Hmmm... I don´t know what to say. I don´t know how to put this book into words. I have no idea how to start my review. Somehow I need more time to process it and at the same time I want to read it again to discover things I maybe have missed. To read it again, so I might understand it a little bit more.
This book is definitely a dark read. Not in a way that it includes violence or death. But its theme is dark. So if you want a happy, fluffy, heartmelting (in a good way) story- this isn´t it.
I really do hope that the people who read this book understand the characters and why they are like they are. I hope readers understand the reasons and the background. Because, mainly the female protagonist, isn´t an easy one and I think if you don´t understand her, you could easily hate her. You really need an open mind and you need to be patient too. Keep going. Read this book till the end- in my opinion it´s worth it.
The book is about mental illness, suffering, coping mechanisms, trust, fighting, love, ups and downs, patience, changes, hurt, and so much more. It´s about how much someone and something can ruin you and how it sometimes needs just someone to really look. Someone who sees through everything and knows what you need. Someone who is strong enough to help you and "brings you back to life". Someone who understands and fights for you. Someone who shows you love and happiness and also shows you the life you never thought you could have. Someone who pushes you out of your comfort zone. Someone who constantly stays on your side even though you say and do things that hurt them. Even though you disappoint them and make their life difficult.
The book is written from the female protagonists point of view.
The main protagonists are Mira and Six.
Mira never had an easy life. Growing up with a Mom who is bipolar, abusive and unable to show love or any kind of emotion/affection at all, turned her into someone who tries to forget. She, herself, is bipolar and just wants the voices to stop telling her what to do. She doesn´t want to hurt. She doesn´t want to feel. And to achieve that she became a drug addict, thief and a cutter. She lived from day to day with no connection to anyone, because in her mind it is better this way.
Six is an ex-soldier and now private investigator. When he found Mira, he found something else too. At first he helped her and offered her a job. But with time it became clear that he was interested in more than that. But Mira isn´t easy and he still has sth. important he needs to do.
Both have secrets. Both have a past they don´t like to share. Both are quite the opposite from one another but seem to be the perfect match for each other.
The problem is though that both keep pushing. Both are fighting. Both are stubborn and strong. And Mira keeps having her episodes. And when she has her bad times, it is not only her who is suffering. Mira takes and takes and never gives. Mira is selfish and not easy to handle. But somehow Six is still there. But how long will he be? How long will it last until his patience will run out? How much hurt can he endure?
Will Mira overcome her addictions? Will she be able to get help? Can Six help her? Will Mira be able to live a slightly "normal" life? Will Six stay on her side? Will she stop hurting him? Can he show her ways to stop the voices? Is a happy end even possible? And what happens when they find out about their secrets?
The book touched me. I felt so much. I hurt. I even shed a tear or two.
I´m not bipolar but I suffer from depression and had been in and out of a mental health clinic when I was a teenager and young adult (wasn´t there on my own free will) . I´ve been to therapists all my life and honestly- I feel like Mira did about it and them.
I could see myself in her in some ways. The way she thinks, the way she feels, the way she hurts- I could relate. I don´t know where this scene was and what it exactly said but it was sth. like this: "I am not wanted. I am not loved". That´s how I feel too. These lines broke me a bit. I hurt for her and with her. That she´s also an artist is somehow a funny coincidence. But I love that painting helps her.
I wouldn´t say that I liked Mira, but I also didn´t hate her. She was selfish and difficult. And on the outside she simply is a bitch. But on the inside she´s this sick, broken, hurt, lonely, woman who just wants to be wanted and loved. But at the same time she´s scared and doesn´t want to let anyone too close. She has a huge fear of loss and tries to protect herself from getting hurt by others. And her voices aren´t helping her much either. So it´s constantly a back and forth. You want to be her friend in one moment and the next you want to strangle her. Especially when she hurt Six. She makes mistakes and her addiction also is always a part of her, even when she´s not using. I liked how she evolved throughout the book and showed other sides too (f.e. with Norah). She grew a bit, learned and got healthier. She got a bit more "human".
Six- I love him. I need someone like him in my life. This guy- what he put himself through. What he saw, what he did, how he fought... he´s an amazing man. He´s so strong emotionally. He´s so patient. He cares and loves so much. He understands. He tries. He looks for solutions and ways to make Mira´s voices go away or to at least silence them for a while. He pushed her. He saw through her lies. He really looked at her and saw the real her. He destroyed her walls bit by bit. And even when there was a setback- he kept going. Even when he was frustrated- he kept going. He kept loving and fighting for her. There wasn´t much he expected in return. And he also held his promises. In my eyes he is perfect. And every time he finally got sth. in return- his happiness made me happy too.
Even from the start I´ve been like "oh,oh". Mira sounded a couple of times like there wouldn´t be a happy end. Like something would happen. So I constantly was on edge and was just like "I need to know. I need to read faster. Don´t you dare get hurt or die (I mean Six). Are they going to break up? What if they do? And why? What´s going to happen to Mira when she doesn´t have Six? Will she go back to her old self? I need to know?!" :D But then the end happened...And it hurt. I hurt for them.
When it comes to their relationship... It was healthy and unhealthy in some way. At times you wished Six would just leave, because you didn´t want him to hurt but at the same time you didn´t want him to leave because Mira needed him. Whitney Barbetti really did good with making the reader unable to choose between right and wrong because there wasn´t a right or wrong. You connect with the characters and don´t want them to suffer. You understand them and their reasons even if you don´t like them. But sometimes you need to do things you don´t like.
The dog (forgot the name) was great :D Had to grin here and there because of her. Felt a bit bad about all the Henry´s :P
Mira´s Mom- Can´t stand her. When Mira said what her mom tried... I was just like "whoa". The rest of the side characters were ok.
What I really love is how Whitney Barbetti can make simple things special. For example the characters inside jokes and the thing with the rating (How much do you love me from 1-10?). Really love that. Had to mark a few quotes too. Already had been a fan of those things in another book I read by her. I will def. read her other books as well at one point!
I also loved how Six gave her the nickname Ursula and how he pictured her with the tentacles :)
I really liked the writing. I could connect to the characters. I could feel with them, hurt for them. I could understand them. It was like I was with them and not just only a spectator. The way Mira´s episodes were described- it was really good in my opinion. It made it easy to imagine what ppl who suffer from it and ppl who live with ppl who suffer from it have to go through. It was very easy for me to "see" the "crazy" and that´s because of how Whitney Barbetti put the voices down on paper. And it was also easy to "feel" the frustration , disappointment and hurt from Six. Can´t complain about the writing style.
I think the warning and info at the beginning of the book is really sensitive and was a good choice to have put it there.
The only thing I wished is that the book would have been a little shorter. Beginning and end was great but the middle was mainly about the back and forth and it was a bit too much in my opinion. I felt like I was reading the same thing happening all over just maybe in a different setting and with different reasons...But it´s still fine. It´s nothing that necessarily need to be changed.
I don´t think I have everything I thought or felt written down and def. don´t think that I was able to put the books and the characters into words. As I mentioned at the beginning- I still need to process and need to read this book again. It´s somehow special and it´s an emotional and also heartbreaking read.
I really, really can´t wait for book two. I need to know what´s going to happen.
I can and will recommend this book! And I probably will buy the paperback too :)
This is a review for an ARC-Copy I got from the publisher and Whitney Barbetti :) Thank you so much!
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