Saturday, 16 April 2016

Book Review: Your Voice Is All I Hear by Leah Scheier

Read: April 15-16   Verdict: 2.5 Stars

I received a free digital copy from the author/publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest feedback.

April is an introvert and her best and only friend just moved schools. April doesn't know what she's going to do until she meets the new boy Jonah. They immediately hit it off and become an item but before long April notices that Jonah is changing. Jonah is diagnosed with schizophrenia and enters a psychiatric facility, with April supporting him the whole time. 

So, I had some expectations for this book and I can't say it met them all. The book's plot sounds really interesting and I've never read a book that focuses on schizophrenia so I was really interested to dive in. There were some emotional bits in this, and overall I think Jonah's struggle with his illness was well-documented, I had some problems with it as well.

1. Insta-love. Jonah and April's relationship seemed to happy VERY quickly. They went to 5-100 in a week and within two weeks she was telling her friend that she thought he loved her. You're fifteen and going out two weeks and haven't even kissed him, jeez!

2. Bullying. There was so much horrible bullying in the school, it was awful to read. At no point did it seem that teachers, even though the teachers were suppose to be excellent in this school, did anything to stop the bullying.

3. General reaction to mental health was really poor and disturbing from Jonah's mother's reaction to the doctor mentioning psychosis to Jonah's dad WHO IS A DOCTOR saying things like "counselling crap" and basically belittling all psychiatric help. Like the boy is talking about mental probes and government spying and you think there's nothing wrong with him and you're going to storm out of a doctor's office, okay then. His first psychiatrist is often treated like the villain as well. She may not have been the best match for Jonah but she was still only doing her job.

4. At one point, April and Jonah's teacher starts discussing Jonah's changes to April and weird things he said in his homework BEFORE discussing anything with Jonah's mother. I really don't think this would ever happen or be allowed. Discussing one student's mental or physical health with another, even if they're his girlfriend, before discussing it with the student's parent would be a big no no in my books.

5. April is really stupid for a lot of this book, lying to Jonah's parents, teachers and counsellors about his behaviour. She is the person he really trusts and talks to and yet she never speaks up about it so they can help him better. And despite knowing his diagnosis, she doesn't really do much research on it.

6. April's attitude towards her best friend is pretty despicable. As soon as Jonah was on the scene, she dropped her best friend like a hot potato and lost any interest in her life. Kris had moved away and made a huge effort to continue seeing April yet April ignored her for most of the time, even before Jonah got really sick. She pretty much broke all the rules of Girl Code.

I did like April's project at the end and the reality she showed her classmates, as well as the statistics. I also loved the fact that she mentioned how people with illnesses such as cancer get the support of the whole community but people with mental illness are often shunned because people are scared of them.

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