Words on Bathroom Walls

Words on Bathroom Walls

eBook - 2017
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"Adam is a recently diagnosed schizophrenic and journals to his therapist about family, friends, and first loves as he undergoes a new drug trial for the mental illness that allows him to keep his secret for only so long"--
Publisher: New York :, Random House,, [2017]
ISBN: 9780399550904
Branch Call Number: Online eBook
Characteristics: 1 online resource
text file, rda
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc

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caleherreman Feb 12, 2019

This book is told from the perspective of Adam, a teenage boy with schizophrenia, about to start at a new school. He is also in a clinical trial for an experimental drug that will help him manage his symptoms, his most prominent symptom being that he sees people who aren't there. All the time. His main concern is navigating a new social situation without giving anyone reason to think he's "crazy." He gains a new best friend, attracts the attention of a bully, and falls in love, and those things may seem routine for a YA book, but I thought Adam was so engaging and funny, and his commentary on the cast of characters in his head so fascinating. The events at Sandy Hook Elementary in 2012 enter the narrative of this story, casting a shadow over Adam, and making his attempts to hide his condition ever more desperate. This is a pretty fast read, but it will make you laugh and cry, and think about mental illness, what it might feel like, and what kind of life a person can hope for.

Words on Bathroom Walls by Julia Walton, is a great book in which its conflict and characters overshadows its familiar story. This book stars a schizophrenic teen named Adam who goes to St. Agatha’s High School, where he meets a girl named Maya, whom he saved from drowning and starts a relationship with. Adam doesn’t want to reveal his mental illness to Maya, because he’s scared that secret would hurt her relationship with him, and tries to cover it up. First, what I dislike about the book is that its story has been similar to what has been done before, with the protagonist wanting to keep a secret from close ones at all costs. However, I liked the drive behind it: Adam just wants to be known as a normal kid. I like that Adam himself is a complex, but likeable character; he likes making people happy and does noble deeds, but he makes mistakes from time to time as well. The conflict Adam has with himself, over keeping his mental illness a secret is well-written and the people Adam hallucinates and interacts with as a symbol throughout the book represent Adam’s thoughts and feelings, adding to the conflict. The side-conflict Adam and his friends have with the antagonist, Ian, is interesting as well, with his ulterior motives being revealed through actions and hidden meanings in his words. I recommend this book to anyone willing to overlook the formulaic story to be hooked by the character drama.

- A.M.


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