Title: 10 THINGS I CAN SEE FROM HERE
Author: Carrie Mac
Release date: February 28, 2017
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook
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Perfect for fans of Sophie Kinsella’s Finding Audrey and Nicola Yoon’s Everything, Everything, this is the poignant and uplifting story of Maeve, who is dealing with anxiety while falling in love with a girl who is not afraid of anything.
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?
Note: This review is based on an eARC I received from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest thoughts about the book. A Kindle eCopy was purchased for my collection.
10 THINGS I CAN SEE FROM HERE is a moving, sweet, heartwarming, funny and somewhat anxious-making read. It introduces a girl whose anxiety disorder has majorly impacted her life, who is trying to cope with some pretty serious stuff, and puts her in a sink or swim situation. It allows readers to experience her apprehension, her tension, her fear. And asks them to sympathize with her even when it’s not so easy to do so.
Maeve can’t stop worrying about every little thing. When she gets anxious – which is practically all the time – she can’t stop her brain from going to dark places, from reciting depressing statistics, from imagining the worst possible outcomes.
At home, with her mother, she’s been trying to gain some control over her disorder. But with her mom leaving for Haiti she’s forced to make some big, unsettling changes – say goodbye to Port Townsend, move in with her less than reliable dad, start a new school, make new friends. All these things are hard enough for anyone to deal with, but for someone whose fears dominate their thoughts, it’s almost impossible.
Add in a tragedy, a huge disappointment, a new romance, and an early arrival, and you have the all the ingredients for an epic disaster.
Author Carrie Mac didn’t take the easy road when creating her character. She gave readers someone very real, who is not always particularly likable. And while Maeve may be relatable to some, her disorder could make it difficult for others to understand and connect with her.
The author also didn’t let her character take the easy road. Maeve has all kinds of challenges thrown at her – ones that should give her some hope if she can manage to face and overcome them.
But it’s not all doom and gloom, as Maeve might want you to believe. 10 THINGS I CAN SEE FROM HERE offers up a lovely romance, two charming siblings, a few interesting neighbors, a kingdom of warring gnomes, and possibly more than you’d ever want to know about home births and parents’ significant others. It is an engaging and insightful, at times maddening, at times hilariously cringe-worthy read.
Award-winning author Carrie Mac is well-known for her adeptness at captivating young adult audiences; she has written ten books for young adults, and won the 2010 Sheila A. Egoff Book Prize for her previous work, The Gryphon Project. She lives with her family in Vancouver, BC.