I got this book having watched my favorite BookTuber Mollie Reads video in which she literally cried her eyes out holding the book, saying she has no words to describe it.
As some of you probably know, I like books that emotionally destroy me; it may sound weird, but I seemed to have developed a penchant for emotionally disturbing books somehow, I don’t know why, but upon watching the video, I thought this book would definitely be right up my alley.
And it proved me right; an inexplicable feeling washed over me when I closed the book and I got welled up. It was hard to hold in my emotions from gushing out.
I gave this book 4 stars out of 5 stars.
This book opens with a funeral scene of a girl by the name of Sophia who is said to have committed suicide. Her boyfriend and the protagonist of this story, Bo, doesn’t buy what everyone says and tries to save her from the past where she is trapped by using his special powers of maneuvering timestreams.
I went into this book pretty blindly and didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t even know the synopsis much other than this book is about mental illness, so I wasn’t quite sure if I should take what I read at face value or be skeptic. That sense of suspense added a lot to my excitement as I read along.
Just like another book on mental illness, ‘Under Rose-Tainted Skies,’ I felt like I was sneaking inside Bo’s head and seeing what was going on in his mind and how he was processing his emotions. It felt really accurate and realistic, painful at times.
The writing is crisp and straight-forward, it didn’t come across particularly beautiful, but I thought it was quite visceral and emotionally evocative. I particularly liked how well Beth Revis describes Phoebe’s vacillating emotions and her honest feelings wanting to be as she is without disguising herself.
The diverse cast of characters are all well-fleshed out and felt down-to-earth, not fictional at all. Again, I particularly liked Phoebe for her own imperfections and her self-doubt. Her inner conflicts make this story more gripping and add a lot of depth to it.
The scene where I get to see the snippet of Dad’s true feelings and angst is just heart-wrenching. The whole family, Bo’s family is just going through the motions of being a ‘real family,’ acting as though nothing had happened while bearing loads of baggage inside them, and that scene underlined the charade so perfectly and brilliantly. It felt so poignant.
As the ‘reality’ dawns on, the story get heavier and I found it difficult at times to keep reading. It was getting incredibly gripping but knowing what the ‘reality’ implies, I felt torn between me wanting to keep on and me needing to take a break for a while.
The last 60 pages or so is such a page turner. As the story inches up to ‘the core,’ the harder it gets to put it down.
What made me cry was the epilogue. Until then, I didn’t think I would cry over this book.
When I read the remark Bo makes in the dialogue with Phoebe, it hit me in the feels, thinking,
He says THIS, after what he went through, after the choice he made, he says THIS!
Personally, the epilogue is just amazing and stunning. I am quite happy with that.
As I mentioned, this book is on mental illness, so it is not a fluffy book with a happy vibe.
It is gripping, beautiful, yet serious and heavy.
That being said though, I think it is definitely worth reading it.
I am glad that I did.