After caring for her mother for several months now, Izzy has become obsessed with ailments and illnesses. It isn’t enough that life as a fifteen-year old is difficult, but Izzy is convinced she’s sick, has cancer, or is dying.
Struggling with her fake illnesses, Izzy also happens to attract the attention of a cute senior athlete, who acts like he likes her one minute and ignores her the next. Izzy struggles to balance the new male attention she suddenly starts receiving, along with her art portfolio which is due soon. On top of all of that, an old childhood friend decides to renew her friendship with Izzy all of a sudden and her current best friend starts ignoring her.
With a sick mother on the mend, a cute boy who may or may not be interested in her, a best friend who’s acting strangely, and a rapidly changing body, it’s no wonder that Izzy feels like she’s losing her mind.
The Symptoms of My Insanity was a cute book. With laugh-out-loud humour, it was a quick and cute read that had both moments of light and dark.
My favourite part of the book was Raf’s writing style; Izzy’s voice comes across as relateable. She’s funny and quirky, and has a lot on her plate. Raf’s writing reminded me so quickly of all the ups and downs of teenage life, the way everything seems so life-changing. Reading about Izzy’s antics was fun.
Izzy’s biggest problem is her self-absorption. She is so consumed by her own problems and life, that she hardly sees anyone else. This was obviously a flaw in her character, but by the end of the book, it became a flaw in the story as well, since her reactions to everyone around her seemed over-the-top, especially considering her rude attitude.
It’s true that Izzy has a lot on her plate, especially with her mother’s illness, but her rude attitude really got in the way of my sympathising with her. She was so self-absorbed that it was no wonder people chose to keep things from her, especially since she snapped at everyone when she discovered something.
The book deals with a few heavy subjects, such as Izzy’s hypochondria, assault, and her mother’s illness. While I appreciated the lightness in the book, I felt like that these topics were ignored and not addressed properly. There is a case of assault that happens in the book, yet it gets solved in a very ‘girl-power’ type of way, while ignoring the seriousness of the situation. While it was a cute ending, I would have preferred some closure.
Despite these faults, The Symptoms of my Insanity is a light, easy read that is filled with funny teenage humour and a real teenage voice.
So for that: 3/5.
Thanks for reading,