Meet Vivi and Jonah: A girl and a boy whose love has the power save or destroy them.
Vivi and Jonah couldn’t be more different. Vivi craves anything joyful or beautiful that life can offer. Jonah has been burdened by responsibility for his family ever since his father died. As summer begins, Jonah resigns himself to another season of getting by. Then Vivi arrives, and suddenly life seems brighter and better. Jonah is the perfect project for Vivi, and things finally feel right for Jonah. Their love is the answer to everything. But soon Vivi’s zest for life falters, as her adventurousness becomes true danger-seeking. Jonah tries to keep her safe, but there’s something important Vivi hasn’t told him.
*warning, this review may contain spoilers*
I am so conflicted about this book.
I loved the issues it dealt with, and the way it dealt with them. I loved many of the characters and the way they were written
I loved that mental illness was not skirted over the way it has been in other YA books- and not just that, I loved that it was so prominent, that it showed the way a manic episode can happen and what they mean- For Vivi, it was a hunt around town to find number sequences that, at that moment seemed important and life changing to her.
I also loved that it showed the after effect- how she could barely look at Johan, and hated that he was so forgiving when she could have hurt him. Not because of him, but because of guilt.
And then Johan’s story- A family of six who are trying to stay afloat after losing their father. Their mother can barely get up every day, so full of grief.
Thats what I love about this book, both characters do help the other, in small ways. Not only does Vivi fall for Johan, she adores his whole family and wants to help them all. She wants to live every day as much as she can, and makes sure they do too.
But then… then theres the parts that annoyed me.
I found that the grief was done completely oppositely to how well the bipolar disorder was.
Johan was in a family of six kids, and from reading it they were all pretty close to their dad. Yet in the entire book, none of them, like, talked about it, acted as if they had lost anyone. The kids ranged from 5 to adulthood- and I feel like not all six would have been…’fine’ about it?
I know everyone acts differently when grieving, but I remember being a kid and losing someone I loved, someone who I was close enough to that they were almost my family. I remember the ground being ripped from under my feet, being convinced that I could see him walking down the street sometimes- only for it to be someone else. Convinced that there would be a knock at the door and he would walk in. Then I remember the nightmares I had.
I just feel… a group of kids, no matter how much they would have tried, would not have been that well at ‘coping’ in six short months.
Then the love story- which kicked off as a love story like, three pages in from never even seeing each before. She makes so many comments about ‘fate’ and ‘being drawn to him’ and ‘hes so handsome its perfect’ and I just wanted to roll my eyes at it all? Don’t get me wrong, I loved both characters, but it was like the author couldn’t be bothered to put any real ‘interest’ into it.
(random plus, any character that makes comments about Dobby and Harry Potter is instantly loved)
I have so many mixed feelings because in one respect, I loved and adored this book, and in others, it fell flat.
But if you like books like TFioS, All the Bright Places and I’ll give you the Sun, then you really need to read this book.