Author: Emma WunschEdition: eARC courtesy of NetgalleyRelease Date: October 11th, 2016Rating: 4 Stars
I received a copy of The Movie Version from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
Contemporary isn't normally my genre, and I only pick it up when there's something specific about the book that catches my interest. For this one, that thing is movies. The main character, Amelia, loves movies and retreats into them the same way I retreat into books. As someone who's an aspiring filmmaker I love picking up books that make reference to great movies and know what they're talking about. In that regard, this book did not disappoint, though it did take me on a ride I was not expecting when I began the story.
The Movie Version follows Amelia, who has just spent the summer nannying for a affluent family. She's also got a boyfriend for the first time- someone she met over the summer. When she returns home she imagines things will go back to being how they were, her older brother will be her best friend and her best friend (and the whole school's best friend) and her spending her time trying to achieve a "movie version" of life. Something is wrong with her brother though, and it will change her life forever.
This book is about mental health. It deals with it fairly and justly and I think gives an interesting position on it. The main character spends her time trying to deny it's a problem while being faced with it being a problem. At once it's taking over her life and something she's completely distant from because it's not happening to her. She feels guilty when she lives her life but she feels lonely when she isn't. She becomes detached from her friends and who she was before everything happened and sinks into a mental hole. The book spends time looking at her side, as someone affected by the mental illness without having it herself, and I liked that because the impact felt real. I'm not saying I would do what she did given the circumstances but it didn't feel made up it felt like I was reading a natural reaction.
The rest of the book is about Amelia figuring out who she is in relation to the rest of the world. With her new boyfriend, her changing status at school, and new friends it's almost as if her life has been tossed in a blender and she needs to situate herself again. And it's in this journey that she's also relatable and the story is also incredibly realistic.
My one qualm about the book? There were parts in the middle that were a little boring. I would find myself spacing out slightly. And I blame a large part of this on myself since I'm not a huge fan of contemporary books as it is and these "regular" parts grate on me a little. Overall, I would recommend this book.