By Neal Shusterman
Wow. This was such an unique and fascinating peek into what it is like to deal with mental illness. I love well written books that explore topics that are not as widely talked about. At first I found it a little difficult to get into the story as it jumped back and forth between reality and fantasy. But it all started to come together and I began to understand the connections. Neal Shusterman did an amazing job of weaving together what was happening to Caden in real life and the world he was imagining around him. I thought this was a great way to show just how easy it is to confuse fact and fiction when you are suffering from mental illness.
Maybe it can even help others better understand their friends or families who are going through something similar. It seems like there are more and more books that are addressing hard issues like mental illness, but I think there is still somewhat of a stigma around this subject. We need to talk more openly about Mental illness.
I know there were a couple times at the beginning of the story that I completely understood the anxiety that he was feeling, because I've been there and felt very similar. After reading this book I feel really lucky that my postpartum anxiety eventually got better and didn't become worse. I didn't understand what was happening to me and I didn't realize that I could get help for it. I really feel like that is because we just don't talk about these things very much. I hope that stories like these will help others become more willing to open up about their mental illness, so that more people see that they are not alone and that it is ok to ask for help.