Book Title:
10 Things I Can See From Here
Book Author:
Carrie Mac
Publishing Date:
February 28th, 2017
Publisher:
Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Date Read:
March 1st, 2017
Source:
eARC from publisher via NetGalley - Thank you!

Synopsis

Think positive.

Don’t worry; be happy.

Keep calm and carry on.

Maeve has heard it all before. She’s been struggling with severe anxiety for a long time, and as much as she wishes it was something she could just talk herself out of, it’s not. She constantly imagines the worst, composes obituaries in her head, and is always ready for things to fall apart. To add to her troubles, her mom—the only one who really gets what Maeve goes through—is leaving for six months, so Maeve will be sent to live with her dad in Vancouver.

Vancouver brings a slew of new worries, but Maeve finds brief moments of calm (as well as even more worries) with Salix, a local girl who doesn’t seem to worry about anything. Between her dad’s wavering sobriety, her very pregnant stepmom insisting on a home birth, and her bumbling courtship with Salix, this summer brings more catastrophes than even Maeve could have foreseen. Will she be able to navigate through all the chaos to be there for the people she loves?

My Review

As someone who has suffered from severe anxiety and panic disorders since I was young, I was really excited to pick up this book, because it features a main character who pretty much worries about everything all the time, and her anxiety pretty much takes over her life.  Because of this, I really thought this was going to be a book that I would be able to relate to completely.

Boy, was I ever right about that.

Reading this book was like reading through a journal of my own thoughts over the past fifteen years – at some point, I’ve felt almost all of these emotions and panicked about so many of the same things – things as simple as meeting a new person or walking down the street by myself.  I loved Maeve’s character, and I can’t remember the last time I was able to relate to a character on such a deep and personal level, but I had that ability with Maeve in 10 Things I Can See From Here.  Sure, I didn’t exactly have a step-mother who opted for home births or two twin brothers to look after, but I have my own children so I definitely do my fair share of worrying.  About everything.  Everything.

While most books that deal with anxiety might touch on it and make a great story from it, this is probably the most raw, detailed case of it that I’ve read about in a YA book (and I’ve read a lot of them).  It was actually painful to read in spots, because yes, this is real life for some people, and there was no sugarcoating anything here.

Maeve has been dealing with severe anxiety for years, and her parents have decided not to let her take medication for it, because her mother believes that her brain has not finished developing, and that maybe somewhere down the line she will be able to overcome it on her own.  So she is forced to deal with constant worrying thoughts, from the time she wakes up in the morning until the time she goes to bed at night – thoughts that most people don’t spend agonizing moments thinking about – like how many people die in the country every year from car accidents, or all of the horrible things that can happen simply by getting on the ferry by herself.

Living with her mother most of the year, and only seeing her father and step-mother (and two adorable yet annoying twin brothers) on planned occasions, since they live across the border in Canada.  So when Maeve’s mom announces that she is going to Haiti to work in a vaccination with her (old) boyfriend Raymond, Maeve isn’t too thrilled to be going to spend time with her dad and step-mother.  Sure, it wouldn’t be so bad if it were only for a while – but this is for six months, and no one understands her quite like her mother.  Her father makes jokes about her anxiety (when he’s clean and sober), and her step-mother Claire, while meaning well, doesn’t seem to get it at all.  And then there’s the fact that Claire is expecting another baby, and after the home birth she had with the twins that Maeve was present for, she isn’t exactly looking forward to going through with it again.

Over the summer, Maeve is forced to deal with all kinds of things she would rather avoid by spending the summer in her cottage in the woods with her mother, but since her mother left her with her dad, it just gives Maeve more to worry about – such as plane crashes, Cholera, and her mother and Raymond getting serious about each other.

While Maeve is staying with her dad, things start to fall apart around her.  Claire and her father are always fighting, her twin brothers are pretty much determined to do whatever they want, Maeve has to deal with the death of someone she was close to, and her father starts drinking again, causing tension with them all. 

