Title: Definitions of Indefinable Things
Author: Whitney Taylor
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary Fiction/Romance
Star Rating: 1 out of 5 Stars
I borrowed this book through my local library and reviewed it.
Definitions of Indefinable Things was one of my book club's picks for July, and frankly, I was excited, though the blurb didn't sound very good to me. I was also really excited to see the topic of mental illness was being covered, having dealt with crippling depression and anxiety my entire life. We need more books about the trials and pain that come with being mentally ill, but this book missed the mark in so many different ways. I was sorely disappointed with this debut novel, and because of it, I will be avoiding Taylor's work. Mental illness was not depicted correctly, and it really bothered me, how the characters in the book ended up seeing it and dealing with it. I came away from this book with a lot of feelings, none of them good.
Reggie Mason isn't necessarily what you'd call a romantic; she's more of a pessimistic cynic, and she finds the honest truth preferable to pretty, sweet lies. She's always dealt with depression, but after two traumatic events, she hits rock bottom. And to add to all that, she meets a boy named Snake. The two hit it off almost immediately, but there's one small problem: Snake has a very pregnant ex named Carla. The three teens collide in a messy, frightening way, and Reggie must decide if her life is worth living fully, even if it means embracing the pain she dreads.
Like I said, I had high hopes for this book. We need to talk more about mental illness and its effect on humanity. But this book... It was just done all wrong, for me. Mental illness was portrayed completely wrong, I didn't like any of the characters, and the plot was so ridiculous. It just didn't make any sense to me. The prose was good, but I just didn't like the book. The ending felt trite and not true to life at all, and the characters--I didn't like any of them, save Carla sometimes, and Reggie's dad. But I wish that the subject matter had been handled more delicately. I was hoping that I would really like this book, but it was, at most, just 'meh' for me. I wasn't feeling it, and I didn't enjoy it at all. I get the point that Taylor was trying to make, but she went about it completely wrongly. The bottom line: Though I had high hopes for this debut novel, Definitions of Indefinable Things just came across as flat and trite, and I didn't like it at all. On down the library stack for me. Next on deck: Return to the Isle of the Lost by Melissa de la Cruz!