I know this book is very popular in my blogosphere and a lot of readers recommended this book. With all the HYPE surrounding it, I was very excited. Maybe, too excited. It’s no one’s fault ( I love y’all recommendations) , this is purely my VERY personal opinion.
I’m going to jump right in and tell you what worked and what didn’t work for me. I like to start with the bad things first, so what didn’t work : THE WHOLE PLOT.
John Green wants to incorporate a detective story in there with the main character Aza as the lead “detective” and her best friend as her sidekick. But as we read the book, we learn that Aza suffers from an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. It also happens that one of her friends, Davis Pickett, has a dad who is a multibillionaire business shady man just disappeared. The police asked for a reward of 100,000$ to find the fugitive. Since Aza is friend with Davis (his son), Aza’s best friend wants to take advantage of that relationship and find out what happened to David’s Dad so they can win the money.
I would love to tell you more about it but in these sentences, you HAVE THE BOOK.
This plot (or should I say sub-plot to the mental illness theme) is just so displaced and out of nowhere. When you decide to go with a mystery vibe, you stick to it… You don’t just sprinkle some detective atmosphere in there to illustrate an introspective experience of an OCD teenager. THERE’S NO SUSPENSE. NO PAGE TURNER MOMENT.
I didn’t care for the characters to be honest. Instaromance, ugh yes. Plus, her best friend, obsessed with Star Wars fan fiction, is annoyingly calling Aza “Holmesey” referring to Sherlock Holmes, when SHE was the one who got the idea in the first place. So yeah, 286 pages where you can find annoying text messages with a pair of teenagers who are trying to be hipster-philosophical.
Me: You’re not your money.
Him (Davis): Then what am I? What is anyone?
Me: I is the hardest word to define.
Him: Maybe you are what you can not be.
Me: Maybe. How’s the sky?
Him: Great. Huge. Amazing.
When I get philosophical over text messages there are certain stepbacks… there are some thinking going on. It’s gradual. There are hesitations. When you share your personal thoughts, it takes a lot of time and intimacy. These two took like 15 minutes to insta falling love, chat about philosophical content and become best friends.
The second reason, that ALWAYS turn me off in YA novels, is the part where THE GIRL MAGICALLY HAS A F**KN RICH BOYFRIEND.
Is this real life? Do we really need another female protagonist falling in love with a rich boy? Can’t we have a powerful girl kicking ass making her own money and climb her way to the top? YEH YEH.
Alright so the two stars are for the great conceptualization of OCD. I work as a fellow head researcher in an OCD organization myself, I’ve talked and even got to council a group of OCD people every week and I must admit, the mental illness is very well portrayed. He describes how her thoughts are taking over her behaviours and she becomes stuck in that never ending tide of irrational thinking. I know that the author himself has OCD so just the fact he’s writing about it can be pretty difficult. We get some raw thoughts about the main character that I’m sure he had to take a few breaks because it hurts. Because it disturbs the mind.
If y’all survive to read my rant until here and don’t care about spoilers, I must get this out of my chest. We also learn that the multibillionaire dad, if he ever disappeared or died in the end, has decided to leave ALL of his money to a tuatara. A FCKN TUATARA. No money for his sons. FOR A TUATARA.
THAT’S IT ;D I’ve always and always been honest in my reviews no matter what, even if it’s a big and popular author. Hope y’all can understand and can still enjoy reading this book review 🙂