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."
Review: This book covers a topic I know can be quite controversial and although I am no expert I thought that this novel definitely shows a side to mental illness that people like me, who are not completely aware, can learn from and possibly understand those with mental illnesses more.
At first, I found the plot, writing style, and double perspectives extremely mind-boggling. Even though it was hard for me to read, I have a feeling Beth Revis wanted the reader to go through this because often mental illness has no clear cut lines and many times it can be confusing for both the person and their family. I grew to love she put in the Bo's sister's perspective because in a way the reader was able to glimpse at the "regular" world and put Bo's thoughts to perspective.
I love Bo's perspective. I found it thrilling and surprisingly relatable. Who doesn't want to have superpowers and fall in love, and if Phoebe's thoughts were not mentioned, I doubt I would have even thought Bo had a mental illness, but instead that he was a hero of a YA novel. (Which he is but you know what I mean). It was incredibly creative seeing how Bo viewed the world and how the world was viewed by the general public. It was clear that his mind and imagination deceived him, and not unlike many of us readers, sometimes your imagination is the best place to be and ends up overpowering your common sense, but Bo never left his world. In fact, his world was his imagination which led to the problem of Sofia and all that had happened. This novel gave me the same sense of telling a child Santa Claus doesn't exist. It felt like loss of innocence and the naturally positive view many kids have of the world. Bo's innocent view of the world and his endless imagination was something I loved that I could connect to him with.
Phoebe was so similar to I wondered if I was her for a second. Although I definitely don't have the perfect grades I am also incredibly spread out, in that I have no particular subject I really want to major in because I'm still figuring out who I am and choosing something to do in the future is a large choice that I have not been able to figure out quite yet. She also has parents who have high expectations and I definitely understand that feeling as well. Phoebe really connected to me and I found her perspective to fit mine. However, her perspective was so realistic it hurt my imaginative side and I wanted to just get sucked into Bo's world and leave the sensible and practical thoughts Phoebe emitted. In a sense, I am the mixture of Bo and Phoebe and I think everyone has a bit of both in them.
I would recommend this book to EVERYONE, because even though it may not suit everyone's tastes, I think it is really important for people to be educated about mental illness, because it exists and affects many people in our world and this novel can help bring some insight to readers about the hardships of mental illnesses, but also how they are also people.
Let me know in the comments what you thought about this book! (or anything else bookish related!)
A fan of anything fiction, furry, & fun.