The only bright side of the entire time she is with her father in Canada is the fact that she has met a girl – a girl whom she develops feelings for quickly, after seeing her around so often and finally being able to speak to her.  But even that ends up getting touched by Maeve’s anxiety – she runs away from her on their first date.  How can Maeve deal with her anxiety long enough to let something good happen to her?

I read through this book in one night, and loved every single page.  Maeve was such a real character – from the fake obituaries that she wrote in her head every time she saw something bad happening, to the feelings she had for Salix when the two of them started to talking, to the horrible pain she felt surrounding her father’s lapse in sobriety.  So many parts of this book are things that teenagers have to face every day, coupled with crippling anxiety that makes daily life almost impossible to handle.  This is in no way an easy book to read – some parts made me cringe, others made me cry, while yet others made me laugh, nodding along because I had felt so many of those same emotions, worried so many of the same worries.  It was emotional.  It was painful.  It was honest.  It was beautiful.

Maeve and Salix had such a connection from the very first time that Maeve saw her in the parking lot while waiting for her father to pick her up.  I loved watching the progress of their relationship from the first time they met through the end of the book, seeing how things changed for the two of them.  They’re relationship felt real, and not at all forced.

Watching Maeve’s father fall back into this life of drug and alcohol abuse was also difficult.  It’s easy to see what an impact that it has on their family – and how it destroyed the relationship that he had with Maeve’s mother so many years ago.  At the same time, I loved seeing that the two families were able to accept each other – Maeve’s mother didn’t have any hard feelings toward Claire, and the same went for Claire’s feelings toward Maeve’s mother.  There’s so much family interaction in this book, and it made it so much more of a pleasure to read.

This is a deep novel full of things that can make or break a person, and what it feels like to deal with it all while suffering from anxiety.


About the Author

CARRIE MAC is an award-winning Canadian novelist making her US debut. She lives in East Vancouver, where this story takes place. Check out her website at Carriemac.com and follow her on Twitter at @CarrieMacWrites.

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Tour Schedule

February 20 – Butter My Books
February 21 – The Compulsive Reader
February 22 – Take Me Away to A Great Read
February 23 – The Mod Podge Bookshelf
February 24 – Bookhounds YA
February 27thNick and Nereyda’s Infinite Booklist
                            Adventures in YA Publishing
February 28thRamblings of the Perpetual New Girl
March 1stReaders in Wonderland
March 2ndYA Wednesdays
March 3rdHere’s to Happy Endings
March 4th: Adventures in YA Publishing
March 6thNo More Grumpy Bookseller
March 7thA Midsummer Night’s Read
March 8thRainy Day Coffee and Books
March 9thThe Fandom
March 10thPicture Books to YA and Everything in Be”Tween”
March 13thBookworm Everlasting
March 14thThe Moral of Our Stories
March 15- Fangirlish
March 16- The Young Folks
March 17- Fiktshun
March 20-YA Books Central
March 21- Xpresso Reads
March 22- A Dream Within A Dream

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15 Responses to Review: 10 Things I Can See From Here by Carrie Mac – Blog Tour!

  1. SO GOOD TO HEAR YOU ENJOYED THIS! I can’t wait to read it myself and I love the fact that it is such a diverse book with an f/f relationship and a character that deals with anxiety because I feel these topics are so important and should be talked about in YA!

    • Kelly says:

      I agree! These are all really important topics that need to be discussed – I’m really loving all of these diverse books that are coming out this year, so many of them have accurate portrayals of mental illness.

  2. Beth says:

    It was lovely, wasn’t it?! We felt the same about Maeve. Such a sensitive soul who really deserved some happiness and the romance was sweet.

