“J. K. Rowling is a fucking genius. Anyone who doesn’t think so is crazy.”
^If the above doesn’t make all you nerds fall in love with Adam, you’re probably wasting your time here.
Alright. This is it. This is my #1 YA of the year. Pretty bold statement since there’s still 3+ months to go, but I’m putting it out there. I also just finished this (locked in a spare office on my lunch hour while skipping a “team luncheon”) and am already barfing this “review” out in order to get it on other people’s radars. Bonus is since I’m the first of my friends to have read this, it means my rating is the right one. I know, I know, you’re allowed to have your own opinion and give this low stars if you feel like it . . . .
I’m not sure where to start (or where this will go aside from a giant ramble), so let’s begin with our daily debriefing on the various ways in which I am an idiot. Today’s example is how I asked for (and was denied, of course) this book simply for the cover and title. I didn’t bother reading the synopsis. I just wanted it. I assumed it was going to be “Megan Abbot-y” type of mean girl story about – you guessed it – words on bathroom walls. Kinda like this . . . .
Whoops. Not accurate. At all. What the book was about, I mean. There’s a very good chance my kid wrote that about me on a toilet stall.
Words On Bathroom Walls is actually about Adam, a boy who was diagnosed extremely early with schizophrenia and is currently participating in a drug trial with an experimental new treatment. Told in journal format as entries to his therapist, this is Adam’s story as he deals with being crazy. Oh, and save your pearl clutching and being “triggered” at the use of the C word. As Adam would say . . . .
“I prefer ‘crazy’ to ‘mentally ill.’ Sounds more dignified.”
While it does at times seem as if mentally ill is the new black, Words On Bathroom Walls feels fresh and new. It tackles the most obvious issues with the stigma of being “crazy” head on . . . .
“When you have cancer, people are sympathetic. They feel something for you, and people even hold races to raise money for your cure. It’s different when people are afraid of what you’ve got, because then you get some of the sympathy but none of the support. They don’t wish you ill – they just want you as far away from them as possible.”
And does so with loving, concerned parents (who are actually in the picture and not just some blip on the radar!!!!), friends – both real and hallucinated – who will always be there, and a real high school romance that develops over months rather than the “insta” variety that made me feel as warm and fuzzy as a Taylor Swift song (well, before she went all batshit) . . . .
Maybe I’m getting ready to start my period (TMI? Naaaaah), but it made me feel all the things. And when Adam knew just the right thing to say . . . . .
I found myself a bit emotionally compromised . . . .
Then this happened . . . .
I’m in love with this book. I think I’m gonna sleep with it under my pillow tonight.