Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Words on Bathroom Walls by Julia Walton - Book Review


"Words on Bathroom Walls" by Julia Walton is a YA fiction novel that follows main character Adam who was recently diagnosed with schizophrenia. The book is a collection of letters that Adam is writing to his therapist in the counseling sessions that he attends but refuses to speak in. This book is hard for me to review, because I think that there are readers out there that would really connect with Adam, because they have personal experiences that line up with the novel. That aside, as far as writing style and reading experience, this was a two star read for me. The book is written in letter form, so it is very casual but it also felt incredibly unnatural and a very unlikely premise. The main character while experiencing a complex illness, is not portrayed as being particularly complex, and after reading the author's end note I'm not entirely sure how accurate this portrayal of schizophrenia actually is. Have you read "Words on Bathroom Walls"? Comment down below and let me know what you thought of it!

Running With Scissors by Augusten Burroughs - Book Review


"Running with Scissors" by Augusten Burroughs is a memoir about Augusten's life - starting in middle school and going though high school, and those years for Augusten were *chaotic*. In middle school, Augusten's parents began seeing a therapist and what follows is one of the most bizarre Addam's family type situations I've ever read about. Augusten has processed everything in the book with wit and humor, and I loved it, and flew through this book. But the effect of that humor, is also this vacuum where you really get a sense of the hurt and confusion that Augusten must have felt because the situations described in the book are also terrible. For example, one of my favorite quotes from the book is Augusten describing his mother's most recent mental breakdown as "not crazy in a 'let's paint the kitchen bright red' sort of way but crazy in a gas oven, tooth paste sandwich, I am God, sort of way." Have you read "Running With Scissors"? Let me know what you thought of it below! 

Everything is Horrible and Wonderful by Stephanie Wittels - Book Review


"Everything is Horrible and Wonderful" is a memoir that Stephanie wrote after her brother, Harris, died of a heroin overdose in 2015. Harris was an actor and writer, and if you are a fan of Parks and Recreation, you might know him as Harris the Animal Control employee, but he was also a writer for the show and a producer. Stephanie shares so much material that he wrote, emails he wrote her, instant messages that they shared - it's impossible to deny how hilarious he was. But she is also brutally honest about the anger and frustration that she felt towards and still feels. I listened to this book on audio, and it brought me to tears several times listening to her rage against her brother's choices and the long term consequences that will have on her life and everyone who loved Harris. As hard as it was at times to get through, I think this book has a lot to say about drug addiction and I am so glad that I read it. Have you read "Everything is Horrible and Wonderful"? Comment down below and let me know what you thought of this book!

Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu


"Moxie" by Jennifer Mathieu is a YA book with a lot of hype, and for me, it totally met it. "moxie" follows a junior in high school named Viv. Viv is fed up with the sexist tones in her high school - the catcalls from the high school football team, the dress code the seemingly only applies to the girls, and the terrible game played in the hallway, "bump and grab" - yeah, welcome to hell. One day, Viv creates a zin calling out all of this, called "Moxie" and the movement takes off at her high school and becomes something so much bigger. As an adult reading YA, I tend to pay a lot of attention to how the "grown ups" are acting. I was really struck in this book by the adults and their complicity, it made me so frustrated. This book does such an amazing job showing all of the layers of complication and control that lead to these toxic environments- those that Moxie girls and women everywhere fight.