Okay, when I first heard about this book I thought it was trying to be quirky. Like a nerdy person who doesn’t trust their heart, which sounds like a book I would read and I am not bashing it at all. However, after reading the actual description and starting the book, it’s a super important conversation happening about what it means to deal with mental health issues and be in relationships–whether romantic or not.
Real talk, I totally struggle with anxiety and depression, so this book hit really close to home with what the two main characters are dealing with. It was soothing to my soul to read the stories or two people dealing with things I deal with regularly, especially as someone in a relationship.
Okay, I’ll stop talking about myself.
This book was very realistic in the portrayal of mental health and the humanity of people. It also portrayed how being in love while struggling with mental health or being the one who loves someone with mental health issues is its own deal.
Will and Jocelyn are both dealing with their own mental health issues. I think it was so important to have Will represent mental health struggles for boys and men because it’s not talked about enough. I also appreciated how he was open with Jocelyn about it–which I think is very encouraging for others. I also really related to his anxiety and what triggered his anxiety and I felt very seen.
I really enjoyed getting to read about Jocelyn and her family. They run a Chinese restaurant and have a really close family. They also used a Cantonese phrase my friend’s mom used often when I would visit her and her family, aiya. It remains my favorite phrase to express exasperation. I also think Jocelyn is dealing with things that tons of high school students are dealing with: family, romance, friendship, and their future.
Overall, I really enjoyed the representation of mental health set into a sweet love story. It was a hopeful and happy book, but dealt with really important topics, and I’m very happy I read it. We need more books that cover important topics so readers know they’re not alone.