The story follows a 17-year-old girl, Norah who suffers from 3 mental diseases: agoraphobia, anxiety, and OCD. You follow her as she goes through life living through the current sick condition she’s in, of not being able to just freely “go outside to breathe normally”, as well as her feeling unsatisfied of an odd number being put on every aspect of her being, and her constant worries of things that might potentially happen whenever she is to take any risk that is beyond her formal everyday reach.
What I really enjoyed most about this book was the accuracy of the perspective which the mentally diseased subject was played upon the entire time. Norah herself, I believe, has read herself aloud and honest to the point where she educated me thoughts of what a person with an “invisible sickness” should sound like. I adored the fact that she was true to herself, which allowed me to understand that things like this do happen and they are relevant enough to be true to occur in just about anyone. This book made me understood a lot better of how important it is to deal with people with mental illness, as the book threw in passages that addressed the issue prominently. Here is one line I’ve read that happens to be my favorite said by Dr Reeves (her psychiatrist) that completely blew me away:
“Norah, listen to me. The general population doesn’t want to laugh at a seventeen-year-old-girl whose life is being held hostage by her brain. As a rule, people don’t laugh at those who are suffering. And Norah, you are suffering.”
Reading all the positivity it portrayed regarding mental health was super refreshing for me, referring to how our current society thinks of it being less important to physical health, when in reality it is equally important to be aware of these two segments of illness.
Aside from all the knowledge I managed to have gained, my other favorite aspect from this lovely piece of work was by all means, the writing. I have never, and I mean ever, read a book with a writing this beautiful. Everything Norah said and did were fleshed out so realistically, that I literally cringed toward a number of passages that was depicting about self-harm, which was fairly not mentioned at the beginning of the synopsis, so trigger warning for that. After all, this was my first time ever reading a book about a main character who self-harms, and since I’m not the biggest fan when it comes to dripping red liquid coming out of a person’s body, especially knowing that self-harm plays a huge role behind the tragedy, scares me a little. So, another trigger warning to those of you who shares the same uncomfortable feeling before reading this one.
I am not going to tell you much about the romance, except it being super cute and ugh, just heartwarming and sweet and fluffy I just- I cannot even. This isn’t the type of book where the guy helps the girl or the other way around as they go on this gushy lovey dovey journey to recover from their mental illness, better yet, this is one where the main character battles her illness like a warrior, without depending on the other significant lover’s roles upon doing so. You bet she’s a catch, alright. Go NORAH!
All around, I gave this book a 5/5 stars. I’d like to throw in an honorable mention to the author for writing such an enjoyable read that really changed my life a little, as this was an own voice’s novel. Little did I know that suffering from 3 mental illnesses could feel this hard and suffocating. A huge shoutout to anyone out there who’s currently battling their ways out of it. I learned to pay more attention as well as appreciate these type of conditions after reading a work that left quite a mark on me personally.
So friends, I encourage you to just. Read. This. Flippin’ book. I promise that it won’t disappoint. Nope, not even a little bit.
I have been wanting to do a review about this book just right after I finished reading it weeks ago, but never actually got to for some reason. So whoa, this was late but it was still a good go after not writing that much reviews on the blog lately.
Stay tuned for more.
pic credits to: papertraidiary.com