- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (February 28, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0399556257
- ISBN-13: 978-0399556258
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 30 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #900,254 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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10 Things I Can See From Here Hardcover – February 28, 2017
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"Maybe You Should Talk to Someone" by Lori Gottlieb
"This is a daring, delightful, and transformative book." ―Arianna Huffington, Founder, Huffington Post Learn more
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"With Maeve, Mac delivers a character who's heartwarmingly real and sympathetic, and her story provides a much needed mirror for anxious queer girls everywhere"— Kirkus, starred review
About the Author
Carrie Mac is an award-winning author. She lives in East Vancouver with her two children. Learn more about Carrie and her books at CarrieMac.com and on Twitter at @CarrieMacWrites.
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Maeve can’t stop worrying about every little thing. When she gets anxious - which is practically all the time - she can’t stop her brain from going to dark places, from reciting depressing statistics, from imagining the worst possible outcomes.
At home, with her mother, she’s been trying to gain some control over her disorder. But with her mom leaving for Haiti she’s forced to make some big, unsettling changes - say goodbye to Port Townsend, move in with her less than reliable dad, start a new school, make new friends. All these things are hard enough for anyone to deal with, but for someone whose fears dominate their thoughts, it’s almost impossible.
Add in a tragedy, a huge disappointment, a new romance, and an early arrival, and you have the all the ingredients for an epic disaster.
Author Carrie Mac didn’t take the easy road when creating her character. She gave readers someone very real, who is not always particularly likable. And while Maeve may be relatable to some, her disorder could make it difficult for others to understand and connect with her.
The author also didn’t let her character take the easy road. Maeve has all kinds of challenges thrown at her - ones that should give her some hope if she can manage to face and overcome them.
But it’s not all doom and gloom, as Maeve might want you to believe. 10 THINGS I CAN SEE FROM HERE offers up a lovely romance, two charming siblings, a few interesting neighbors, a kingdom of warring gnomes, and possibly more than you’d ever want to know about home births and parents’ significant others. It is an engaging and insightful, at times maddening, at times hilariously cringe-worthy read.
I’ve been sitting on this book for a couple of days now, because I kept going back and forth about how I wanted to grade it. It’s about a lesbian teenager in Washington state named Maeve, who has a major anxiety disorder. Her single mom and closest confidant goes off to Haiti with her boyfriend and leaves Maeve with her ex-junkie dad, pregnant stepmom, and younger stepbrothers in Vancouver, Canada for 6 months.
Okay, so to start with, Maeve has anxiety, like me. At one point, she points out that only 3% of the population truly has anxiety like she does, and I have to admit that my anxiety is not to the level that Maeve’s is. She even points out that she should be on medication, but neither of her parents will allow it yet because her “brain is still developing.” I definitely have anxiety spirals like she does, but she has them way, way more often than I do, to the point where reading this book was sending me into anxiety spirals and I kept having to put the book down in order to calm myself. It was exhausting. Good representation, but exhausting, and trigger warning for anyone who might be strongly affected by those tangents or their topics (which include murder, suicide, and other types of death).
Maeve is also a lesbian, as I already mentioned, and thank goodness, this book isn’t a coming-out story. Points for that. It’s a love story, because Maeve meets a violinist named Salix and they fall in love. It wasn’t my favorite kind of love story, though, because it was very much instalove and was very sugary sweet. Which is fantastic for Maeve and exactly what she needs and deserves, but I didn’t really ship the two, either.
It might also have something to do with this biphobic tidbit, in response to someone in her life being bisexual: “But one girl crush back in college didn’t make her gay. Not really. … Being queer was not about being into boys. Just as it was about attraction, it was also about an absence of attraction, like white space. There wouldn’t be white space if I liked both. But I didn’t.” As a bisexual woman who doesn’t normally use the “queer” or “gay” labels for myself because I don’t want to piss off those who might not want me to use them, this really upset me. I know that biphobia happens, and it’s messy, because we’re all marginalized people and arguments can be made about who’s “more marginalized,” but really, it was a tiny biphobic snippet that the main character was never called out on and it never came up again, and it really bothered me. Seriously, why was it even in there?
Finally, there really wasn’t much plot to speak of, and that’s probably the main reason that I didn’t love the book all that much. Maeve goes about her life in Vancouver, falling in love with Salix, worrying about her half-sibling’s approaching due date (mostly because it’s going to be a home birth) and the fact that her ex-junkie dad appears to be off the wagon. But that’s basically it in terms of plot, and it wasn’t enough for me, not at all. There’s also a bit about her best friend that she’s no longer in contact with, and we finally find out about what happened between them near the end of the book, but still, this isn’t a very plot-driven book, and the pacing was poor.
tl;dr - Love the representation of anxiety, even though it was hard to read sometimes; love that it’s a lesbian romance, even though the main character is biphobic and the romance is instalove and a bit sappy; the book didn’t have much of a plot to speak of and it had terrible pacing. Overall, rounding up to 4 stars on Amazon because it certainly wasn’t a 3-star book, but I have to give it 3.5 stars in the end.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Blogging for Books for this review.