrayal of the anxiety spiral was spot on. This book was a deep plunge into the difficult world of mental illness. If you have a loved one with any kind of anxiety disorder, you’ll likely understand them much more easily after you read this book.
Aza is a germophobe to the nth degree. Being with her as she navigates everyday life and relationships feels terrifying and confusing– exactly how it should. Her experience with kissing especially shows the ways in which mental illness truly, truly can interrupt your life.
I was surprised about the actual plot of this book, however. Aza renews a friendship with a boy she met at summer camp– he’s super-rich, and his (insanely crazy-go-bonkers) super-rich dad has just gone missing. Aza and her bestie decide they’re going to solve the mystery and collect on the cash so that they can have a head start on college. Thus begins the search.
It’s lovely to watch Aza struggle with her relationships, attempt to make things right, get things extremely wrong, and do it all while being terrified something is eating her from the inside out. This is a well-crafted, emotional book that I suggest to anyone who wants a better understanding of anxiety.
Objective Hearts: 4/5
Subjective Hearts: 4/5
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”