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.Words on Bathroom Walls: a New, Amazing Contemporary YA novel #bookreview Click To Tweet
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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