First off, I want to thank Ate Erika [The Nocturnal Fey] for giving me the chance to be a part of this blog tour. I also want to thank Usborne Publishing for the review copy, although this does not, in any way, affect my opinion on the book.
About the Book:
Welcome to Camp Reset, a summer camp with a difference. A place offering a shot at
“normality” for Olive, a girl on the edge, and for the new friends she never expected to make –
who each have their own reasons for being there. Luckily Olive has a plan to solve all their
problems. But how do you fix the world when you can’t fix yourself?
Content Warnings: This book is a work of fiction but it deals with many real issues including suicidal behavior, mental health conditions including depression and mania, and discussion of sexual assault.
**This book is also already available in National Bookstore but they haven’t listed it yet on their website.**
Publisher: Usborne Publishing
What does the world need right now? Read more to find out.
“Kindness,” Sophie says. “The world needs more kindness.”
It’s so hard to start this book review, so I guess the best way to start it is by saying that Are We All Lemmings & Snowflakes is now a part of my favorite books for 2018 [and for life] and that Holly Bourne is now one of my favorite authors.
This book spoke to me on a very personal level, and no, I do not have the mental illness that the main character is suffering from, but I am experiencing some of the things she experiences and I am feeling some of the feelings she is feeling; I understand her. I understand where this book is coming from. And I think that is what the world needs right now: a little more kindness, a little more understanding on where a person is coming from, a little more compassion towards others and towards ourselves.
On the first page [or page 5, technically/what the page number says], I already thought that the anxiety representation in this book is perfect. That’s when I knew I could relate with the main character; because I get what she’s saying. I know how she feels and I understand her thoughts. I also noticed later on to the book that the other characters were represented really good as well, because I see some resemblances between them and some of my friends who also have mental health problems.
Then, a few pages more, I noted how the main character’s mother is very kind and very much aware of her mental health needs. This made me make her mom my favorite bookish mom. I believe that our families play a huge and vital part when it comes to our mental health and it’s just refreshing to see fictional parents who are, at least, not crappy towards their child who is suffering from mental health issues.
A hundred pages into the book and we can already see some plot- and character-development. And as you read through the book, you will see a lot more development in the plot, the characters, and the voice of the main character, as well as the other characters.
The plot keeps on developing. There’s a continuous rise and fall in the plot. Just when you thought everything’s going smoothly, a problem would arise, then it’d be back to normal, then get back to chaos, and back to good again. What’s good about this continuous plot development is that every rise and fall is essential to the story. What’s even better is that it kind of added more emphasis to one of the messages of this book which is hope. There were also a lot of arguments, all throughout this book, within the characters but they’re not just some petty teenager arguments. These arguments are all essential, as well. Sometimes an argument would lead to a “eureka” moment, or sometimes it would lead to a plot development or to a character development. In this, we see a glimpse of compassion.
The character developments, on the other hand, are shocking because you wouldn’t expect that this certain character would be able to do this. Every character in this book also played a significant role in the book. Holly Bourne did not just put a character’s name just for the sake of having characters. Even those who are mentioned just once or twice have, in one way or another, an impact to either the characters or the story. No, the characters here are not perfect and they are not trying to be perfect. But they are all trying to be better persons, for themselves and for the people around them; and this is where we see real kindness. They made mistakes in this book. There were some moments when I want to cringe or shout at a character, but I’ve already learned in this book to understand and forgive their mistakes and imperfections and it became easy for me to forgive them because I already understand why they do the things they do or why they are the way they are.
This is also a well-researched book, which makes me think that Bourne really did want her message out to the world through this book. It worked out fine with me because I really like a book that knows what it’s talking about, especially real-situation books, specifically mental health books. To be honest, I even ended up researching, too, while reading this book. [If you want me to share some of the researches I found online, just comment down below and I’ll gladly write a blog post about that!]
— Hey! My name is A! I need WILDCARD in my life. (@avidreaderdiary) August 11, 2018
One more thing about this book is that it “walks its talk”. It wants to convey kindness, compassion and hope, and it did convey these three things in the story. How, you might ask?
- Kindness was shown through and to all the characters, not just the main character. It did not show any bias towards Olive just because she is the main character in the story.
- Compassion was when this book showed that it values the opinion of the other characters because they all have contributed something into their kindness project.
- Hope was, without a doubt, given not only to the characters, but also to the readers, through the researches it shared in the middle to near-end parts of this book.
Reading this book, especially when Olive was already at Camp Reset, made me feel like I was also in therapy. It felt good because a) I need reassurance that I’m not the only one feeling the way I feel and b) it inspired me through the many messages it wants to convey to the readers. This book has a strong voice and I’m telling you that because the messages of this book truly resonated through me.
Overall, I really loved this book. It is a very important and powerful book and I feel so blessed for having read this book. It feels like my best friend now, something that I can read over and over again whenever I’m having a bad day. I am proud to say that Are We All Lemmings & Snowflakes is my favorite book because it moved me. It made me put into actions what I have read.
You know what else the world needs right now, aside from kindness, compassion and hope? The world needs this book.
Apart from the book being able to connect with me, it was also able to give me something that I, in return, would love to give to other people, specifically to you who is reading this.
Are We All Lemmings & Snowflakes was able to give me kindness, compassion and hope. I want to give you these things too, and the only way I can think of right now is, by making my Tumblr ask page a place where you can just pop in and message me anonymously anything, anytime, and I’ll gladly brighten up your day. I would love to talk to you. I would love to walk with you through everything you are going through. I know it is hard to talk about what you are going through, that’s why I made sure that this would allow you to be anonymous. I know I am not perfect and I might not be able to say the perfect things to make you feel loved; I know this is just small and I might not be able to save the world through this, but it’s the least I can do. And if there’s one thing that I’ve learned from this book, it’s just that a little act of kindness always counts.
About the Author:
Holly Bourne writes YA novels and blogs about feminist issues. Her favourite things to
complain loudly about are: the stigma of mental health, women’s rights, and the under-
appreciation of Keanu Reeves’ acting ability.
Holly’s first two books, Soulmates and The Manifesto on How to be Interesting, have been
critically acclaimed and translated into six languages. The first book in the ‘Normal’ series, Am I
Normal Yet?, has been chosen as a World Book Night book for 2016 and has inspired the
formation of Spinster Clubs around the country.
Before becoming a full-time author, Holly was editor and relationship advisor for a charity website.
Blog Tour Schedule
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