Four Weeks, Five People /Jennifer Yu / Harlequin Books / 2017 / ISBN 9780373212309 / 348 Pages / Young Adult
Book Blurb –
Obsessive-compulsive teen Clarissa wants to get better, if only so her mother will stop asking her is she’s okay. Andrew want to overcome his eating disorder so he can get back to his band and their dreams of becoming famous. Film aficionado Ben would rather live in the movies than in reality. Gorgeous and overly confidant Mason thinks everyone is an idiot. And Stella just doesn’t want to be back for her second summer of wilderness therapy.
As the five teens get to know one another and wok to overcome the various disorders that have affected their lives, they find themselves forming bonds they never thought they would, discovering new truths about themselves and actually looking forward to the future.
My Thoughts –
I was sucked into this book from the very first page. With well positioned and well written characters with lives described that made you believe that they were real kids with real mental health issues, who wouldn’t be sucked in? But it was the writing in the book that initially sucked me in and was the only thing that made me keep going back to the book. The first one hundred pages of this book are great, but then from the moment the five teenagers get to camp, it gets confusing. A group of teenagers, with similar, not very well described different mental health illnesses and personality, go to New York to attend a wellness camp, four weeks of group and individual therapy for ill teens.
But here lies the problem with the book: the story is being told from the five teenagers point of view, alternatingly. Every time the chapter changes you must think back to the character who is now talking and their mental illness in particular, to work out why they are acting and thinking the way that they are. It goes from one to another and the story continues but the issues don’t continue.
The other main problem with this book is that it doesn’t allow for the situations to play out. During the camp, the teenagers are charged with creating a cubby house, a safe house, by the end of the book, is it made? Is it finished? Who knows because you don’t really find out. Then there is a major thing that happens which I won’t mention, although you might work it work halfway through the book if you see what is happening. This one event happens and from then on, it is like nothing else that was mentioned previously can be touched or mentioned again.
The book doesn’t end, or it does but not properly enough to make it seem like it has finished. I liked this book initially and it took me a while to get through it because too much happens and as great as it is that there is a diverse young adult book that solely talks about teen mental health issues, I don’t think this one was done right.
I give this book 2.5 out of 5 Booky Stars!
*I was given this book by Harlequin Teen in exchange for an honest unbiased opinion/review. The above review is a collection of my own thoughts on the book*
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