Reading Level: Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Length: 432 pages
Release Date: September 2nd, 2014
Stand Alone or Series: Stand Alone
Source: ARC from Amazon Vine
Rating: 4/5 stars
I got a copy of this book to review through the Amazon Vine program. It was a very engaging and fast-paced read and I really enjoyed it.
Caddie is excited to start at the new fine arts school she got into. She is especially excited to audition for the part of Ophelia in Hamlet, the play that school will be doing that year. However Caddie is dealing with some tough issues at home and has a history of mental illness when she is under stress. Caddie has convinced herself that if only she doesn’t touch anyone her parents will get back together and everything will be okay. It has gotten so bad that any time Caddie touches or is touched by someone she goes into a full-fledged panic attack. As you can imagine it’s very hard not to touch anyone when you are trying to be the lead heroine in a play.
I really loved the characters and the story. It was a very quick read and hard to put down. The story is really driven by whether or not Caddie will get the lead role in Hamlet and whether or not she will be able to keep that role. You are also on pins and needles about whether or not Caddie will ever be able to get free from her fear.
As you can imagine Caddie’s mental illness is something that has been ongoing but has gotten more extreme in light of her parents’ separation. The book does a good job of showing how devastating something like this can be while also showing how with love, understanding friends, and some professional help these kind of anxieties can be (if not conquered) at least controlled and tempered a bit better. Caddie knows what she does is silly but she can’t seem to stop doing it.
The only part of this book I thought was a bit unrealistic was how supportive and helpful her friends were. The boy she meets and has a love interest in, Peter, is incredibly patient and understanding even before he knows Caddie has an anxiety problem. While I enjoyed how supportive her friends, family, and Peter are (and I wish the world was really like that)….I thought it was a bit contrived and unrealistic at points.
This was a different type of YA read and it was super hard to put down. I really enjoyed it; there are some sad parts but Caddie is kind of snarky too, so there are definitely some laugh out loud parts too.
Overall a very well done young adult read about mental illness and family issues. It was a different type of YA contemporary fiction. I enjoyed watching Caddie work through her issues and liked how supportive her friends and family were (even if I did think that was a bit unrealistic). I love the play Hamlet so all the scenes in the book where they are acting out Hamlet were an added bonus. I would recommend if you enjoy contemporary YA reads that have some humor and romance.
This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
– You Read How Many Books? Reading Challenge