Published by Random House Books for Young Readers on July 4th 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Fans of More Happy Than Not, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and It’s Kind of a Funny Story will cheer for Adam as he struggles with schizophrenia in this brilliantly honest and unexpectedly funny debut.
Adam has just been diagnosed with schizophrenia. He sees and hears people who aren’t there: Rebecca, a beautiful girl who understands him; the Mob Boss, who harasses him; and Jason, the naked guy who’s unfailingly polite. It should be easy to separate the real from the not real, but Adam can't.
Still, there’s hope. As Adam starts fresh at a new school, he begins a drug trial that helps him ignore his visions. Suddenly everything seems possible, even love. When he meets Maya, a fiercely intelligent girl, he desperately wants to be the great guy that she thinks he is. But then the miracle drug begins to fail, and Adam will do anything to keep Maya from discovering his secret.
So this is actually the first review I’m writing since I started my unplanned hiatus in all things bookish. It’s scary and I don’t want to disappoint. So for safety reasons, I’m going with a list. Because that’s always fun and it’s the easiest way to share my thoughts on this particular book. Because I’m very mixed, peoples. Very mixed, indeed. Parts of this book were SO excellent, other parts not so much. So let’s get on with the list, shall we?
♦ Adam’s voice is one of my favorite things of the book. It was so real and funny and it made me feel for him and care about him. He’s so precious and sad and he’s a typical 16-year-old guy and I don’t agree with his thinking all the time but it’s so realistic and I just loved that. His voice is what kept me reading most of the time.
♦ The letter format worked for me, but also didn’t. On the one hand, it really brought out Adam’s voice, which I loved, but on the other hand… it kind of made the story mostly tell tell tell. Which I don’t like so much. It also prevented me from really living IN the story. I only heard Adam tell about it and I’d loved to read some events in full. So that brought the book down a bit for me.
♦ The secondary characters also didn’t really come through properly, but yet I still liked them? Especially Maya and Dwight. They were wonderful, but because of how the story is told, I never got to know them as much as I wanted to, which is a shame. Of the two, Dwight is my favorite though and I demand a book about him. He’s so awkward and adorable, really. Precious Dwight.
♦ Yay for awesome parents in YA again! I love that this is becoming more of a thing because parents can be awesome and I would love to see that in YA more. Adam’s parents were so sweet, yet realistic. They were also sometimes scared of Adam’s mental health issues, which is normal! But they were so supportive and there for him and I loved it.
♦ The mental health rep though. It’s so deliciously good. I’m NOT schizofrenic. But I have heard from others the rep is good and I trust them and honestly it felt very real to me too. And romance wasn’t a cure for anything. Not even meds were a real cure. I applaud this, sir. I also LOVED that it wasn’t displayed as a bad thing all the time. That Adam’s hallucinations weren’t all bad. There were nice ones among them and I really like that.
♦ But the story didn’t come through completely. Mostly because of the format. And I mean it just felt… chopped off a bit at places because I felt like I was missing parts of the story just because it was told in a letter format. Which is unfortunate.
Overall, I did enjoy this book. Adam and his voice were golden and I demand a book about Dwight. They’re both precious and I love them. Words on Bathroom Walls is a very real, touching book about a boy dealing with schizofrenia that I recommend giving a try for everyone that likes to read more about it.
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