Title: Four Weeks, Five People
Author: Jennifer Yu
Original Publication Date: May 01, 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Mental Health, Contemporary
Pages: 384 pages [Kindle edition]
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.
My Mini Review:
The setting of this novel is perfect for the summer season – the nature and wilderness is all described beautifully. It is written in alternating POVs; going between five different teens in their four weeks at a therapy summer camp. There were definitely two characters whose voices overpowered the rest; Clarissa’s and Stella’s. I honestly hated reading Ben‘s parts, they were always so draggy and pointless. I especially couldn’t stand the parts written in “typewriter font.” I liked Mason [even if no one else did]; I wish there had been more of him. Andrew was unique in that, I’ve never read about a male character with an eating disorder and I love that Jennifer Yu is opening our eyes – making us see that eating disorders aren’t “just for girls.” He also had the most jaw-dropping backstory out of the five. The ending was actually really predictable to me, I totally called it from the beginning and even though I usually love a novel told from various POVs, I would have liked this better if told solely through Clarissa’s POV since her voice was clearly the strongest anyways; it would have definitely flowed smoother that way. It would have also helped me build a stronger connection to the characters. I wasn’t really invested in any of them. I didn’t tear up at anything and I know that certain moments were meant to stir me up. I’ve honestly been crying at everything – even reality shows so, I know my emotions/feelings were just not in this. The writing was easy to follow but, extremely amateur. It was over-the-top corny and not something I’d suggest reading “for fun.” There are some real text-booky parts [booooring – shut up, Josh!].
My Favorite Quotes:
“The point of not having friends is that there’s never anyone dragging me out of the house to places I never wanted to go to in the first place.”
“There is nothing comfortable about silence between two people who have too much to say to each other to speak.”
“Inspiration is like that. There, and then, all of a sudden, gone.”
“What it does feel like is that, at any moment, the lights will come on and the credits will play and I’ll be put out of my troubled, awkward, unavoidably real misery.”
“The truth is that sometimes it is easier to not feel, to pretend we’re all just actors waiting for the credits to roll and disappear forever, than to be a cocktail of feelings waiting to burst into flames.”
“The preperformance adrenaline rush never changes. And despite nervousness and inability to speak and the fact that I’m almost shaking, I never want it to.”
“And who needs fresh air and exercise when you have movies? I mean, who needs human contact when you have movies? Who needs anything else, really, when you have movies?”
“Plot and substance are overrated when your vision is blurring from anger.”
“‘Everything is a game,’ I say coolly. ‘The only people who don’t know that are the ones who have already lost.’“
“I’m not the kind of guy who cares about what other people think of me, because the truth of the matter is that most people are wrong about most things, most of the time.”
“I lament the fact that there isn’t anything you can do to shield yourself from other people’s feelings.”
“Pain, I’ve learned, can be the easiest way to numb the pain.”
“I should tell her about how I regret that now, in the way you always regret not saying things the moment it becomes too late to say them.”
“Maybe we never get that moment when the clouds part and the sun comes shining down and everything is suddenly clear and right and life is beautiful, grand, rich with meaning.”
My Rating: 2 out of 5
Dates Read: August 07-August 13, 2018