Top critical review
“Enjoyed” it, but have mixed opinions
Reviewed in the United States on October 2, 2018
There are many things I liked about this book. It is compulsively readable, well-written, has characters you root for, evokes strong emotions and brings awareness and thought to important topics. However, I walked away really unsettled... angry and in a bad mood for days unsettled. The book is told from two teenager’s points of view. For a book in first person I walked away feeling like I couldn’t understand one of the characters, including his choices, thoughts and emotions, and this is not good when it’s told from his perspective. When it matters most we don’t even hear his POV. This was intentional by the author (and arguably fitting and effective) but really bothered me and partially what made me so angry. I don’t mind sad or bittersweet endings if they fit with the story and what I know about the characters. I liked these characters but their actions felt unjustified because I couldn’t see their side. I also felt like one piece was irresponsibly handled and makes me fear how those who know someone struggling with suicidal thoughts may act.
I do not think this book is for everyone. There are some big triggers. I do not think this is a book for those struggling with suicidal thoughts. It may be a book for those who know someone who committed suicide, but I question that too. There is nothing here that would make me say a teenager shouldn’t read it, but conversations should be had around it. There is light and love in this book but my my more overwhelming emotion was darkness and anger.
Ultimately, I’m glad I read it and I enjoyed the book, as much as one can with this difficult topic, but a few things hold me back from loving it.