I received this from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! This is a spoiler free review.
10 Things I Can See From Here
Written by Carrie Mac
Genre: Young Adult/Contemporary/LGBT
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Release Date: February 28, 2017
Source: NetGalley and the Publisher. Thank You!
Places to Get this Book: Amazon Barnes and Noble Book Depository
Recommended Age: 13 and up!
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?
I read this in one day and I was blown away by how much I enjoyed it. When I downloaded it from NetGalley, I didn’t even remember what it was about so I had to look it up briefly to see what I was dealing with and then I remembered why I was so hooked and pressed the request button. This book deals with a girl with severe anxiety and a LGBT relationship as well as her relationship with her stepfamily. It is an overall wonderful book that just deals with real world things and approaches them well.
I like the cover. It is simple but eye-catching by using bright colors and a bold font. I also really like the title because it makes you ponder and wonder what exactly it has to do with the story. [BTW, I’m not exactly sure]
It is set in modern day, Canada so there really isn’t any world-building.
Then there are the characters.
Maeve struggles with anxiety which is a real life problem for many teenagers and adults. She’s a very sensitive person who feels everything a lot more harshly or fully than the people around her and it often works against her. Her anxiety is almost like a character in the book, which is weaved into the narration. The author, Mac, spends time getting the reader into Maeve’s head in an attempt to experience her struggles. She shows that Maeve’s disorder is tiresome and repetitive and a struggle to live with for both herself and the people around her. I am upset that so many people think that Maeve isn’t likable just because her anxiety gets the best of her at times.
I also really enjoyed how this was not a coming-out story. She was already ‘queer’ when the book started which was refreshing as many of the books that exist about LGBT characters are about them coming out and trying to be accepted by their families and friends. Maeve is already accepted by her family, both her mom’s and her dad’s. Oh and I also want to mention that this has a healthy stepfamily for Maeve. The stepmother is really nice and so are the twins. The only one who really needs work on how to be a good family member, is her father.
One thing that I really wish was different in this book is that we would have gotten more time with Salix. I really did enjoy her portryal though. She was a violin player who wanted to be a professional classical musician and Maeve supported her. She was fairly two-dimensional but it actually worked for this story because she and the romance weren’t the main focus of the story.
This is one of the best descriptions of what it means to be a family which was amazing. Maeve has to go to live with her stepfamily and father for awhile while her mom is with her boyfriend and doing work in some tropical country [I forgot which one]. She is very upset but knows she has to deal with it. Her father is not the best in this book, in fact he is not a responsible adult at all. Her stepmom is pregnant with another child but she is very supportive of Maeve and tries to help her in any way that she can. She also has two younger brothers who are twins and are adorable and hilarious. I love how Maeve’s stepfamily are portrayed as a healthy family [for the most part] for Maeve to rely on.
I am not going to say much about the plot for fear of spoilers. That being said, I adored the plot. I loved how it sucked me in immediately and how everything with Maeve was portrayed very well. I usually don’t like contemporaries and I over analyze them because I try to picture myself in the book and if it is hard then I give it a lower rating. Or if the romance is not at all healthy or realistic, then I critique it. But this had so many aspects to enjoy as it is well-rounded and balanced and has a little bit of everything. There are a lot of subplots that are given equal page time in order to be shown completely. I thought it was a wonderful contemporary that has a cute and very realistic plot.
The relationship was not the main focus of the story which was refreshing. The romance between Maeve and Salix was simple and developed naturally and realistically. Salix was very supportive of Maeve and once she knew about her anxiety, she tried to help the best she could. The romance was healthy and there was no trope of “love-cured-my-illness-yay-I’m-all-better”. I was so so happy because that’s not something that I like at all. Salix didn’t want to cure her illness, she just wanted to help and show Maeve that she would be there for her.
I enjoyed the writing. It was refreshing and didn’t shy away from having anything you could hear in a real conversation. It was good writing for a contemporary.
If you are on the fence about this book, please pick it up. It has a wonderful portrayal of anxiety as a mental illness. There is a refreshing f/f romance that isn’t a coming out story. And the evil stepmother trope is banished. Her stepfamily is the nicest and it is overall full of everything the YA world needs. Give it a try, and see if you like it. I am very happy that I received this as an eArc and picked it up because I enjoyed it a lot. I may even purchase it sometime to display on my shelf.
Quotes from the Book:
None at this time.
My Rating: 5 out of 5 Crowns