Monday, May 29, 2017

[Book Review] The End Diary by R.A. Desilets

The End Diary by R.A. Desilets book review

The End Diary by R.A. Desilets is the type of book that you will finish reading and then just sit there for a while reflecting on it. This book took a number of important topics and wove them together wonderfully to create a truly captivating story. These topics include sexuality, bullying, family dynamics, friendship, race, therapy, health care, mental health, medications, and more.

While this was a bit of a tough read for me content-wise, I would highly recommend it! The writing style was lovely, the author nailed the main character's persona, and the plot was so well done. I know this is a book that is going to stick with me for a long time.

Full disclosure: I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my rating in any way. 


The End Diary by R.A. Desalts ebook cover

The End Diary by R.A. Desilets



Summary: 
The End Diary is about a girl named Megan P. Whitford, a teenage girl living in a town she hates surrounded by people that just don't understand her.

One day, a new girl named Carly Jacobs walks into the classroom and sits next to Megan. Megan's attraction to Carly was instant and intense. While the two become fast friends, the adults in Megan's life are worried that there is something unhealthy going on. When Megan's parents bring her to a therapist, Megan begins to write her story down. This book is that story.


My thoughts:
I thought this book was so wonderful. Of course the subject matter was a bit difficult at times, but it was so well done.

The set up was absolutely brilliant! As a reader I found myself struggling with my own thoughts as the story developed. Of course, because this story was written from Megan's perspective, I felt so sympathetic toward her and wanted to believe her. However, from the start it was also clear that there was something not quite right with Megan's mental state. So while I wanted to remain aware that there was something more going on, it was just so easy to get sucked into Megan's version of reality and take things as she presented them.

The author absolutely nailed the teenage persona. I mean, just check out some of these passages:

"You're talking to the wrong person," Deirdre chimed in, looking me up and down with her horns growing an inch farther out of her skull.

Doctor Cynthia Suskin. My therapist. Pleased to meet her? Because I wasn't.

Many times throughout the book, Megan would stop the story to address the readers, her therapist, family members, or friends. Many times, as she stopped to make a comment to the readers, or to fill us in on something, she would then write, "Anyway, on we go," or something similar, and then we dove right back into the story. I really enjoyed all of these breaks. I thought that it really added depth to the story. Some great examples of this include:

There shouldn't be a knight in shining armor coming in at the last second- or riding in? Is that a better visual? 

Fact: I'm purposefully being a little melodramatic. 

Heck, I don't know if anyone will see this story, because they may pay someone to cover it up. I'm spending the time writing it in hopes someone reads it... and because my therapist is making me. But two birds, one stone. Whatever.

...but I did, dear reader, I did.

I digress. Again. Sorry, readers, I'm not good at this "retrospective without spoiling the story" thing.

I really enjoyed all of the characters, even the ones that Megan didn't personally like. This was a case where all of the characters seemed so real. But of course, they were also marred with Megan's perception of them.

Gavin was by far the most intriguing character to me. I adored him. He was so lovely to Megan. She really needed someone in her life like him.

There was also an interesting suspense/mystery element to this story. As a reader, I knew that Megan was planning something, and that something had happened between her and Carly... But we didn't learn what either of those things were until the end of the book.


My favorite passages:
Shopping and I never got along. Mostly because jeans love hugging my butt in all the wrong ways.

I hadn't realized that being a girl meant I had to play nice with boys.

I wanted to be me, free from all the expectations other people placed on me. I wanted to be Megan P. Whitford, the doer of whatever she wanted to do. Confident. I wanted to be nice to myself, not to the people who didn't deserve it.

Her eyes danced with mischief.

Sometimes, I wish my emotions were so thick that people could taste them. My anger and frustration would taste like pomegranates or cherries, something dark, bitter, with just a hint of sweetness.

We had one moment which dared to touch the edges of infinity.

People can be the cruelest to those who don't deserve it.

Carly liked her secrets. I should know... I was her biggest one.

Sometimes the scariest monsters aren't the ones lying under our beds, but the people who promise us the world.

I was all of these things and none of them. Labels are used to help us connect to the world around us, but we are not our labels. Some people go their whole lives without learning this.


My final thoughts:
Because this story really centers on the mental health of the main character, I would just like to warn readers to tread lightly here if that is one of your personal triggers.

I personally found this story to be incredible and I would highly recommend it. I gave this book four stars!


Thanks for reading!
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10 comments:

  1. Books that leave me sitting there awhile, thinking, have a special place in my heart. This sounds like a good one, Erica. Thank you for your insightful review.

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    1. Same here! If you pick this one up, I would love to hear what you thought about it! :)

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  2. This looks thought provoking and I like the sound of the suspense angle too, with whatever happens between Megan and Carly. The little asides and the narrator talking directly to the reader sound like nice breaks too. I might have to get it.

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    1. If you pick it up, I'd love to hear what you think!

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  3. I skimmed some of the post because I wanted to avoid spoilers. However, it sounds like a great read. I definitely have to add it to my TBR!

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    1. Yeah, good call! I usually try to avoid spoilers, or at least mark them, but I did add a LOT of quotes here that could be considered spoilers.

      I'd love to hear what you think if you pick it up!

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  4. Sounds like an interesting, but difficult read. Great review!

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  5. I am keen to read this. Thank you for a great review!

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