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More clever than enjoyable
on 17 January 2016
Overall, this was a book I admired more than I enjoyed. The author did an amazing job of developing a beliveable narrative from the point of view of a teenager with schizophrenia. The main character was fully fleshed out, rather than just a vehicle for his illness, but at the same time, the story gave a real insight into the disease and how his mind works. I was also impressed by the non-linear narrative - the narrator's thoughts jump around and the story goes where they go, so that it's not always entirely clear what's happening right now, what's a short-term memory and what's an anecdote from long ago.
As a story though, it was extremely depressing and grim. I don't mind that sometimes, but here, there didn't seem much room for change. Furthermore, the narrative went on and on, with little plot or change in circumstances. Towards the end, there's something that the author seems to treat as a revelation, but I'd not just already worked this out, I'd sort of assumed we were already meant to know this, so it was a huge anti-climax.
Three stars for the clever writing and well-developed character, but not one I'd recommend in a hurry, other than to those with a particular interest in mental illness.