As if college is not stressful enough, Samantha is dealing with an anxiety disorder that can, at times, be crippling. Dealing with family pressure, relationships with friends and boyfriends, and her classwork all can overwhelm her at times. Therapy and medication help, but it is a constant struggle, which she finds out during a trip abroad.
As someone who also began to suffer from anxiety during young adulthood, I found this book so incredibly touching. Samantha's depiction of the isolation caused by depression was spot on. My heart ached for this young woman, and she opened her soul to the readers. I think the struggles she has are common themes to many teens and young adults, but ones that are rarely talked about so honestly. Yes, many books talk about the pressure of school, sex, drinking and drugs, and parents, but few couple those pressures with the constant presence of mental illness, and fewer still do it as honestly and adeptly as this book.
I am a big fan of books being written in verse form, so this was right up my alley. While not quite as impactful as other verse writers, like Ellen Hopkins, I think that this book's intensity comes from the fact that the verse is not merely telling a story, it is telling a true story. This is Samantha baring her soul for all the world to see; in that I find such strength and beauty.
This book is from my personal library.
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