I was worried to pick up a John Green novel because of it’s excessive hype but yet again i am left baffled with the emotional journey the book has put me through. Honestly, I suffer from anxiety myself and felt understood. There were several moments in the book where i stopped and said to no one in particular – ” This book knows exactly what i go through”.
The main character Aza is suffering from anxiety, she is also trying to be a good friend and a good daughter. She is also trying to be a good detective all while living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.
Things I liked:
The Author has described the feeling of being anxious so beautifully. It isn’t romanticized, and it’s almost frustrating and raw that i guess is the reason it feels so real. I could totally relate to most of them. I really – really loved the mind dialogues. It actually makes you feel what Aza is going through rather than empathizing and watching from a distance.
Damn, The struggle is real.
I also love the part where Aza explains her anxiety to Daisy with darkness as the metaphor, and OMG – that alone earned a star from me.
- Not Dumbed Down.
Technology like texting and blogs are organically incorporated in the story and it doesn’t look forced. One thing i hate about YA, is dumb characters but John Green has portrayed a really smart and intelligent protagonist even with her mental illness and all that. There is so much other informative things that i had to google it out at times, which made it even more interesting to read.
Apart from Aza, I really loved the character of Davis. All the parts where they talk under the stars and he is explaining to her what is what. I loved his idea of a blog. I loved how he was being a nice brother and i also loved how he wasn’t portrayed as a spoilt rich kid or something.
Things I didn’t like:
- Daisy and her fanfiction mentioning Aza in a bad way. I mean i don’t think that’s how a best friend should behave but anyways… the whole conflict between their friendship and how it was resolved was a bit of a downer.
I would recommend it to someone that’ suffers from Anxiety, in hopes they too feel understood.
“…no one ever says good-bye unless they want to see you again.”
“You’re both the fire and the water that extinguishes it. You’re the narrator, the protagonist, and the sidekick. You’re the storyteller and the story told. You are somebody’s something, but you are also your you.”
“I was beginning to learn that your life is a story told about you, not one that you tell.”
“The problem with happy endings is that they’re either not really happy, or not really endings, you know? In real life, some things get better and some things get worse. And then eventually you die.”
“You remember your first love because they show you, prove to you, that you can love and be loved, that nothing in this world is deserved except for love, that love is both how you become a person and why.”