Hello, Bookish Buddies. A few days ago, I finished Words on Bathroom Walls by Julia Walton and I loved it. I was generously given a NetGalley ARC of it from Random House Children’s. Words on Bathroom Walls is out now. If you’re not familiar with it, here is the Goodreads synopsis:
Fans of More Happy Than Not, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and It’s Kind of a Funny Story will cheer for Adam as he struggles with schizophrenia in this brilliantly honest and unexpectedly funny debut.
Adam has just been diagnosed with schizophrenia. He sees and hears people who aren’t there: Rebecca, a beautiful girl who understands him; the Mob Boss, who harasses him; and Jason, the naked guy who’s unfailingly polite. It should be easy to separate the real from the not real, but Adam can’t.
Still, there’s hope. As Adam starts fresh at a new school, he begins a drug trial that helps him ignore his visions. Suddenly everything seems possible, even love. When he meets Maya, a fiercely intelligent girl, he desperately wants to be the great guy that she thinks he is. But then the miracle drug begins to fail, and Adam will do anything to keep Maya from discovering his secret.
Words on Bathroom Walls is an amazing story about mental illness and just being a teenager in general. We follow Adam, who has schizophrenia (oh DAMN! I spelled it right on the first try. Yay me!) and is testing an experimental drug to curb his symptoms. I really connected with Adam, because although I don’t have schizophrenia, I do have anxiety and depression and a slew of other issues that I take medicine for. I really understood what he was talking about when he said that he could never be normal without the drug and stuff like that. I just feel like this was a great book about mental illness and I think everyone should read it because it’s really eye opening.
This book takes place around the time of the Sandy Hook shooting, and it’s mentioned in the book a few times. Adam talks about what kind of impact it’s had on him, since the killer was also schizophrenic. A lot of people around him were expressing hatred towards the illness when they were just undereducated, which is why I think this book is really important.
Moving on from the more serious stuff, I really enjoyed the characters in this book. All of them had their own special spark that made them unique and life like. From Adam’s obsessive baking, to Maya’s inability to swim, they all had these intricate little details that made me thing I was reading about real people. I also really loved Adam’s sense of humor. He is really funny, and his dark humor is just the kind of thing that I really like. Also, every character in here has a fully fleshed out family! That is so rare in contemporaries and I just loved that.
Words on Bathroom Walls really was a standout novel. I gave it 5/5 stars.