Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: September 22nd, 2015
Four talented teenagers are traumatized-coping with grief, surviving trauma, facing the anxiety of standardized tests and the neglect of self-absorbed adults—and they'll do anything to escape the pressure. They'll even build an invisible helicopter, to fly far away to a place where everyone will understand them... until they learn the only way to escape reality is to fly right into it.Disclaimer: I received a copy from the NOVL newsletter. This did not affect my review in any way, nor am I being compensated for this.
"I still don't really know what happened in the book, but it will definitely stick with me for a while."
Where do I even begin? When I finished I Crawl Through It, I was lying in bed reading. All I could think was woah. This book blew my mind; it made me think deeply about our society and how we treat mental illness and PTSD. It left me speechless. I still don't really know what happened in the book, but it will definitely stick with me for a while.
This is the kind of book you want to read with other people because you'll want to talk about it. You'll want to attempt to work through your confusing, probably jumbled up thoughts. You might try to pretend like this isn't the crazy, weird book that it is, but it is. It's labeled surrealist fiction, and I think that's a good way to explain it. There are sometimes invisible, sometimes not invisible helicopters, a girl who turns herself inside out, a girl whose hair grows every time she lies, and a girl who is two people in one body. There are bomb threats and a crazy bush man. There is so much going on, yet it's so hard to tell what's actually happening.
But I could see how the different pieces represent different struggles and the way society treats them/the victims. You can see the messages about what testing does to kids, how people deal (or don't) with grief, how important family is (but how ruined these families are), how society and rape culture impact the victims/survivors, what it feels like to realize that no one is better than anyone else, etc. There's a lot of social commentary in this book, but it's really the way the story was presented that makes you think about them/realize such commentary. I Crawl Through It makes you think deeper about these issues because they come to you--or at least they did to me--when you're trying to figure out what everything in the book means.
By the end of the book, my mind was blown. At that point, it's pretty clear what the messages are, even though the book doesn't end perfectly and leaves a lot left unanswered. I didn't find that to be a problem, however. I think it leaves enough resolved and enough open-ended. There's honestly not that much more to say because it's so hard to talk about anything that happens. I connected to the characters because I could understand their struggle, yet it always seemed like there was a gap between the characters and me as a reader because of the writing and surrealist nature. In the end, I think that the book is more centered on the ideas than on making characters likeable or whatnot (not that characters need to be likeable).
I would highly recommend this if you're looking for a thought-provoking book. I would highly recommend it for book clubs or buddy reads. I Crawl Through It will make you think about our society, and I think it brings about really important social discussions and commentary.