Friday, June 30, 2017

[Review] Four Weeks, Five People by Jennifer Yu

Four Weeks, Five People by Jennifer Yu
Version: ARC Paperback
Rating: 3 stars

Release Date: May 2nd 2017

Goodreads Synopsis:
They're more than their problems
Obsessive-compulsive teen Clarissa wants to get better, if only so her mother will stop asking her if she's okay.
Andrew wants to overcome his eating disorder so he can get back to his band and their dreams of becoming famous.
Film aficionado Ben would rather live in the movies than in reality.
Gorgeous and overly confident Mason thinks everyone is an idiot.
And Stella just doesn't want to be back for her second summer of wilderness therapy.
As the five teens get to know one another and work to overcome the various disorders that have affected their lives, they find themselves forming bonds they never thought they would, discovering new truths about themselves and actually looking forward to the future.
I received this ARC from Miss Print's (Emma) ARC Adoption over here! Thank you Emma!

This will be a hard review to tackle, so please bear with me.

Four Weeks, Five People is told in alternating 5-POVs from the characters attending a wilderness therapy camp for the summer for their respective disorders. Stella has an anger-based depression and it's her second time coming to the camp. Clarisa has OCD and has a mother who is never satisfied with anything she does. Ben has a dissociative disorder and makes everything in his life into a movie. Mason has narcissist personality disorder and he thinks everyone at the camp is below him. Andrew has an eating disorder and he yearns to return back to his band and make them famous. 

The five of them are stuck together for four weeks and learn much about themselves and the people surrounding them.

This is difficult for me to review because I'm not sure if the disorders were represented properly. I have taken an Abnormal Psychology class and learned about these disorders, but it isn't up to me to say if they were written correctly. I will say this - towards the latter half of the novel, we don't really see Clarisa's OCD, and I was under the impression that OCD is persistent and constant. 

Character-wise, alternating POVs in a short amount of time did not really give us the full insight to who these characters were. For instance, Mason. Do I know more about Mason leaving the novel as I did entering the novel? Not really. His narcissism is certainly prevalent in the entire book, but I know next to nothing about him when it ended. His POV had to be the most lacking. 

Ben's had to be the most jarring, as his is told in movie script format most of the time, and it was admittedly hard to read through. 

We got more from Stella's and Andrew's POVs, and I like that it was a guy with an eating disorder, instead of a girl. 

The book ended on a really... well it was more of an abrupt end if anything. I suppose it was realistic, in the sense that not everyone is so gung-ho about being best friends forever or something along those lines. But I'm not sure if everything was entirely resolved? 

All in all, the book was alright, but perhaps not the best book in terms of disorder representation. 

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