Cat is planning to die. She has bipolar disorder, and she knows that her current level of stability will eventually disappear to be replaced with overwhelming depression. The last time that happened it nearly killed her mother. Cat is planning to kill herself before that can happen. She doesn't want to live through the depression and doesn't want to be a burden on her mother. But as Cat continues with her therapy, with school, with life, she realizes that maybe, just maybe she actually wants to live.
I imagined a very different ending for this book than what I found. What I found was not a devastating, "the character I have grown to love dies" kind of ending, nor was it a Disney-esque "happily ever after" ending, either. But it was a satisfying ending. I appreciated this author's use of research to portray teens with various disorders and issues in a balanced light. I was glad for the realistic portrayal of Cat's family struggling to make ends meet as they pay for her various therapies, which would ring more true to my patrons than a teen who has an endless supply of funds for whatever types of therapy are needed. I'm especially glad for the not "happily ever after" ending: Cat doesn't find a magical cure for bipolar disorder. Her former friends don't see the light and give tear-filled apologies and become besties again. What Cat gets is a real life, complete with its ups and downs.
Recommended for: teens
Red Flags: discussion of suicide, Cat plans to lose her virginity (she doesn't), teen alcohol use at a party, language, members of Cat's therapy group struggle with eating disorders, OCD, and other issues which could be triggering
Overall Rating: 4/5 stars
Read-Alikes: Butter, All the Bright Places, Everything, Everything
I received a complimentary copy of this book through Netgalley for the purposes of review.