Monday, 2 May 2016



Greg is cripplingly shy, afraid of spiders, and obsessed with Breakfast at Tiffany's. He's not exactly the most popular kid at his high school. In fact, he pretty much goes out of his way to avoid talking to anybody he doesn't have to. And it doesn't help that he has a severe lisp.

But Greg's English teacher, Miss Hayes, can see that there's something different about him. He's insightful and sensitive beyond his years, and maybe--just maybe--he'll use these strengths to break out of his shell someday. Miss Hayes urges Greg to keep a journal. "This isn't an assignment," she tells him, "just write down your thoughts."

Greg begins to write about everything from his mother's ill-conceived interior decorating ideas to his job at the local butcher's shop. When Greg begins to take an interest in a girl at his school named Alice, he realizes that he will have to face his most paralyzing anxieties if he wants to befriend Alice and help her escape from her violent family life.

Author: James Rice
Source: eARC via the Publisher
Publisher: Quercus
Publication Date: May 3, 2016
Rating: 4/5 stars
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
"It's amazing how much damage we did just by leaving, just by not being there."
I really enjoyed this one. I liked that we got to see schizophrenia in this manner because it felt so real. I also really liked the inclusion of the police transcripts in between. I thought they added clarity to the narrative. I liked that we got it from Greg's point of view rather than from the outside. I think it would have been difficult to connect with Greg if we hadn't been so deep inside his head. The hardest part for me to get through were the "Date Unknown" sections because of the way they were written. I mean, it was necessary for the book and to understand Greg's mind, but those bits took me double the amount of time to read. 

I have read some of the other reviews that say the ending is left open but I didn't think so? To me, Greg accidentally drowned Alice. He was having one of his episodes and didn't realize that he was hurting her and scratched her so badly and then left. He was the one holding her head up so as soon as that happened, she went underwater. Combine that with the fact she probably had a bit of alcohol poisoning from the whiskey, and that is how people drown. Especially since that almost happened to Sarah back on Finners Island, I assumed these two stories tied together. However, not knowing FOR SURE didn't impact my liking of the book.

My only real complaint is that I felt like some of the storylines were headed in one direction and then tapered off. Like the Lucy one and the Mrs. Hayes one. It seemed like they were going to be more important to the story than what they actually were. I was anticipating there to be a bit more about them in the future, but really it was just something to throw us off the scent or to show that life was still happening in the background even when Greg was living in his own mind.

I highly recommend this one. It was one of the most interesting books I've read in a long time. And I think once you get used to the writing style, you will be enthralled by this novel. As well, it is just really good. Like REALLY GOOD

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