Rating : ★ ★ ★
Have you ever read a book that just makes you mad? Not because it was horrible or it offended you, though I did cry a few times with this book, but because the message was good but the execution seemed a little lackluster. I really wanted to like this book and I even mentioned to my friend halfway reading it that, “I know where it’s going unless it pulls a twist and surprises me.” That is this book.
This will be life changing to a lot of people, especially with those who have struggled with anxiety, mental health issues and contemplated suicide and it can also be a little, meh to those as well because while it does address mental health issues as the ones above it does with kid gloves.
I am in no way discounting anyone’s journey or their experiences in writing this, just saying that while it was supposed to be this aforementioned, profound and lifechanging book, it really struggled to be much more than someone with all the colors, but not using them.
What really got me and actually has me questioning my level of pretention is the obvious levels of pretention in this book. A cat named Voltaire and she holds a philosophy degree but doesn’t really grasp the lesson the whole book is trying to teach and yes, we can look at this as being one big meta book where we are the ones being taught the lessons and she is the vessel, she’s our librarian, but then that really discounts the very real conversation about mental illness. You can’t have it both ways, in my opinion. Still, it feels like the lesson was very heavy handed and the sprinkling of magical realism fell flat when you put it against the rest of the book.
I have gripes, yes, I did enjoy the book, but I also realized that adult general fiction might not be my jam. I can see the audience, I can see who this will help, but I also see the problems and that’s why it makes me mad. I really feel like this book took a little something from me, emotionally, playing on the highs and lows of mental illness and pet death to make itself out to be more profound than it really is. Still, out of respect, it gets 3 stars.