Reader Girls is the last stop on The Symptoms of My Insanity Blog Tour presented by YA Books Central. Head on over to their site to enter their giveaway. We have our thoughts on this contemporary YA below. Happy Friday everyone!
The Symptoms of My Insanity by Mindy Raf
YA contemporary*Hardcover, 384 pages
Expected publication: April 18th 2013 by Dial Books for Young Readers
A laugh-out-loud, bittersweet debut full of wit, wisdom, heart, and a hilarious, unforgettable heroine.
When you’re a hypochondriac, there are a million different things that could be wrong with you, but for Izzy, focusing on what could be wrong might be keeping her from dealing with what’s really wrong.
I almost raised my hand, but what would I say? “Mr. Bayer, may I please be excused? I’m not totally positive, but I think I might have cancer.” No way. Then everyone at school would know, and they would treat me differently, and I would be known as “Izzy, that poor girl who diagnosed herself with breast cancer during biology.”
But Izzy’s sense of humor can only get her so far when suddenly her best friend appears to have undergone a personality transplant, her mother’s health takes a turn for the worse, and her beautiful maybe-boyfriend is going all hot and cold. Izzy thinks she’s preparing for the worst-case scenario, but when the worst-case scenario actually hits, it’s a different story altogether—and there’s no tidy list of symptoms to help her through the insanity.
About the author:
Debut author Mindy Raf is a writer, comedienne, and musician who has written for VH1’s Best Night Ever,WABC Radio, and CollegeHumor.com. She lives in Brooklyn, New York. Learn more about Mindy at www.mindyraf.com or follow her on Twitter @mindyraf
“I mean, I'm not antisocial or anything, but I sometimes don't see the point of hanging out with a whole bunch of people at a party if all you really want to do is hang out with just one person.”
The narrator of The Symptoms of My Insanity is Izzy, a teen with a rapid fire delivery of thoughts, impressions and feelings. She is a bit of a hypochondriac and drama-rama queen with a healthy amount of snark. What she is not is boring. Izzy is a big busted girl and her chest size brings unwanted attention from her male classmates so she wears baggy clothes to keep the leering eyes at bay. Her mom drags her to a lingerie shop for a bra fitting and Izzy's take on having her breasts handled by strangers as they debate her cup size is zany.
Izzy may have a unique voice but it seemed there was too much going on between her life, her thoughts and comments to the reader. She over thinks too much. I had a hard time believing her which impacted my connection to her. The author's use of exaggerated teen speak became tiring. At times when Izzy made quiet observations like the quote above was when I was able to begin understanding where she was coming from. I did wonder where the story was going at times and saw it taking shape halfway in. While Izzy thinks she's sick, there is someone in her life who is sick. In the end, a strong relationship with her ailing mom redeems the story for me. The first half was hard to get into but not the rest.