10 Things I Can See From Here
Author: Carrie Mac
Genre: YA Contemporary/LGBTQ
Release Date: February 28, 2017
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Perfect for fans of Finding Audrey and Everything, Everything, this is the poignant and uplifting story of Maeve, who is dealing with anxiety while falling in love with a girl who is not afraid of anything.
Don’t worry; be happy.
Keep calm and carry on.
Maeve has heard it all before. She’s been struggling with severe anxiety for a long time, and as much as she wishes it was something she could just talk herself out of, it’s not. She constantly imagines the worst, composes obituaries in her head, and is always ready for things to fall apart. To add to her troubles, her mom—the only one who really gets what Maeve goes through—is leaving for six months, so Maeve will be sent to live with her dad in Vancouver.
Vancouver brings a slew of new worries, but Maeve finds brief moments of calm (as well as even more worries) with Salix, a local girl who doesn’t seem to worry about anything. Between her dad’s wavering sobriety, her very pregnant stepmom insisting on a home birth, and her bumbling courtship with Salix, this summer brings more catastrophes than even Maeve could have foreseen. Will she be able to navigate through all the chaos to be there for the people she loves?
10 Things I Can See From Here is a great new addition to the diverse young adult contemporary genre. Not only does it deal with LGBTQ issues, it also discusses mental illness - specifically anxiety. Sadly, mental illness is still stigmatized in our society - although it's starting to be talked about more. I personally suffer from mental illness - and one of my diagnoses is anxiety disorder. I'm really glad that more books are being written that discuss mental illness and the impact they have on people. This is another novel that sheds a realistic light on the issue. I'm always weary when approaching a book about mental illness because I'm not sure how the author will portray it - especially so if I also suffer from the diagnosis. It's so hard to talk about these things, and when there are materials written about them, you want them to be accurate and really show how it effects people's lives. Luckily, this story was pretty spot on when it came to the main character's anxiety problems. That trait in itself made me like the novel and I was able to identify with Maeve right away. Sadly, I couldn't fully connect with her character because of her sexual preference. I could easily empathize with her and what she encountered, but that part of her personality eluded me on a personal level. The book was written in the first person point of view - from Maeve's perspective - which is by far my favorite writing style. I'm happy that the author chose this style because it allows the reader a deeper connection with the narrator. With a story so personal, it only makes sense to be written this way (in my opinion).
The plot was well written, if not a bit predictable. I'm not a huge fan of contemporary fiction, so I didn't really get into the story as much as fans of the genre will. This is purely my own preference and opinion - there's absolutely nothing negative about the writing or the story. I definitely recommend this book to fans of YA contemporary fiction, romance, LGBTQ, and those wanting to diversify their reading lists.
CARRIE MAC is an award-winning Canadian novelist making her US debut. She lives in East Vancouver, where this story takes place. Check out her website at Carriemac.com and follow her on Twitter at @CarrieMacWrites.