Words on Bathroom Walls by Julia Walton

Posted July 10, 2017 by shooting in Book Review / 22 Comments

Words on Bathroom Walls by Julia Walton

Review by Lauren

source: copy from publisher; all opinions are my own

Official Summary (add on Goodreads): Adam has just been diagnosed with schizophrenia. He sees and hears people who aren’t there: Rebecca, a beautiful girl who understands him; the Mob Boss, who harasses him; and Jason, the naked guy who’s unfailingly polite. It should be easy to separate the real from the not real, but Adam can’t.

Still, there’s hope. As Adam starts fresh at a new school, he begins a drug trial that helps him ignore his visions. Suddenly everything seems possible, even love. When he meets Maya, a fiercely intelligent girl, he desperately wants to be the great guy that she thinks he is. But then the miracle drug begins to fail, and Adam will do anything to keep Maya from discovering his secret.

Review: Words on Bathroom Walls is a fantastic contemporary novel. I thought Walton did a great job getting into the mind and perspective of a teenage boy. I feel like a lot of YA books are told in the point of view of a girl, so it’s nice to see a boy’s perspective. He’s a regular teenage boy, who develops a crush on Maya, a girl at his new school. He lives with his mom and stepdad and generally does okay in school. That is until he’s diagnosed with schizophrenia, the reason he attends a new school in the first place. After an episode of sorts at his old school, he knows that the kids there will never look at him the same. Now he’s on a trial drug and seeing a therapist. Seeing is the operative word here because Adam refuses to talk. Instead, he just listens to the therapist go on and go on, asking questions. Instead of speaking, Adam writes the answers to the questions, as well as other information about his daily life, in a notebook which he allows his therapist to read at the next meeting. This is what makes up the book.

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I know enough about schizophrenia, but I do not know anyone personally who has suffered from it.  Therefore, I cannot attest to the accuracy of the mental illness in this book.  There is a statement from the author at the end of the book, noting that the drug Adam tries was created by her and a few more details about the mental illness. I know it’s rare for people to actually see anyone – I believe hearing voices is more common – but Adam does both. I think Walton did a good job showing how these voices and apparitions can affect someone on a daily basis. Sometimes Adam doesn’t mind them, and things seem to be getting better with the drug trial. It’s definitely interesting to get a peek into this type of world that those with schizophrenia sometimes live in. It’s a form of mental illness I’d be curious to learn more about.

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22 responses to “Words on Bathroom Walls by Julia Walton

  1. I would actually really like to read this one, it might be hard for me as I personally know someone affected by schizophrenia, but I think it might actually help me understand them better too. I’m adding this to my list. Thanks for the review!

  2. I used to write for a mental health magazine and I had the wonderful opportunity to interview several people who battle schizophrenia. They were the most courageous people I had ever spoke with. Super talented, intelligent, humorous, individuals and of course, the most widely misunderstood.
    I think it’s great that the book offers a male’s perspective. It’s usually the opposite! I also think that the topic is interesting but I do hope that the author did their part in researching the illness itself. It’s tremendously easy to take such a serious illness like this and throw it under a bus for the sake of entertainment.

  3. This sounds fascinating. I haven’t read much on schizophrenia, so I am most curious to learn more in this book. I will add it to my list.

  4. This book sounds really interesting. Hallucinations are possible for people who experience schizophrenia, but I don’t know if it occurs to the extent that you have described in this book. This sounds like a great read, I love it when an author allows you to delve right into the mind of the character.

  5. Schizophrenia sounds like such a hard disease to deal with, I just can’t imagine. I would hate to have hallucinations! I’m sure if I read this I would learn a lot about it and respect more for those that have to deal with it!!


  6. Wow, this sounds intense! And yes, while I’ve read a lot on schizophrenia, I don’t know anyone who suffers from it either. I also really appreciate YA books told from a male POV, I think the latest one I’ve read is The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, but that’s a much different kind of book.

  7. Jen

    I have people in my life with this. I know that sometimes they get such a bad rap, but they are good people. I like the authors take on this. It’s time we start talking about it.

  8. I swore that I had an eARC of this book from Netgalley. It was even on my ARC schedule, but when I looked in my Kindle docs there was no book. I then went to Netgalley and looked and it appears I never requested it. I looked at Edelweiss, too, just to make sure I didn’t request it there but also nada. I guess I will wait until I see the ebook on special. Thanks for sharing your review. 🙁

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