Simply Nicollette reviews - books, movies, television shows, etc. with slight spoilers. I try my best to review without giving away too much of the story.
Whisper to Me by Nick Lake
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Whisper to Me tackles mental illness in an extremely relatable and unique way.
"If someone has cancer, they're brave and fighting. If someone is having problems with their mind, that person is only ever struggling."
This story was good. Honestly, there were times when I had to stop reading because I related to Cass, the main character, in more ways than one and it was hard to read.. I've struggled with depression and anxiety since I was a teenager, and the way Cass feels throughout her journey was very much how I felt during mine. It was emotionally tiring to read through her voice, but her POV was an important one.
This story is told in complete flashbacks and is set up as a very long email to the boy that Cass loves. She hurt him and she is trying to apologize to him, and explain everything behind her actions.. So, she goes all the way back to the beginning when she is finishing her junior year of high school and she begins to hear a voice speaking to her. The voice is angry, mean, and tells her to do horrible things, especially to herself.
Cass believes this voice to be a ghost.. As a reader it's not hard to figure out that she is dealing with mental issues. As we get to know Cass more and her life - it's a bit heartbreaking. I felt sorry for her because she completely isolates herself from the world because she doesn't think she deserves to be loved. Her mind is telling her that people will never like her, even her own father.
I'm not going to spoil this story for you, but I am going to say that I don't think this book is going to be for everyone. It's definitely for the more patient readers because it's very slow and really digs deep into who Cass truly is, and how her mind works, and how all of that helps shape the relationships around her.
She is hard to connect with at the beginning. I think it was brave how Nick Lake decided to share her story though, and I really enjoyed his writing. Telling the story through a letter helped you to connect with Cass in the end.. and personally, I felt as if I was actually the boy she was writing to.
I wish we got a bit more at the end. There was a moment when I teared up because it was beautiful how Cass ended a certain relationship, and that's all I'll say about that.. If you do decide to check this book out, I hope that you stick through the rough beginning and invest yourself into Cass and her relationships with her friends and family. It may be because I've suffered for most of my life that I found her story so inspiring, but I think even if you don't have a mental illness you'll still find a little bit of yourself after reading this.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys contemporaries that tackle tough issues, or books that dig deep into the characters and their relationships, and enjoys a slower read in order to do this!
* Quotes listed above are subject to change.