My Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3/5)
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Perfect for fans of Finding Audrey and Everything, Everything, this is the poignant and uplifting story of Maeve, who is dealing with anxiety while falling in love with a girl who is not afraid of anything.
Don’t worry; be happy.
Keep calm and carry on.
Maeve has heard it all before. She’s been struggling with severe anxiety for a long time, and as much as she wishes it was something she could just talk herself out of, it’s not. She constantly imagines the worst, composes obituaries in her head, and is always ready for things to fall apart. To add to her troubles, her mom—the only one who really gets what Maeve goes through—is leaving for six months, so Maeve will be sent to live with her dad in Vancouver.
Vancouver brings a slew of new worries, but Maeve finds brief moments of calm (as well as even more worries) with Salix, a local girl who doesn’t seem to worry about anything. Between her dad’s wavering sobriety, her very pregnant stepmom insisting on a home birth, and her bumbling courtship with Salix, this summer brings more catastrophes than even Maeve could have foreseen. Will she be able to navigate through all the chaos to be there for the people she loves?
Maybe, terrible things would happen.
In six months, roughly twenty-eight million people would die in the world.
Cancer, murder, speeding trains. Hurricanes, poison, depression, starvation. War, shark attacks, random acts of chaos.
I love reading books that deal with mental illness, so I was really excited when I got the chance to read this book. Plus it also promises a cute g/g romance and a focus on the main character’s family. Basically, everything that I love in a contemporary. And with all that expectations, I’m confident to say that this book managed to deliver…well sort of.
Well, seriously though this book was a pleasant read from the first page to the last. I think the problem was that I set my expectations too high, that’s why I was quite disappointed on the overall impact of it.
The story follows Maeve, who’s been suffering from severe anxiety. She has a habit of reciting random statistics about death and writing obituaries on her mind. Her Mom went to Haiti with her boyfriend so Meave will be living for a few months with her no-longer-sober father, pregnant step-mother, and two adorable little brothers. And of course, summer isn’t complete without some romance—so she meets this girl Salix, who’s very good with the violin and just overall AH-mazing.
We got anxiety, absent mother, drunk father, an incoming baby, a girl, and a lot of something-something in between—this book has a lot to bring to the table and that’s both a good and bad thing. The good is that, it was quite impressive how the author managed to deliver all that to the story in a way that isn’t overwhelming and the reader will also get this sense of realistic vibe, because in real life everything comes to us all at once and we can’t just pick something to focus on. The bad is that, each aspect didn’t got the full focus that it needed, like I wanted more of Maeve and Salix, and there were back stories from Maeve’s exes that I thought would be elaborated more but I only got glimpses of the story and now I don’t know what to feel about it.
Maeve is a well-written character, her anxiety was very real and in my opinion was portrayed in a commendable way. It wasn’t hard to connect and care for her, which made my reading experience a good one. The other characters were admirable, each were presented with individuality and distinction.
The things that I liked are, as mentioned, the portrayal of anxiety; how Maeve’s sexuality was treated, because it didn’t turn it into another coming-out story rather just something natural and given; Maeve’s relationship with her stepmom, I love how she cared for her stepmom a lot and that she adored her twin siblings; and how love or Salix didn’t cure Maeve’s anxiety.
The writing style was spot-on, the writing made me devour the book at once and to be honest if it wasn’t for the good writing I wouldn’t have finished this book.
So why did I only gave this 3-stars? This book was beyond an okay-ish read but it’s not phenomenal, and as I said I had high expectations and it unfortunately failed to deliver. But still, it’s a great and quick read especially for all big contemporary readers out there.
Overall, 10 Things I Can See From Here is a touching read that will let you see how to live with anxiety while also giving you an endearing romance. I recommend this to anyone who wants to read a story about a girl fighting her thoughts one slow breath at a time.
Maybe I would always wear the heavy boots of anxiety and the prickly coat of worry, but maybe—even still—I could just be a person who belongs in the world even if it’s hard.
A huge thank you to Penguin Random House International for sending me a Review Copy of this book.