In this heartwarming debut by HelloGiggles blogger Kerry Winfrey, a young agoraphobe begins a journey of first love that leads her to the true meaning of home—just by taking one small step outside of her house.
My name is Mallory Sullivan.
My therapist says I have an anxiety disorder.
My brother says I’m an “optimistic recluse.”
Everybody else says I’m a freak.
And they kind of have a point, because I haven’t left the house in 67 days and only attend class via the webcam on my laptop. The person I talk to the most other than my mom and brother is the completely obnoxious BeamMeUp, and all we do is argue on New Mexico’s premiere alien message board.
But after yesterday, I have something: a chance. If I can win the homecoming crown by convincing resident hot popular guy and Friday Night Lights spawn Brad Kirkpatrick to go as my date, then maybe #stayathome will never appear next to the name @Mallory_Sullivan ever again.
First, I have to leave my room.
Awhile back (think a couple of years ago) I read this self published book called Cinder and Ella and I ripped into it. And when I mean, ripped into it. I went off on it big time because of the author’s obvious lack of research about committing someone. Look, I know not everyone’s been to law school BUT it’s not that difficult to Google what commitment proceedings will entail. There was no research done in that book, and I felt like I was having a flashback to that reading experience when I read Love and Other Alien Experiences.
I’ll give Love and Other Alien Experiences this though, it had a cute ship going for it. If it would’ve exploited the ship and not have dramatized and poorly executed the mental health stuff out I could’ve really enjoyed this one.
I think that’s what makes me so angry. A lot of times in YA I hate or don’t get the ship, but here I totally get it. I wanted it damn it, even though the MC online acts completely different than she does in her narration and IRL interactions.
But man, the banter that was going on in the online chatroom was cute.
What wasn’t hot, again, was the rest of the story. I don’t know what made me angrier the indifferent mother, the incompetent shrink, or the ridiculous online school bit with the stupid internet timer.
Um, yeah, that was just dumb and annoying.
Which is a good way to describe the mother character in general dumb and annoying. She has no idea how to deal with daughter’s mental illness. When her daughter tells her she wants to try to go to school again, the mother things its perfectly acceptable for her to walk to school alone despite having agoraphobia and anxiety issues.
And it’s not even like the mother was busy or anything like that, she was sipping coffee and listening to Michael Buble while her daughter had a panic attack while walking on her way to school. Plus, I should mention said MC has a brother who could’ve taken her too but plot point (I guess).
The shrink’s no better she was like ho hum do you really think you’re ready to go to school ho hum, um okay.
Yeah, both are POS adults in my opinion.
It gets worse though. After Mallory (not surprisingly) has said panic attack her mother threatens to send her to a place to deal with other kids like her (aka an institution).
Lady, you definitely get a Golden Charlie nomination for that if not the damn award for 2017 (note to self, I actually need to give a Golden Charlie on my end of the year wrap up, I talk about them all the fucking time it seems). For those of you who haven’t been regular followers of my reviews, a Golden Charlie is an award I give to YA’s worst parents named aptly after the OG poor YA parent, Charlie Swan.
The shrink is also one of those people who gives shrinks bad names. She constantly pressures the MC to do things, without even acknowledging what sort of progress she makes. For example, when the MC tries to talk about her online relationships the shrink rolls her eyes at her and says they’re not “real” relationships and then forces her to go outside.
Obviously, this shrink does not know how agoraphobia works, neither does it seem the author since Mallory can at times go outside with no fear whatsoever because the plot needs it. Oh, and did I even mention how the agoraphobia was triggered?
Well, Mallory mistakes a guy as her absentee dad at the Cheesecake Factory and can’t live down the embarrassment.
You can stop rolling your eyes now.
Honestly, did it clue the author to Google the condition and how actual shrinks treat it?
Also, the home school/being embarrassingly connected to the school via a web cam. Again, research much? There are a lot of online accredited home schools that would’ve just been easier for the MC to attend . I just felt like this book was either 1) poorly researched or 2) ignored the obvious just for the plot and it drove me crazy.
If you’re able to look past these things you might be able to enjoy it. As I said, it had a cute ship I just couldn’t handle these sorts of major faux pas. There are lots of people suffering from mental illness. Chances are either you or your family member suffers from something, and it just disgusted me how easily characters in this book were threatening to commit someone. It’s just not that easy. Trust me. There are a lot of rules in place that even trying to find out if your love one is in treatment and is taking their medications can be a difficult if not impossible task.
Which is why I ended up throwing this book against the wall and hissing a lot of expletives under my breath and decided to rage write this review after working all week and having a poor reaction to allergies that caused me to take a Benadryl.
Yes, I wrote this review even though I should be drooling on my pillow right now because that’s how pissed I am about this book. In a way, I think I am angrier with this one than Cinder and Ella. While it is true that Cinder and Ella in a lot of ways was worse than this book in its handling of mental health issues, this book annoyed me more because aside from that issue it had potential. And I think that’s where it failed me the most.
Overall Rating: From me it’s a total flop and a F. I could’ve given it a higher rating, but I’m not this book just made me too angry and admittedly it’s the first book I’ve thrown at the wall in awhile.