Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5
Genre: Realistic fiction
What did you like about the book? Swallowing pills in a suicide attempt, Journey is found and saved. Although she is glad to have not succeeded, depression and mood swings plague her constantly. She is rather quickly diagnosed with bipolar disorder and medicated. Now she doesn’t know if she is coming or going. Her boyfriend, the love of her life, her best friend, breaks up with her devastating her further. The school guidance counselor suggests she take the community college courses for high school students. This helps. She also volunteers for a crisis hotline which gives her a small community of like-minded people to identify with.
This is a painful, authentic insight into the psyche of a troubled girl; no pat ending, but hopeful. Journey’s confusion, mood swings and pain are felt as if they were your own.
Journey’s best friend Marisol is French and Puerto Rican, her new love Etta has brown skin but other characters present as white.
Anything you did not like about the book? Perhaps an odd thing to dislike, but some of the chapters were soooooo long. I prefer them shorter with places where one can take a break.
To whom would you recommend this book? Those who need stories about troubled teens dealing with depression wjould appreciate Journey’s struggle and insights. Readalikes would be Essential Maps for the Lost by Deb Caletti and The Memory of Light by Francisco X. Stork.
Who should buy this book? High schools and public libraries.
Where would you shelve it? YA Fiction
Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes.
Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Katrina Yurenka, Retired Librarian, Manager, Youth Services Book Review
Date of Review: 4/18/2021