This is my review for The Movie Version by Emma Wunsch. I received this title from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. The novel will be released on October 11, 2016.
I really enjoyed this novel. It’s different from anything else I’ve ever read. I’ve never read anything that had to do with mental illness and teenagers. On Netgalley, the synopsis says the book is about first love, first loss, and filmmaking. I was actually surprised when I read the book and found out that it was about so much more.
In the beginning of the novel, we meet Amelia and Toby. They are brother and sister, Toby is a year older. They have a really close relationship and bond over movies, even talking to each other using lines from different movies. They sometimes skip class to get high in Toby’s car. Amelia goes away for the summer for a babysitting job and meets a boy named Epstein. Upon returning home, Amelia finds that Toby no longer hangs with his friends, has sort of let himself go, and spends a lot more time alone in his room and a lot less time with her and their seven-year old twin bothers, Sam and David. One weekend Epstein visits Amelia and they, along with friends Ray (this is a girl), Muppet and Toast drink and get high in their parent’s basement apartment, where Toby starts to hallucinate and act weird. They think he’s just had too much to drink and is too high and Ray brings him to his room and stays with him to make sure he’s ok. A few weeks later, Amelia goes to visit Epstein for the weekend and after being there for a day, she gets a call from her grandmother asking her to come home because Toby is in the hospital. When she gets home, she learns that her brother had some kind of breakdown and he is eventually diagnosed with schizophrenia.
The rest of the novel focuses around Amelia and her family dealing with Toby’s diagnosis. They are all in shock and wondering how they could have missed the signs. Amelia takes it the hardest and has a hard time dealing with it, she constantly bickers with her friends and Epstein whenever they bring it up. She also spends a lot of time with her little brothers because they are so young and confused, not knowing the whole story, just that their brother is sick.
I had a couple of problems with the novel. I didn’t like how Amelia dealt with her brother’s diagnosis at times. I understand that she was scared and worried, but she also at times seemed like she was disappointed in Toby and that she was ashamed of him, which I didn’t like because I felt like they had such a close relationship, she should have been a little more supportive and understanding. I feel like she didn’t want to learn about what he was going through, she just wanted him to be “normal” Toby again. I also didn’t like where her relationship with Epstein went. He tried to be supportive and even read up on schizophrenia but she just took everything so personal. I wish she would have talked to him and explained how she was feeling instead of just hanging up on him or getting upset. I also wasn’t that crazy about the ending. I wish that there was more of a conclusion. I feel like the ending was more of a maybe this is what happens instead of a this is what happens. I just hoped that there would be more closure to the stories going on I guess.
There is one thing that I want to mention. Although the book is a YA there is some profanity and use of the F bomb quite a few times. There is also some pretty graphic sex scenes for a YA book so I wouldn’t necessarily recommend a 13 or 14-year-old to read it.
All in all I really enjoyed the novel and I’m glad that I gave it a chance. I would definitely recommend the book to anyone of the proper age!. I gave it a 4.5 out of 5. That’s my review, I hope you enjoyed and pick it up when it comes out.