My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book is a heartwarming tragic story of grief, loss and mental health.
My first impression of this book was that it was certainly a cover buy. I was intrigued by the blurb on the back
‘I’ll tell you what happened because it will be a good way to introduce my brother. His name’s Simon. I think you’re going to like him. I really do. But in a couple of pages, he’ll be dead. And he was never the same after that.’
I didn’t have any expectations going into this book and I had no idea what I thought it was going to be. For about a year it had sat on my shelf waiting for me to pick it up but I always had a more exciting book to read first. However, I was looking for a new book the other day on my to be read shelves and picked it up.
I flicked through the pages seeing how dense the narrative and text was and was intrigued by the different typeface, font and illustrations throughout. I think after reading The Illuminae files it has given me a new appreciation for different books that aren’t heavily reliant on one set font and page by page narrative.
While reading the book I became wrapped up in the storyline and structure of the narrative. I had no idea that this book would explore mental health and schizophrenia and I was pleasantly surprised. Normally when I read a book surrounding death, mental health or any hard topics I prepare myself for the tears or the questioning thoughts throughout. This book was refreshing though because even though the narrative is meant to be written by a young adult I still feel as though the protagonist was a lot older in his writing and that it the author coming across through the narrative.
Reading up about the author gives me an appreciation for this book that I don’t think I would have had before. I am glad that he wrote from experience as a mental health nurse because a lot of people are advised to write what they know when writing.
It took me a few days to actually pick this book up as I was busy for a few days in between. However the first day I picked it up I read 24 pages. Then I read the rest of the book in one day. I couldn’t put it down, it pulled me into the world and I just wanted to see where the narrative took me.
Overall this book is a dark twisting heartwarming tale of love, loss and the bits in between. It is very well written and Nathan Filer deserves praise. This book also won the Costa book awards in 2013 which is noted on the front of my edition.