From Goodreads – A laugh-out-loud, bittersweet debut full of wit, wisdom, heart, and a hilarious, unforgettable heroine. When you’re a hypochondriac, there are a million different things that could be wrong with you, but for Izzy, focusing on what could be wrong might be keeping her from dealing with what’s really wrong…
I almost raised my hand, but what would I say? “Mr. Bayer, may I please be excused? I’m not totally positive, but I think I might have cancer.” No way. Then everyone at school would know, and they would treat me differently, and I would be known as “Izzy, that poor girl who diagnosed herself with breast cancer during biology.”
But Izzy’s sense of humor can only get her so far when suddenly her best friend appears to have undergone a personality transplant, her mother’s health takes a turn for the worse, and her beautiful maybe-boyfriend is going all hot and cold. Izzy thinks she’s preparing for the worst-case scenario, but when the worst-case scenario actually hits, it’s a different story altogether—and there’s no tidy list of symptoms to help her through the insanity.
I didn’t know much about this book before I bought it. I’d heard that it was very funny and very real, and that seemed like enough. Plus, the cover is super cool, isn’t it? I’m happy to report that the story beneath the cover is cool, too. It’s hard to describe without giving away major plot points, but I can tell you that Izzy is a genuinely hilarious narrator, the issues she’s dealing with are real-life and deftly handled, and there’s a ton of heart beneath all the humor in this novel.
There’s a lot going on in The Symptoms of My Insanity and most of it isn’t good — poor Izzy. While she obviously cares about her friends and family, she’s the kind of teenager who is very much wrapped up in herself. She sees the world through insecurities and anxiety and while that makes for a lot of humorous musings and interactions, it also litters Izzy’s path with a lot of extra challenges. I loved following along as she learned to step away from herself and view situations for what they truly were, and I loved how she slowly began to stand up for herself and take ownership of her actions, good and bad. I loved how Izzy’s familial relationships and friendships deepened, and how the girls at her school banded together after a really stupid boy did a really terrible thing. And I love how the novel concludes, how Izzy uses her art and her portfolio to give that really stupid boy the finger. It’s tremendously awesome.
If you’re still not sold, here’s how The Symptoms of My Insanity opens:
I’m standing inside a large fitting room at Lola’s Lingerie. Oh, and there are three hands on my breasts.
Yup, three large Russion hands. On my breasts. I’m not even kidding.
How can you not want to know what happens next? 🙂
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