“How did you know you were depressed?”
“How does anyone know they’re depressed? You feel equally alive and dead and have no idea how that’s even possible. And everything around you doesn’t seem so full anymore. And you can’t tell if the world is empty or you are. That’s how I knew. I realized it wasn’t the world that was empty.”
Reggie Mason is an expert when it comes to the Three Stages of Depression. She’s well acquainted with the feelings that each stage gives her and she knows as long as she never lets anyone get close to her again, she won’t ever have to worry about the feelings overtaking her. She didn’t count on meeting Snake, though.
Snake is a twizzler-addicted, indie filmmaker self-confident fellow depressed human in her town of Flashburn. They have a memorable conversation while picking up their anti-depressants…if you can call trading insults memorable. Apparently Snake does. Snake is persistent in chasing Reggie to win her affections and Reggie reluctantly admits she is willing to let him win them if it wasn’t for Carla.
Enter Carla, seventeen, beauty pageant queen, daughter of the mayor, coworker of Reggie’s, and pregnant with Snake’s baby. Also sort of dating Snake. The lines between relationships with Snake seem to be blurry. Carla, ditched by her fellow popular crowd friends because pregnancy isn’t “cool” is also desperate for connection and latches on to the resistant Reggie, who is discovering that her space bubble of protection is shrinking and almost gone.
Reggie must now decide if her carefully constructed walls will stay up or if it’s worth it to let people close and risk heartbreak all over again.
I chose this book for April with my family in mind. I have three family members who openly suffer from depression and it hurts sometimes being able to see them go through it. I personally don’t suffer from it- the closest claim I have is a moderate case of anxiety, which sucks all the time and the baby blues I got after both Bean and Squish. And the baby blues wasn’t even full-blown postpartum depression and it still sucked, so I don’t even have an inkling of what my family goes through on a daily basis suffering some full-blown depression. All I can do is be there for them, love on them, and try to empathize. I figured reading this might give me an idea of what their mind goes through on a regular basis.
It was a bit of a hard read because my emotions don’t jump all over the place like Reggie’s, and the way the story is written seems to follow the jumps, if that makes sense. I felt like the tone of the story was all over the place and hard to follow at times. If that’s kind of what it’s like, kudos to anyone battling this.
None of the characters were particularly likable in the beginning, but they had redeemed themselves by the end of the book. I disliked Reggie for continuing flirtations with Snake, who had a girlfriend, and was livid at Snake for pursuing a girl while having a pregnant girlfriend. Carla was the most innocent in all of this, but I wanted to roll my eyes at her “pity me” mentality she took on so often for being a pregnant teen. I know that’s harsh, I’m sorry.
I will say that Whitney Taylor (the author) did a great job of writing in a teen’s tone. As a teen, I think I could have read this and thought “Reggie is so legit. Her feelings are soooo real.” As a mother and someone closer to 30 than to 18 (or ever 25 if we’re honest), I want to roll my eyes and snap “GET OVER IT.” So kudos to my mum for predicting this moment. When I was a teen and told my mum that I would never roll my eyes at my kids and say they were being dramatic, she told me that yes, I would, and that she couldn’t wait to prove me wrong. So there you go mum. You were right.
I am glad I chose this for my April pick because it does take me outside of my own viewpoint of the world and gives a glimpse of what it’s like to basically have your brain working funky and the effects it has on you.
Next week will be a new book debut from an author I have reviewed before, Dennis Macaraeg- Somewhere in San Diego. Be on the lookout for that!