I loved this book so much I don’t even know where to begin. Being in Charlie’s head for the entirety of the story was equally exciting, heartbreaking, and frustrating in all of the right ways. It’s a book that made me laugh, cry, and stare at the ceiling for half-an-hour after I was done, just letting everything sink in.
Charlie is a quiet, precocious and sensitive kid who is both intensely cerebral and endearingly naïve. He’s the kind of kid that you want to protect, because he doesn’t really know how to protect himself. He wears his heart on his sleeve and thinks the best about everyone always.
But Charlie also has a dark side and problematic past, which may be the reason that he gravitates towards kids who are older than him and that are also leading problematic lives in one way or another. They form a bond that Charlie holds on to with every fiber of his being to escape the loneliness and the depression that sometimes takes a hold of him. And his friends love him back, because did I mention he’s completely and totally endearing?
Except when he has a rage blackout.
This book encapsulates that feeling you have as an adolescent… the feeling that you don’t really know yourself but you know exactly what you don’t want to be, the feeling that makes you believe these will be the best and worst years of your life, the feeling of being either stuck in the deepest and darkest pit of hell or on top of the most vibrant, golden cloud of heaven. The feeling that you’re infinite. That somehow, we all are.
I believe this is one of the best YA Contemporary novels out there. If you’re a fan of the genre, this is a must-read for you.