This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.
I thought that this book was very well done. I have had this book in my review pile for years now but for some reason never picked it up. I decided to finally give it a try and went into the story rather blindly since the only thing that I remembered about the book was that it was a YA story. It turns out that this is a story about dealing with mental illness, grief, romance, and even a bit of a mystery. I am glad that I finally read this emotional story.
This is a rather long book at 544 pages and it tells a big story. I started reading this book as I went to bed and planned to read one chapter before setting it aside to go to sleep. This book is not broken up into chapters like I am used to seeing. The book is broken up into two sections but there are breaks within each of the sections. The story is told as if it were a letter that Cassie is writing to the boy she hopes will give her a second chance.
There is a lot that happens in this book. A lot of those things don't occur until the second half of the story so it would be a bit of a spoiler to discuss those plot points in this review but I did appreciate the way that many later events were foreshadowed in the first part of the book. The first part of the book focuses almost entirely on the evolution of Cassie's mental illness. She describes when the voices start and exactly what they make her do. I felt her anguish and couldn't imagine living with that kind of pain. She has quite the journey as she receives treatment for her condition.
The book also follows Cassie as she deals with moving forward in her life with her illness. We do learn more about her past and the trauma that may have played a part in the development of her condition. We also get to see Cassie making friends and even getting to know the boy that she is writing the letter to. I loved getting to see Cassie having some fun and experiencing some of those typical teenage milestones. The relationship between Cassie and her father wasn't perfect, not at all, but it felt genuine. They both have a lot of pain, and more than a few issues, and don't always know the best way to interact with each other.
I would recommend this book to others. This was quite the emotional journey and I thought that the mental health aspect of the story was very well done. I wouldn't hesitate to read more of Nick Lake's work in the future.
I received a digital review copy of this book from Bloomsbury USA Children's Books via NetGalley.
This was good. I have had an ARC of this book for a very long time but failed to pick it up until now. I selected a book at random to read one evening and it ended up being this book. I found that my digital ARC was nearly unreadable due to poor formatting so I checked a digital copy out from my local library and didn't look back. I was surprised that the book really isn't broken up into chapters in the way that I am used to but there were some natural breaks for those times that I needed to focus on other things.
I really didn't remember what this book was about when I started reading it but was quickly drawn into Cassie's story. The book is written from Cassie's point of view and presented as a letter to a boy. The main focus of the story is Cassie's struggle with mental illness but it also touches on romance, friendships, and a mystery. I really felt for Cassie and hoped to see things go her way.