Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Release Date: 2017
Genres: Depression, General, Humorous, LGBT, Social Themes, Young Adult Fiction
Don’t worry; be happy.
Keep calm and carry on.
Maeve has heard it all before. She’s been struggling with severe anxiety for a long time, and as much as she wishes it was something she could just talk herself out of, it’s not. She constantly imagines the worst, composes obituaries in her head, and is always ready for things to fall apart. To add to her troubles, her mom—the only one who really gets what Maeve goes through—is leaving for six months, so Maeve will be sent to live with her dad in Vancouver.
Vancouver brings a slew of new worries, but Maeve finds brief moments of calm (as well as even more worries) with Salix, a local girl who doesn’t seem to worry about anything. Between her dad’s wavering sobriety, her very pregnant stepmom insisting on a home birth, and her bumbling courtship with Salix, this summer brings more catastrophes than even Maeve could have foreseen. Will she be able to navigate through all the chaos to be there for the people she loves?
When I first read the synopsis for 10 THINGS I CAN SEE FROM HERE, I knew I had to read it. If you’ve been following the blog for awhile, you might know about my long struggle with social anxiety, something I don’t talk about that much. This book immediately intrigued me because I knew I would be able to relate to it.
Unfortunately, I did not get along with Maeve, the heroine, or the book itself. I found her to be more pessimistic and negative rather than anxious, which just rubbed me the wrong way, making it hard for me to root for her. I’m sure there are other types of anxiety that can be similar to Maeve’s, but the way she was written makes her seem more paranoid than anything. Her anxiety also seems somewhat forced in the way that there are constant facts pored into the text about how many people die from this or from that instead of genuine worries.
Another huge issue I had with this book is the stream of consciousness writing style. It reads like diary without the dramatic details, and the large paragraphs that go off into tangents really slow the pacing down. I got bored with the irrelevant information and lengthy stories that didn’t add anything to the plot. While it is reminiscent in the way anxiety speaks in your head, it just didn’t make for a good narrative.
The romance had potential, but the convenient instant connection just wasn’t that believable. In terms of the other relationships, I think the other characters acted as a pretty good support system as the book progressed even though there was a lot of family drama.
Overall, I think if you have patience for a novel that strongly focuses on the inner thought process of one character you might enjoy this one.