RELEASED: February 25, 2020
PUBLISHER: Wattpad Books
FORMAT: eARC [Thank you so, so much!]
GENRE: YA Contemporary
GOODREADS RATING: 4.13
TRIGGERS: Car crash, anxiety [attacks], PTSD, unwanted touches, panic attacks, phantom pain
REPS: Anxiety, amputee, PTSD
After losing his leg in a terrible car accident, Jonas Avery can’t wait to start over and go to college. Brennan Davis would like nothing more than to stay home and go to school, so she can keep her anxiety in check. When the two accidentally meet the summer before they move away, they’ll push each other to come to terms with what’s holding them back, even as they’re pulled closer to taking the biggest leap of all—falling in love.
I had to read this before February 25, and I’m honestly kicking myself for not doing exactly that. This book deserved more hype upon its release so I’m trying to make up for it now by shouting about it.. non-stop, it seems? Because it’s good. SO GOOD. Review-time!
I don’t even know where to start with this one. I can take the time to talk about the writing – which was good – or the story – which was definitely good as well – but.. The thing is that The Opposite of Falling Apart is so much more than those two things. Of course, every book is more than those elements, but I feel like it’s even more so when it comes to this amazing read.
The rep in The Opposite of Falling Apart is amazing. At least I think so. This is not an own-voices review so I could be mistaken [and if I am, do let me know] but I felt like everything was brilliantly done. Brennan’s anxiety disorder felt absolutely real. I don’t have an anxiety disorder, although I sometimes feel like I do have some “tendencies/thoughts” that aren’t normal, but I really had my skin crawling at times at how lost in Brennan’s POV I was. The way her thoughts are written and come across and hit you in your soul… I really feel like I have somehow expanded my knowledge on what it’s like to have an anxiety disorder? If that’s even possible.
She hated when people said it, like it was just her being shy, or nervous, and not something that caused her to lose sleep, to feel sick, and to feel like she couldn’t breathe. They said it like they were characters in a story and it was a word that was italicized, emphasized. Oh. You have anxiety. Like there were air quotes around the word and it wasn’t a real thing.
As for Jonas’ PTSD.. I connected less with it, but that didn’t make it less present. Everything he did, thought and say made perfect sense to me – even if it wasn’t always the right thing. Same goes for Brennan, by the way. The struggle he goes through with his one-and-a-half legs is pure and heart-breaking. Reading about it, getting to know him after The Accident… I’m sure it’ll stay with me for a long time to come.
Seeing those two characters’ lives colliding and entwining was truly a journey. Each having their own demons, pasts and struggles and then finding ways to accomodate the other while not losing themselves. Forcing themselves. It’s hard to explain what this story did to me, to be frank. I’m trying my best to explain how this book made me feel but there are so many feelings that I don’t even know if I’m going about this the right way? I hope you’re all getting what I’m trying to say here since I’ve been attempting this review for hours without getting anywhere that makes sense to me. [Seriously, I hope you get it and want to read this book because it is so, so worth your time.]
In these moments Brennan felt like she was just a body controlled by some parasite inside of her that fed off her emotions.
The Opposite of Falling Apart is a beautiful, heart-breaking, heart-wrenching story about two characters battling mental health issues. It’s one that feels so real and.. I feel like if you read it, you might understand people with anxiety and/or PTSD better. Or at least I hope so.
What’s the last book you read that gave you more insight in something you’re not very familiar with yourself?
What’s the hardest review you’ve ever written?