Monday, August 31, 2015

I get the last word this time. At least in my mind.

Most of my librarian friends are raving about this book.  I did like that when Sam, the protagonist, talked about seeing a psychiatrist and getting treatment, it was very normal for her.  Too often, in any genre of book, the notion of being treated for a mental illness is on a moral par with selling your soul to the devil.  Medication is Evil because it's made by Big Pharma which is Evil and prescribed to you by Rich Doctors, who are also Evil.  I would like to see if those writers could survive an hour in my head if I were off my meds.  Which would you like to sample first, dear author?  Extreme self-loathing leading to purging?  Suicidal ideation?  Ooh, so many fun things, amirite???



Unfortunately, a positive portrayal of self-care and mental health care couldn't save this for me.  The presentation of Sam's OCD, which is pure-O, meaning that Sam has mostly obsessive thoughts and not so much the compulsive behaviors, veers off into some really odd territory.  She's evidently been able to "hide" her mental illness since she was ten.  Plus, she's one of the Queen Bees at her school.  How did those girls, who pick and pick and pick at other people to tear them to shreds and then display the aftermath, not get that there was something wrong with their "friend"?  And the way Sam ends up resolving things was so unsatisfactory to me.  It's akin to choosing to stay in a burning building because you're afraid of getting cold.  Also, the twist for me *MASSIVE SPOILERS* suggested something in addition to OCD.  

I admit to not getting very far in this, but I read enough to know I didn't want to proceed.  I was irritated with Sam's obsession with her not-available swim coach.  She describes her "friend" Kaitlyn as "exotic-pretty."  And of course, any girl who wears baggy pants has to be a social loser.  



Actually, I'm not really that irritated with this novel.  I'm a bit let down, and I'm just ... over it.  The book was here, and I was over there, and we looked at each other, shrugged, and went our separate ways.  It was the ultimate failed blind date.  I'm weary of buying into the hot books that everyone loves or the mysterious books that you have to read.  For a while, I'm going to work on my reading list and try and stay away from Netgalley.  That's kind of like saying I'm giving up coffee, but I'll give it the old college try.

Please don't be totally put off by my apathy and irritation.  You may find this book to be as lovely as almost everyone else who's reviewed it.  

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