  3. Beautiful review! I am so glad to hear you could relate to the main character – don’t get me wrong, not, happy about it in the sense that anxiety and panic attacks and everything is no fun at all, I get it, I experience the same things, ahah. It’s just so great and refreshing and important to read a book where things like that are portrayed realistically, I”m always so grateful when that happens. I need to add that one to my TBR right away 🙂
    Marie @ drizzleandhurricanebooks recently posted…Review: Optimists Die First, Susin NielsenMy Profile

    • Kelly says:

      You definitely do need to check this one out, especially if you’re all too familiar with how crushing anxiety and panic attacks can be. You’ll be able to relate to the main character and this book will be something that you’ll be really drawn to (I hope!).

  4. Wow! I had no idea how impactful this book is. The fact that it is so relatable and raw makes me want to give it a try myself. Also, seeing that you read it so quickly and that you could identify with some of this story is so wonderful. Lovely review! <3
    Olivia @ The Candid Cover recently posted…Audiobook to Movie Review: Before I Fall by Lauren OliverMy Profile

    • Kelly says:

      Thank you! If you get the chance to pick this one up, I highly recommend doing so! It’s such an emotional and important book that deals with anxiety and panic attacks, and it’s written in a way that makes it easy to connect the character and real life, instead of the main character just dealing with anxiety every now and again.

  5. Ohmygosh. I only heard about this book a few weeks ago, and I was wondering why people weren’t shouting about it because INTERSECTIONAL DIVERSITY. And now, after reading your review, I am so very keen to pick up this book.

    I think it’s amazing that you were able to relate to Maeve so well. I think one of the most special aspects of reading is when we get to see ourselves on the page, so I’m so glad that you found a book that was able to do that for you. Even though it was in such an emotional way.

    It sounds like this book does an incredibly job in portraying anxiety in a real-to-life way, and not just a “quirk” way (which seems to happen a lot in YA, sadly). And to couple that with the other things going on in the book without it unbalancing is awesome.

    I am so glad that you liked this book, Kelly! I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy.
    Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity recently posted…Ida by Alison Evans: A Diverse and Unique YA Sci-FiMy Profile

    • Kelly says:

      I agree – it seems like this one somehow slipped right under the radar for a lot of people! I heard about it ages ago and was so excited to read it – and it really lived up to that excitement! It was such a great book and had a great deal of diversity – it’s such a stellar novel.

      I also agree with your point about the negative, almost “quirk” like way that anxiety tends to be portrayed in other YA books – often times it seems like it isn’t actually shown as an actual, serious issue – a lot of characters in other YA books I’ve read seem to even be able to turn their anxiety off and on as they see fit…which kind of defeats the whole point of writing a book with a character who is suffering from anxiety.

  6. The way you say you could relate to makes me want to read this one. I’ve had anxiety off and on ever since I had my daughter. It’s been worse lately with the health problems I’ve encountered. It’s nice that the author was able to make it so raw and realistic.
    Nice review!
    Deanna @ A Novel Glimpse recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Ed Sheeran Songs That Need To Be Turned Into A Romance Novel.My Profile

    • Kelly says:

      This book definitely is perfect for anyone who has experienced how agonizing anxiety can make every day life. It’s such a raw and emotional book, and the main character is likeable and awkward, making her so easy to love!

  7. Books that deal with anxiety in an honest and relatable way are so important, and it sounds Maeve really does go through a lot particularly where there’s no medication for her at the moment. I’m also glad that there’s a big focus on family as well! Lovely review Kelly, this one sounds like an important read that was done really well.
    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence recently posted…OzYAY Reviews: Valentine & Trouble TomorrowMy Profile

    • Kelly says:

      Thank you! It definitely was a really important book, and I think that many who suffer from anxiety will easily be able to relate to Maeve’s character. It was a powerful book that had so much going on, yet was one of those reads that I couldn’t put down. This is the kind of book that I would highly recommend for those looking for books that accurately portray anxiety and panic attacks.

  8. Awww, I’m so glad to hear how much you enjoyed this. I was just eyeing it on Netgalley the other day so now I want to go back and request it. Great review!
    Suzanne @ The Bookish Libra recently posted…Book Review: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer (The Lunar Chronicles #2)My Profile

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