Monday, 29 August 2016

Review: The Form of Things Unknown by Robin Bridges

****3.5 Stars****

After reading Bridges' Dreaming of Antigone, I jumped at the chance to read more from the author and I really enjoyed this book although not as much as the first. This book deals with quite a lot: mental illness, underage drinking, peer pressure, and maybe even a touch of paranormal.
This book focuses on the life of Natalie Roman as her family moves in to take care of her schizophrenic grandmother. Natalie has just had her own stint in the psych hospital following hallucinations due to her ex boyfriend slipping her some ecstasy. Still trying to come to terms with her health, she just wants a fresh start in this new city. When her brother David convinces her to audition for a part in the Midsummer Night's Dream production, she quickly makes new friends. The only problem is Lucas. He is in the same group of friends she makes but he was also in the psych ward with her. She doesn't want everyone to know her secret. She is afraid of what her new friends would think about her mental breakdown and the fact that she is still on medication for it. What makes this story even more interesting is that while trying to fit into her new circle of friends, she consumes alcohol and does things that could compromise her medication. So when strange things start happening at the supposedly haunted theater, she starts questioning her sanity and wondering what's real and what isn't. Is it a ghost or is she hallucinating again?
This book had some great secondary characters like Natalie's kooky schizophrenic grandmother and Lucas''s kid sister Caitlyn. They both are guaranteed to make you smile and laugh and were an overall great addition to the story. I enjoyed Lucas and Natalie and while there wasn't a whole lot of romance in this book, I loved their connection.
This book paints a very vivid image of what living with a mental illness is like. Natalie's paranoia and anxiety over her 'hallucinations' is very well written by the author and you just want to empathize with her. This book was very much a psychological mystery and will definitely be a hit with the YA crowd. I can't wait to read more from the author.

Reviewed by Ashley Ziegler

Honest, nuanced, and bittersweet, The Form of Things Unknown explores the shadows that haunt even the truest hearts…and the sparks that set them free.

Natalie Roman isn’t much for the spotlight. But performing A Midsummer Night’s Dream in a stately old theatre in Savannah, Georgia, beats sitting alone replaying mistakes made in Athens. Fairy queens and magic on stage, maybe a few scary stories backstage. And no one in the cast knows her backstory.

Except for Lucas—he was in the psych ward, too. He won’t even meet her eye. But Nat doesn’t need him. She’s making friends with girls, girls who like horror movies and Ouija boards, who can hide their liquor in Coke bottles and laugh at the theater’s ghosts. Natalie can keep up. She can adapt. And if she skips her meds once or twice so they don’t interfere with her partying, it won’t be a problem. She just needs to keep her wits about her.

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