REVIEW: A World Without You by Beth Revis

Hello everyone! ❤

I know I’ve been all about reviews lately on this blog but I just had to share my thoughts about this book. I haven’t yet read a book chosen for DiverseAThon and my goal to read more diversely in general that I didn’t like. I still want to read books with Muslim characters who are normal and not a bunch of terrorists or savages. It still disturbs me whenever I see Arabic in video games, TV shows or movies spoken by someone who will later on torture the main character or just a random character that is sort of important in the story (I see you, Sherlock). I am still looking for a nice list to pick from so if you have any recommendation, please tell me!

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Published July 19th 2016 by Razorbill

SYNOPSIS: Seventeen-year-old Bo has always had delusions that he can travel through time. So Bo assumes that he’s actually attending Berkshire Academy, a school for kids who, like Bo, have “superpowers.” At Berkshire, Bo falls in love with Sofía but even the strength of their love isn’t enough to help Sofía escape her deep depression. After she commits suicide, Bo is convinced that she’s not actually dead. He believes that she’s stuck somewhere in time—that he somehow left her in the past, and that now it’s his job to save her.

THOUGHTS: I have just finished the book and I can say I had a difficulty rating this book. It was either a 3 or a 4 stars read and it only became clearer once I went through all the notes I had kept on my phone. The beginning I didn’t like so much. This book only picks up in the second half. I even thought at the beginning that I wasn’t going to finish it but the writing was so good that it made me resume my reading and I didn’t regret it. There are magical elements since the main character believes he can travel through time and we can say that he’s a very unreliable narrator and that’s because at times, we don’t know whether what’s being said in his perspective is real or not and we get kind of wrapped up and that’s what is good about this book and the structure of it. That’s what we mainly get in this book in addition to his younger’s sister point of view, Phoebe. I think that the idea of adding this second perspective was really well thought and I enjoyed it tremendously! I also loved Bo’s visualization of time.

I don’t know if it applies to every family but I think that Beth Revis described well what it is like to be the sibling of someone who has special needs and would take the attention of the parents making the sibling a bit “invisible”. Although I didn’t like the repetitive whining at first, I’ve grown to like Phoebe more and more after each chapter because obviously, it wasn’t easy on her as well. There are some scenes in her chapters that really struck me hard and generally hearing her point of view was what made me really emotional because you get to see what is really happening around Bo and how she personally sees it. I also like the bond that seems like forming between them two.  Of course, there are some scenes with Bo that were really sad too.

What I found “meeh” was the fact that all other characters beside Bo and Phoebe didn’t have their share. We barely knew them and we didn’t even get the proper “bond” with Sofía to feel sad or anything as a matter of fact towards her. I don’t know if it’s just me but I didn’t develop any sympathy for the other characters besides Harold and it could’ve been better. That’s probably why I gave it three stars instead of four. I really appreciate bonding with the characters (not just the main characters) and I just didn’t get that with this book.

Overall I really liked the story and the way Beth Revis wrote the book. She really knew how to describe how Bo’s feeling and that’s what really made me into this book. Really guys, the writing is great! It was a very quick read from which you can learn a lot. I don’t know if it’s advised to read the book if one has a dissociative disorder but would definitely recommend it to everyone if not and if it’s not triggering.

Let me know if you’ve read this book and if you’ve enjoyed it! Also, what are the last books you’ve read that tackle mental illness?


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