Hello all my bookish friends! Getting back into some more book reviews finally lol. I picked this one up in April and I have some different thoughts on it.. so let’s get into it shall we?
Title: Small Displays of Chaos
Author: Breanna Fischer
Publication Date: August 1st, 2016
Genre(s): young adult, mental health, realistic fiction
Trigger Warning for Anorexia, Cutting, Suicide, Family Issues
Rayanne Timko is only a few months into her senior year of high school, but while her classmates are filled with excited anticipation, nothing in her life seems to be running smoothly. Rayanne has a new friend: Edie, the seductive and demanding presence in her head who insists she be as skinny as possible. With Edie around, Rayanne is blind to nearly everyone else in her life. But what happens when Ray begins to suspect she may be losing more than weight? Will she be able to save her family and herself before it’s too late?
This book was difficult to like a lot of things, because I had quite a few problems with it. The writing was decent, I wouldn’t say it was something I really liked about it. First thing I actually did like was the realistic reaction from Ray’s parents. When Ray kind of was starting to cut and show her anorexia and how much it was affecting her, her parents reacted by saying “why are you punishing us?” This reaction hit me kind of hard because, I know what it’s like to have a parent react that kind of way toward my own mental illness, so it really hit home and I loved that aspect that it felt real. The realistic part of the whole book showed through most of it and I definitely appreciated it, especially when talking about such a heavy topic.
Okay, so there were a few things that really stood out to me. First, there was no need for romance in this book what so ever. I did not get the point of having Josh (the love interest) as a character, and he didn’t add anything to the story. Literally, they kissed and then we just never heard from him again. Super weird, super disappointed with his prescence. Second, Ray had very little growth in my eyes. We go from her in the hospital, to then ‘oh, everything’s okay now. It’s Christmas and I’m happy and I’m just ignoring the voice in my head.’ Like.. what?? No, I need something more, I want to follow your journey through this.. and your fine now just because its Christmas? I don’t know, I just expected more development from her.
Overall, I think the book was too short to support a story that needed a lot more attention to detail, and I really wanted to get a backstory on the person who she had in her head saying these things. It wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t great. Sadly, I was left wanting more of Ray.