Review: Words of Bathroom Walls by Julia Walton

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Title: Words on Bathroom Walls
Author: Julia Walton
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: July 4th 2017

 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. 

 

Adam is a teenager with schizophrenia, and volunteers to try an experimental drug called ToZaPrex to help him cope with his visions and voices.  He had an episode at his previous school that forced him to transfer to a new school.  He wants this new school to be a fresh start for him, especially when he meets Maya, who eventually becomes his girlfriend.  He doesn't tell Maya or his new friends about his schizophrenia because part of him is hoping that the experimental drug will fix it and he won't have to tell anyone.  Adam has been seeing a therapist to talk about the way he is feeling, but he never speaks during his sessions.  He writes everything down in a journal and gives it to him instead.  At first things seem to be going well with the drug, but he never gets rid of the visions altogether.  The drug seems to help him tell the difference between reality and the visions/voices.  Eventually the doctors need to take him off of the drug, and it gets more and more difficult for him to keep his secret as it's hard for him to determine what's real and what's all in his head.

This whole story is told through Adam's journal entries to his therapist.  I really loved that because it was so different and gave us great insight into how he was feeling and what was going on in his head.  I also loved how real Adam's mental illness was portrayed.  Often times in books with a main character that has a mental illness, they are magically cured or cured by finding the love interest, and I was so glad that wasn't the case with this one.

I absolutely loved Adam.  He made it impossible not too.  I really enjoyed his snarky sarcasm and witty remarks.  The nerdy fangirl in me loved his Harry Potter references too.  He deals with his stress by baking, and he also uses it as a way to make the people he cares about happy.  I love that! I liked that Adam's mother and stepfather were very supportive and protective of him.  It's hard to find good parental figures in young adult stories, but these two were great.  We're a little unsure about Adam's stepfather for part of the story but he comes through in a big way towards the end of the story and even a few times in between.

Maya is also a really great character.  She comes off sort of stoic for a while but she opens up more when she's with Adam.  They started off as friends but even she couldn't resist Adam's charm. lol!  He really does have his sweet moments.  They had a really healthy relationship and there is mention of sexual intimacy but it isn't overly descriptive and isn't a huge part of the story.

I thought Adam's interactions with his visions were really interesting.  Most of the time he was trying to ignore them but he would still explain what they were doing and what they were saying.  The 3 most recurrent visions/voices that he sees are Rebecca, members of the mob, and Jason.  Each one of the visions has it's one personality and I enjoyed getting to hear more about them.  

I originally gave this one a 4 star but after I finished it I couldn't stop thinking about it and the more I think about this one, the more I love it!  I would highly recommend it!  I'm actually really surprised that this was Julia Walton's first book.  It was written really well and there's not really a thing about it that I would change.  I will definitely be keeping my eye out for more of her books in the future.

* I received an ARC of this title via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.  *

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10 comments:

  1. This sounds amazing! I love that it's told through Adam's journal entries. I love books like that so it's going on my wishlist for sure!

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    1. I really loved how the author had the story told through his journal entries. I thought that was such a unique way to get insight into how the character was feeling. Hope you love this one if you get a chance to pick it up

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  2. I just came across this one the other day, and didn't read the summary, but wow! That sounds like such an interesting premise, and I can imagine how different it must be like reading in the POV of someone with schizophrenia! The diary entries is really clever too. I'm going to add this to my TBR. I'm glad this was a memorable read for you. :)

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    1. It was soooo good! I'm still thinking about it almost a week after I read it! I loved the journal entries because it helped let the reader know exactly what the main character was thinking, and I thought that was really important and interesting. I hope you love it when you get a chance to check it out

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  3. I hadn't heard of this book before. Thanks for putting it on my radar.

    Have you ever read Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman? Another excellent book about schizophrenia.

    For What It's Worth

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    1. I hadn't heard of Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman before now but I will definitely have to check it out. Thanks for the recommendation!

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  4. Oh wow this sounds like a great but probably a bit of challenging read. That's awesome that there's more books about mental health! Glad you enjoyed this so much! Awesome review!

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    1. I've been reading a lot of books that deal with mental illness this year and I love that there have been so many books about it lately. Thanks so much, Cyn!

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  5. Awesome review! Glad I stumbled upon this review through the Saturday Situation blog hop. :) I love the concept of this book, and I'm so glad that it delivered for you. This just ticks all the boxes for me. Aah!!! I'm so excited for it now!

    Cass @ Words on Paper

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    1. Thank you so much! So glad you found me through the blog hop! I definitely enjoyed this one a lot. It was such a great look into what someone is feeling and thinking while they are suffering with mental illness, while also just trying to do normal teenage things. I really loved his personality and snarky comments. I hope that you love it when you get a chance to check it out!

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