Tag Archives: adolescence

The Book of No Worries by Lizzie Cox

image1 (19)Oh how I wanted to love this book! I stumbled upon it in a children’s bookshop, randomly opened it to the pages dealing with adolescent anxiety, loved how it tackled explaining the experience of dealing with anxiety to young people, and assumed I would equally love how it tackled the other subjects covered inside of The Book of No Worries after requesting a copy from the publisher.

I found the general explanation of worries (how they occur, how they deviate for people who worry more than average, how to deal with worries, and when it’s time to ask help when the worries are too much) to be very good. I thought The Book of No Worries did a great job of making mental health issues like anxiety and depression accessible and recognizable to adolescents. However, I had some issues with the examples used in sections about specific worries (such as puberty, friends, body image, divorce, etc.). While I enjoyed the general overview about worrying, I think the highlighted specific issues are related to a certain type of childhood and would not be applicable, and perhaps even alienating, to those who do not have comfortable childhoods. Granted, I hope most kids who read this book are living comfortable lives, but I could see this being very condescending to a child who is navigating far rougher situations at home and in the world.

Disclaimer: I was provided with a digital copy of this book for free from QEB Publishing via NetGalley. All opinions expressed in the review are my own and have not been influenced by QEB Publishing or NetGalley.

Publication Date: 9 October 2018 by QEB Publishing. Format: E-book ARC.

Author: Lizzie Cox

Illustrator: Tanja Stevanovic behance

Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

norwegianwoodOof — I wanted to love my first time reading Murakami, an author beloved by many of my friends, but Norwegian Wood simply didn’t stand up to my expectations. Initially, I really enjoyed the story and writing style until I hit the 70 page mark and my affection took a nosedive, likely because of the introduction of a character (Midori) that I couldn’t stand at all.

Norwegian Wood follows about a year in the life of a college student, Toru, in Japan, as he weaves through the tangled web of love, sex, and adolescence. I’ve read and enjoyed many similar stories before and didn’t think I would mind reading another iteration, but I couldn’t jive with this. The entire novel was wrought with symbolism, which I’m guessing is true to Murakami’s style and also something that I might be able to better stomach for a storyline I appreciated more. Instead, so many of the pages were dominated by my least favorite character in the novel, Midori, trying hard to be a sensitive dream girl with #DeepFeelings, when it actuality it appears like a costume that most readers will probably see through. I’ve liked unlikable characters in other novels that I’ve read, but I found Midori so grating and rolled my eyes each time she was involved in a dialogue exchange. Midori isn’t actually a manic pixie dream girl, but she reads like someone who desperately wants to fulfill that role for a lover, becoming the sad, one-dimensional, but still cute girlfriend with #feelings and #emotions. Can you tell I use #hashtags when I’m mocking something? It’s almost become my way of conveying ~sarcasm via the internet~.

The story did manage to suck me back in once Midori disappeared, but I found myself rolling my eyes as soon as she was reintroduced around page 220. I did really like the other characters (Toru, Naoko, and Reiko), but I just couldn’t get over hating Midori to be able to enjoy the book. If you can, power to you, but the inclusion of Midori made my entire view of Norwegian Wood be reduced to a superficial attempt at depicting sadness, depression, and the ~deep feelings~ associated with them. 

All of that considered, I might give Murakami another shot, if someone can convince me to read another of his books that isn’t the massive tome that is 1Q84.