I picked this book up because Mindy Raf is coming to my work next month (with a few other of the Lucky 13s. If you live near Boston come check it out). It sounded funny enough, the flap copy is wonderful.
I was delightfully surprised. I read that whole strong of bad, dramatic but "funny" YA and I was a little afraid that this was going to be yet another of those. I was convinced that I couldn't win.
There was something so wonderful about The Symptoms of My Insanity. The humor is clever and witty without being hopelessly cynical. The situations that Izzy finds herself in are serious but they're handled in a way that reminds you how important they are without crossing the line into after school special territory.
I have to admit that I found Izzy wonderfully naive. She comes off as such an innocent yet wary 15 year old. She's had some terrible things happen to her and she knows that bad things happen. She's a hypochondriac, because she expects terrible things and because her mother is so sick. But at the same time there's only so much of the world that she's familiar with. She let's herself be innocent, partly I think because she knows her mother tries to hard to shelter her and Izzy has spent a great deal of time taking care of her mom, and partly because she has never had to worry about any of it touching her before. She never really bothered with the things that didn't concern her because she had enough to worry about.
I think I identified with her. I hate disappointing people but I don't always see what they want me to. The biggest difference is that I was usually more wary of people.
Raf did an excellent job of making the characters multifaceted. They all had there little quirks. Izzy's hypochondria, Marcus' and his obsessive medical facts, Allisa and her volcano crying. They were so believable and so human.
The plot is predictable but the way that the characters handle everything is the most entertaining part. That's where this book really shines. In it's main character and the way there characters handle the situations with each other. They make mistakes and the mistrust each other and they misjudge.
I liked this book way more than I thought I would. And I definitely think people should check it out. Especially if they want a book that handles issues with humor.
Overall, I give Mindy Raf's The Symptoms of My Insanity a rating of: Massively Epic.
I really think people should check it out. And then come to our event.
Next, I was lucky enough to get a copy of The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith...a.k.a. J.K. Rowling and I will be diving into that.