My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Publication Date: Feburary 28th, 2017
Publisher: Knopf BFYR
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBT
Maeve has heard it all before. She’s been struggling with severe anxiety for a long time, and as much as she wishes it was something she could just talk herself out of, it’s not. She constantly imagines the worst, composes obituaries in her head, and is always ready for things to fall apart. To add to her troubles, her mom—the only one who really gets what Maeve goes through—is leaving for six months, so Maeve will be sent to live with her dad in Vancouver.
Vancouver brings a slew of new worries, but Maeve finds brief moments of calm (as well as even more worries) with Salix, a local girl who doesn’t seem to worry about anything. Between her dad’s wavering sobriety, her very pregnant stepmom insisting on a home birth, and her bumbling courtship with Salix, this summer brings more catastrophes than even Maeve could have foreseen. Will she be able to navigate through all the chaos to be there for the people she loves?
This book is so flashy. I have the hardcover format in my room and I swear I can see it in the dark sometimes.
I was really curious about the title before I started actually reading this book. I like deciphering titles as I’m reading a story. Unfortunately, deciphering this particular title was not at all exciting. But in reality, there was nothing to decipher, because it’s the kind of title that feels random or chosen at the very last second because books must have titles.
The problem with this book is that it tries to focus on too many things. So Maeve suffers from anxiety. She has panic attacks, which must not be dismissed as unimportant because they’re very real to her. And yet, this is not a book about one girl coping with her anxiety, since she already has her own, though not always successful, coping strategy.
Then there’s Maeve’s mother who lives in Haiti with her boyfriend, whom she dislikes, and it’s hard on her because she needs her mother. Her brother Dan also isn’t present in her life. She was sent to live with her alcoholic father, stepmother and two young step-brothers. Maeve’s father’s addiction is also very real and a huge focus, and yet the book ends before we can imagine him getting better.
Moreover, Maeve falls in love with a lovely girl. It’s all so sudden. One moment she was talking about her previous girlfriend and lesbian ex-best friend and the next she’s dating this new girl she think may likely be the One. It’s not romantic. The problem wasn’t the writing style not being lyrical enough. The problem was the insta-love factor.
I don’t know much about Maeve, to be honest. I know about the people in her life: the people she loves and the people who hurt her. I know about her anxiety. But I’ve no idea how to imagine her ten years in the future. Whenever I am able to do that, I know I know the character well, but right now I can’t with Maeve.
I’d say maybe read HOW TO MAKE A WISH instead, if you want LGBT, dramatic and centered on family relationships.
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