Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Leave Me and How It Feels to Fly

I just finished Gayle Forman's newest book. Forman is the best-selling author of YA books If I Stay (which was adapted into the 2014 film), Where She Went and I Was Here, among others. This is her first book written for an adult audience. It centers on Maribeth, who is a mother to two young children in her early 40's. The stress of her publishing career and motherhood, and the seeming lack of help from her well-intentioned but clueless husband conspire to land her in the hospital after suffering a heart attack and bypass surgery.

Even after she recovers enough to go back home, she becomes frustrated that she's thrust back into the role of caretaker of her job, husband, and children, and now her mother as well (who moved in "to help") and she yearns for just one person to take care of her. So she leaves.

She leaves behind her cell phone, her laptop, her ATM card, and pretty much any trace of her true identity. She takes a bus to another city and pays in cash for everything so she cannot be tracked down.

I liked this story, and I think pretty much any mother/working woman is guilty of a similar fantasy, and I'm not even going to defend that statement will a follow up. I related to the character of Maribeth and I'd recommend this book for fans of Jodi Picoult because many of the themes are similar, but there were a couple of sub-plots that didn't really resolve so much as fizzle out. 

Next up for me is a YA book titled How It Feels to Fly. Sam is a ballet dancer who has been sent to a camp for highly successful teen athletes and performers who are also struggling with emotional challenges.

I've only just begun reading it, and so far it seems as though her issue is not the typical eating disorder, but it more of a general body acceptance and negative self image monologue combined with anxiety and panic attacks. I generally enjoy books that feature teens struggling with mental and emotional issues but so many of them are interchangeable and fail to really stand apart from the others. I hope that this one will delve a little deeper into the issues that have already been introduced.

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