Words on Bathroom Walls – 5 Star Review

photo credit: @Palegoldpages on Instagram

Painfully beautiful insight into the life of a schizophrenic teenager, Adam, who is on a clinical trial for a new miracle drug. The entire story is told in the form of weekly journal entries to his therapist because he refuses to speak during his sessions. Adam has a very witty sense of humor and made me laugh throughout the whole book. The character development and depth of all the characters (including hallucinations) was extremely vivid. As I finished the book, I almost couldn’t believe their stories have ended with the page and I already miss them all. My favorite relationship arc was Adam and his stepdad. How that story ended is what elicited the most tears, and I’m not a crying type of reader.   

The author was excellent at showing the reader Adam’s true self, his self-doubt, the urgent desire for a normal teenage life, and his interpretations and explanations for his disease. Adam has started a new school and chooses to keep his schizophrenia a secret as the new drug allows him to gain greater control over his hallucinations. It is a Catholic school, and there are some very pointed humor jabs towards the Catholic/religious community. So if you are predisposed to sensitivity regarding religious quips…this might not be your jam. However, I was raised in the Bible Belt & found most of it hilarious and on point! The religious school setting was necessary, in my opinion, to add to the overall societal issues this book explores. 

I don’t feel that I came out of the book as an expert on schizophrenia, but I don’t think that wasn’t the author’s goal. I think she wanted the reader to develop more empathy for those suffering mental illnesses and not to jump to the conclusion that a person with this specific disease is dangerous or unable to sustain healthy relationships. I also don’t personally know if the author’s representation of schizophrenia is an authentic one, and can’t attest to the validity of the disease itself. I was hoping for more information in her “About the Author” section that would shine light onto her inspiration for the story or related research she did regarding the topic, but nothing was included in my copy. I’d be highly interested in reading or listening to some interviews with this author! 

All in all, I had so many feelings, but guys this was a phenomenal YA contemporary fiction read. It has a permanent spot on my bookshelf & I’m so happy I got to read it along with my postal book club. Gut wrenching and emotionally affecting, but in the best way. Go read it. Be changed. Be kind. Fall in love with Dwight and Rebecca like I did <3 

Reviewed by Coco

Thank you to Palegoldpages on instagram for the photo! You can visit her IG account by clicking here

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