Hey, guys! I am super excited to talk about a mental health fiction novel I read recently. Things I’m Seeing Without You is a book that examines suicide, grief, depression and other mental illnesses through a satirical and sarcastic lense of a grieving seventeen-year-old drop-out. I did enjoy this, though I did have a few issues with it, so let’s go ahead and jump right into the review!
“Seventeen-year-old Tess Fowler has just dropped out of high school. She can barely function after learning of Jonah’s death. Jonah, the boy she’d traded banter with over texts and heartfelt e-mails.
Jonah, the first boy she’d told she loved and the first boy to say it back.
Jonah, the boy whose suicide she never saw coming.
Tess continues to write to Jonah, as a way of processing her grief and confusion. But for now, she finds solace in perhaps the unlikeliest of ways: by helping her father with his new alternative funeral business, where his biggest client is . . . a prized racehorse?
As Tess’s involvement in her father’s business grows, both find comfort in the clients they serve and in each other. But love, loss, and life are so much more complicated than Tess ever thought. Especially after she receives a message that turns her life upside down”
I really wanted to love this book, but unfortunately, this is a book that I would just classify as mediocre. It definitely deals with suicide and depression. But there were just some aspects of this story that I thought seemed very unnecessary and actually made me like the book less. I was basically ordered to read this book for months by my best friend who absolutely freaking loved this book, and I just don’t get it. I just think there are so many better mental health fiction novels out there.
One thing I didn’t really like was the romance. It was one of the most annoying and unnecessary parts of the entire book. The story could have had great conversations centered around grief and mental health, but those seemed to almost be completely overshadowed by the romance in the book. I am not talking about the main romance. There is an unhealthy romance that I don’t like in the book, and it was just so unnecessary and it honestly just fills me with a certain degree of revulsion.
I also just felt like all of the characters were really flat. There really wasn’t that much depth to any of them at all. They just seemed to stay the same throughout the entire book, and I just never connected with any of them. Since I had no emotional connection to them, I didn’t care about what they were doing in the story, to be honest. I have to connect to the characters emotionally in order to care about what is happening, and this story just didn’t allow for that.
With all of that said, however, I did really like the writing. It was very easy to get through, flowed nicely, and I liked the simplistic style of it. The writing was really what kept me going in the story.
Overall, I definitely had some issues with it, but I think its worth a read if you get a chance, and I am hoping to read more of Peter Bognanni’s work in the future!
And there you have it! That was my review of Things I’m Seeing Without You by Peter Bognanni. What is one of your favorite mental health fiction novels that you have read? Comment down below! I would love to know. And that is going to be it for this review today. Thank you all so much for reading this, I hope you enjoyed it, and I will see you next time!