Monday, 19 September 2016

Review: The Movie Version by Emma Wunsch

In the movie version of Amelia’s life, the roles have always been clear. Her older brother, Toby: definitely the Star. As popular with the stoners as he is with the cheerleaders, Toby is someone you’d pay ten bucks to watch sweep Battle of the Bands and build a “beach party” in the bathroom. As for Amelia? She’s Toby Anderson’s Younger Sister. She’s perfectly happy to watch Toby’s hijinks from the sidelines, when she’s not engrossed in one of her elaborately themed Netflix movie marathons.      

But recently Toby’s been acting in a very non-movie-version way. He’s stopped hanging out with his horde of friends and started obsessively journaling and disappearing for days at a time. Amelia doesn’t know what’s happened to her awesome older brother, or who this strange actor is that’s taken his place. And there’s someone else pulling at her attention: a smart, cute new boyfriend who wants to know the real Amelia—not Toby’s Sidekick. Amelia feels adrift without her star, but to best help Toby—and herself—it might be time to cast a new role: Amelia Anderson, leading lady.

Hardcover, 368 pages
Expected publication: October 11th 2016 by Amulet Books

Terri's Thoughts

I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.  The expected publication is October 11th. 2016.

I wish I liked this story more than I did.  In concept I should have.  A story about mental illness written for the YA genre which is a very important and serious topic that deserves to have light shed on it and the stigma of it removed.  A good message to deliver to this demographic.

My issue with the story was purely in Amelia's reaction to the situation with her brother.  While it is only my opinion, I felt that the way she handled it was not the way someone who was so close to her brother would deal with the situation.  Instead of trying to help him, she mourned who he used to be instead of trying to support him.  She wallowed in self pity and lashed out at everyone in sight.  Ok, I get the lashing out part, that can be normal behavior when under stress.  Even though I understood it, it didn't make Amelia appeal to me any more.

The story also felt to me like it should have been a little shorter.  There are only so many times I wanted to watch Amelia self destruct.  Also, there were random characters in the story that were irrelevant to the plot.  Abdi for example.  He brought no added value to the story yet there was a considerable amount of time spent on him.  Ok, yes, he did give Amelia and extra hobby to destract herself with but aside from that...why so much time on this character?

While I have been critical thus far, I must add that I feel this is a very important subject that she be discussed widely.  The fact that this story has been written for the YA audience is important.  This is the demographic that can be the cruelest, trust me I remember those days clearly.  In today's society where everything is on social media and nothing is private, it is important for people to be educated on such things as mental illness so that all stigma is removed.  If this story can in any way assist in the process, then it will have accomplished something very important.  For that, I commend Wunsch for bringing this topic to lights.

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