Reviews tagging Mental illness

Can't Take That Away, by Steven Salvatore

11 reviews

hannistudies's review

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emotional funny hopeful inspiring lighthearted sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

3.5


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averyconfusedhomosapien's review

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emotional funny hopeful informative slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

2.25


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melaniereadsbooks's review

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challenging emotional fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

3.75

This book is a heavy-hitting YA contemp about a genderqueer teen dealing with extreme homophobia from classmates, teachers, and school board members.  Throughout it all, Carey manages to stay hopeful and strong and surrounded by a few people that make their life better.  I was so angry at the school. As someone who works for a small school district, I 100% know the likelihood a similar queer-phobic incident occurring, and the saddest part about that is most of the time things don't get changed like they did in this book. I'm glad for the hope of that, and I loved seeing Carey grow throughout the novel!

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foreverinastory's review

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emotional hopeful inspiring medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

The school/principal really made me mad. But otherwise I definitely loved this! However, the audio quality was TERRIBLE and it's not even from Netgalley--wtf @Bloomsbury!?!

Rep: white genderqueer MC with anxiety and anxiety/panic attacks, Black female side character, bisexual male love interest, disabled elderly grandmother who can't speak much--implied side effects of a stroke possibly.

CWs: Alcohol consumption, biphobia, bullying, death/death of grandparent, dysphoria, gaslighting, grief, hate crime, homophobia, lesbophobia, mental illness (anxiety), panic/anxiety attacks, misogyny, sexism, transphobia.
 

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rintintib's review

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emotional hopeful reflective slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

5.0

This took me a long time to get through and that's not the book's fault. That was a me thing. I wanted to have my full attention to annotate and I got half way and I just ran out of steam and I hit a brick wall emotionally so I had to put it down for a month or so. Eventually I bought the audiobook and just finished it on my daily commute to work. 

This deals with a lot of queer trauma and you have get through a lot of it in order to get to the happy, hopeful ending and because of that, it's not going to be for everyone and that's absolutely fine. 

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imstephtacular's review

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dark emotional hopeful inspiring reflective sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix

5.0


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kphillips's review

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funny hopeful inspiring medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

4.0


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oceansofnovels's review

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emotional hopeful inspiring reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes

5.0

There is so much to love about this book! I am overjoyed to see a genderqueer person as the main character. Carey has such a great support system, from their loving mother and their chosen family - the incredible twins Monroe and Joey - to their other fierce friends and their inspirational teacher, Mr Kelly. Having all of this support unfortunately doesn't stop Carey from being bullied, not only by their peers but also by a teacher who should be protecting them instead of causing harm. However, Carey's friends step up and fight back against the oppressive system that allows bigoted teachers to be so openly hateful towards marginalised students. I love Carey and their friends, and I was intrigued by the "will they, won't they" situation between Carey and Cris as they tried to figure out their relationship between misunderstandings and lack of communication. Seeing Carey step on to the stage and own who they are was a magical feeling and this story is like no other as we watched them grow into themself and find their voice while being silenced as a genderqueer person. This is such a beautiful story and I hope to read more from this author. 

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betweentheshelves's review

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emotional inspiring slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

Thanks to NetGalley and Bloomsbury YA for an advanced copy of this book to review! While this book was tough to read at times, given what Carey has to go through as a genderqueer teen, I still think it’s an important story to add to the YA genre. Plus, reading about music and musicals is always an added bonus.

Let me start by saving Salvatore's writing is fantastic. They suck you in with Carey's story and the voice throughout the book is phenomenal. Carey (he/she/them, I use they/them for the purpose of this review) feels so realistic and almost leaps off the page. Carey's friends are also well-rounded, giving the reader a full cast of diverse characters. This was probably my favorite aspect of the book overall.

However, while Cris and Carey's relationship felt mostly realistic, it does get a little tiring by the end. It's messy and back and forth, which totally fits a teen relationship. But the miscommunication, I felt, went on a little too long for the book. Mostly, the pacing for that aspect of the plot felt a little off to me. The rest of the plot, however, does feel right pacing wise.

Going in, readers should also be warned that there is a lot of queer trauma in this book. There are also mentions of suicide and suicide ideation. The main antagonist, Mr. Jackson, is one still seen too often in schools and the ending in relation to him felt a little too convenient. And maybe not quite realistic? It just didn't quite fit with the rest of the story.

All in all, if you're someone that reads for voice and character, I absolutely recommend this book for that. And the musical references! There's a playlist at the end of the book I really appreciated, too. Can't wait to see what else Salvatore comes up with! 


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thiscubed's review

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emotional medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated
so I'm super glad I stopped rating books because I have no idea how to rate this book. our main character has to go through so much trauma (suicidal ideation, misgendering, bullying, and family death to name a few) and so much of it is displayed right on the page that it doesn't necessarily feel all that uplifting, even when good shit does happen. however, you know I'm all about genderqueer characters and I really thought this was great representation, but it begs the question of it is all the trauma really worth it? like for a book that says it's an uplifting and empowering story, I didn't find it that uplifting or empowering? it was great to see a genderqueer character be unapologetically themself but idk if that alone is worth the trauma. my feelings are very conflicted.

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