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This is How I Find Her based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
My actual rating of this book is probably around a 3.5. When it comes to this book I’ve got some seriously mixed feelings. Having grown up with both a bipolar father & mother, I was looking for, and expecting, a story that I could relate to that would reach me on an emotional level. Unfortunately that was not the case for me. While I could feel sympathy for Sophie, the book failed to pull any emotion out of me until about 2/3 of the way through the story. The writing itself was average. It wasn’t bad but it was a little too simplistic for my tastes at times. The bare bones conciseness may have been intended to show how numb, bleak and lonely Sophie’s life is but instead it caused the characters to fall flat for me, especially Sophie. While I definitely sympathized with her, I found her lack of emotion-whether it be anger, grief, joy, really any emotion, to be unbelievable and unrelatable. While I could understand Sophie’s initial numbness being a result of her shock and possibly some PTSD, I really felt as if she took too long to start breaking down those walls and showing real emotion which in turn made it impossible fore me to feel any emotion for her. While I do think that the growth she went through in this book after moving in with her Aunt Cynthia was well done, by the time she started standing up for herself and not blaming herself for the situation with her mother it was too little too late. The relationship in the book that really worked for me, and that I could relate to was the one between Sophie and her cousin Leila. The pain of losing your best friend because your caught between your parents, growing apart because your interests no longer merge and all of those difficult things that happen when you’re growing up, especially when your family essentially isolates you. While I didn’t love the character of Leila, I did love the way the author portrayed her relationship with Sophie and found their re-connection to be very organic. I do feel as if the author did represent bipolar disorder in an honest way. The writing style and lack of character development just didn’t work for me and made it impossible for me to emotionally connect with the characters and story. I received my copy of This Is How I Find Her as an eARC free from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
3.5 Stars Though this story deals with heavy themes such as suicide and depression, I found that it didn't leave me with an oppressive feeling as similar books have in the past. Instead I found this novel to be more quiet and thoughtful. It can be sad and even heartbreaking, in parts, the way it looks at how trauma can influence or change one's way of looking at the world, but there is also an underlying sense of hope to the whole thing. I could relate to Sophie's struggles with that feeling of life getting in the way of life sometimes -- when something stressful or traumatic that you feel requires all your attention is going on, yet you still have to go to school or work and act like everything is a-okay even though there's a damn crisis going on out there people! Sophie's story also illustrates the value of a person being able to fearlessly communicate their wants and needs and how, in times of conflict, it's only natural to get nostalgic for what we perceive as simpler past times (when in reality those rosy-hued days more than likely had their share of conflict then too). While I didn't always agree with some of the statements made in this novel -- like Uncle John saying "people wouldn't ask if they didn't really want to know", sorry I call BS, in the real world, people ask stuff merely out of politeness, and then tune out your response, all the time! -- I really enjoy this story for the food for thought it provides the reader on some tough topics that need more open and honest discussion. I found Polsky's novel to be an honest look at depression through the eyes of a teen without it being too heavy-handed, to the point where it might trigger MY depression!