Publishers Weekly Review
Reggie Mason, a snarky 11th-grade loner who uses hurtful comments and hostile glares to avoid forming connections, finds herself drawn to the charmingly conceited Snake Eliot when their paths cross while refilling prescriptions for antidepressants. After grudgingly going on an "anti-date" with the tenacious Snake, Reggie learns that he's a soon-to-be father-and the boyfriend of popular classmate Carla Banks. Reggie struggles to ignore her attraction to Snake and Carla's attempts at friendship, but her carefully constructed wall begins to crumble as her strained relationship with her religious mother worsens: "All she saw in me was a walking mistake, a sin to be forgiven, a disease to be cured." Taylor portrays depression with complexity in this authentic, often confrontational debut; her characters are very real, frequently making terrible and selfish decisions, and their potential is evident. Reggie's growth is particularly notable as she finally confronts her grief and fear, allowing herself to be vulnerable. Taylor offers no simple answers about depression, teen pregnancy, or complicated relationships, but leaves readers with an enduring sense of hope. Ages 14-up. Agent: Maria Vicente, P.S. Literary. (Apr.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Library Journal Review
Gr 8 Up-In her engaging debut, Taylor skillfully captures adolescent depression and anxiety. Reggie, 17, feels alienated from her religious family after enduring several serious losses. Feeling emotionally abandoned, she is determined never to be hurt again. While picking up her Zoloft prescription, Reggie meets fellow teen Snake, who is in line for his Prozac. At first she is extremely resistant to Snake's attention, but he pursues her relentlessly. She eventually succumbs to his charms, but that's only the beginning of a very complicated relationship. Reggie's queen bee classmate Carla is pregnant, and Snake, it turns out, is the father. The three teens' tenuous connections periodically strain, break, and heal as they realistically stumble their way toward a sort of friendship and, ultimately, happiness. The main characters are well drawn and unique. The secondary characters are less so, but this doesn't lower the overall quality of this novel's insightful portrayal of complex teens struggling with mental health issues. VERDICT An emotionally engrossing and powerful exploration of depression and healing that many teens will find meaningful. A strong choice for libraries serving teens.-Susan -Riley, -Mamaroneck Public Library, NY © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Booklist Review
At 17, acerbic Reggie has a razor-sharp understanding of the depths of depression. You feel equally alive and dead and have no idea how that's even possible. And everything around you doesn't feel so full anymore. And you can't tell if the world is empty or if you are. It's a sentiment she doubts anyone else can understand not her too-nice therapist or her God-fearing mom. But tattooed, Prozac-popping Snake does. He, too, knows clinical despair. And Reggie finds it annoying (OK, and somewhat charming) that he understands. As the two begin to explore what misanthropic romance may mean, they're confounded by a circumstance even more troubling than their respective emotional unease: Snake's ex-girlfriend Carla is due with his baby within weeks. As Reggie confronts the boundaries she's erected to protect herself, Carla sees an opportunity for an unlikely camaraderie, all to Snake's dismay. Taylor crafts an improbable but irresistible love triangle. This first novel is full of raw emotion, biting wit, and unexpectedly pure heart.--Walters Wright, Lexi Copyright 2017 Booklist