Reviews

Review: A World Without You by Beth Revis

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“You never know all of a person; you only know them in a specific moment of time.”

My time is slightly less occupied by ridiculous obligations, so here I am reading once again (20 more books to make it 100 for the year). I picked up this one via the internet version of my library and read it on my laptop over the span of two days. I read the Across the Universe Series by Beth Revis

My Rating: B+

Goodreads Synopsis: What if finding her means losing himself?

Seventeen-year-old Bo has always had delusions that he can travel through time. When he was ten, Bo claimed to have witnessed the Titanic hit an iceberg, and at fifteen, he found himself on a Civil War battlefield, horrified by the bodies surrounding him. So when his worried parents send him to a school for troubled youth, Bo assumes he knows the truth: that he’s actually attending Berkshire Academy, a school for kids who, like Bo, have “superpowers.”

At Berkshire, Bo falls in love with Sofía, a quiet girl with a tragic past and the superpower of invisibility. Soíia helps Bo open up in a way he never has before. In turn, Bo provides comfort to Sofía, who lost her mother and two sisters at a very young age.

But even the strength of their love isn’t enough to help Sofia escape her deep depression. After she commits suicide, Bo is convinced that she’s not actually dead. He believes that she’s stuck somewhere in time—that he somehow left her in the past, and that now it’s his job to save her. And as Bo becomes more and more determined to save Sofía, he must decide whether to face his demons head-on or succumb to a psychosis that will let him be with the girl he loves.

My Thoughts: So mental illness is a topic that is pretty close to my heart, and is now taking route in Young Adult fiction. I think it is absolutely wonderful that this issue is being talked about, and not tiptoed around. A popular novel in the realm of YA is Jennifer Niven’s All the Bright Places, which I loved the writing style of, but was absolutely furious about the ending (which I won’t ruin, but those of you who have read it know what I am talking about). Thankfully, I did not have the same reaction to A World Without You. This book is a well-written dip into the mind of someone who is just cannot connect with reality. It shows the effects on their family members and how it changes societies view of them.

What I Liked: The dynamic and variety of the characters was phenomenal. Revis covers a plethora of mental illnesses and how each can be interpreted by the main character. Also, it becomes clear that none of these disorders are cookie-cutter, they affect everyone differently. This is one of the hardest parts about treating mental illness is the lack of a standard. I thought the writing style helped show the loss of touch with reality, as the character often jumps back and forth as to what they perceive to be real. It’s truly a glimpse inside the head of someone who is suffering, and that shows through Bo’s reactions to different events that happen within his world.

What I Disliked: I didn’t like the ambiguity of what happened to Gwen. I also didn’t like the fact that you couldn’t really tell if Sofia was in love with Bo or if it was all just in his head. I understand that part of the delusion of his mental illness makes it impossible for Bo to clarify these areas to the reader, but the lack of knowing got under my skin. This is more a testament to my personal literature taste than an actual critic of the book. If you have a similar pet peeve, just know that I felt the same way after reading this book.

Would I recommend it? Yes, I thought it was well-written and a beautiful read.

Have you guys read this book? What’s your thoughts on mental illness? Do you think the Salem Witch Trials had any factual backings?

-Leah

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5 thoughts on “Review: A World Without You by Beth Revis

  1. I too personally relate to mental health as I’ve suffered with anxiety for seven years. I’ve not read many books which represent that, so I’d like to give this title a try.

    Liked by 1 person

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