IMAGINE US HAPPY
Imagine Us Happy was... disappointing? Or maybe I read it at a point in time where it just didn’t make an impact. Y’all know what I’m talking about- when you read a book at the right time in your life and it just lands, or the exact opposite. In this case, I just wasn’t feeling it.
Summary from Goodreads: Stella lives with depression, and her goals for junior year are pretty much limited to surviving her classes, staying out of her parents’ constant fights and staving off unwanted feelings enough to hang out with her friends Lin and Katie. Until Kevin. A quiet, wry senior who understands Stella and the lows she’s going through like no one else. With him, she feels less lonely, listened to—and hopeful for the first time since ever…But to keep that feeling, Stella lets her grades go and her friendships slide. And soon she sees just how deep Kevin’s own scars go. Now little arguments are shattering. Major fights are catastrophic. And trying to hold it all together is exhausting Stella past the breaking point. With her life spinning out of control, she’s got to figure out what she truly needs, what’s worth saving—and what to let go.
Don’t get me wrong. It has a lot of themes that I think are important: how relationships shouldn’t define you, how sometimes things just don’t work out in a relationship and that doesn’t make you bad people, it just makes you incompatible, That friendships and family will always (or almost always) be more important than the person you’re dating (when you’re in high school, at least). It was written well, the characters were distinct, it very accurately portrays how hard relationships (teen and adult) and friendships can be, as well as how therapy can feel both necessary and annoying. Honestly, a younger version of me probably would have loved it. But as an adult, I found reading about Stella's relationship and friendships to be tedious (and, hell, isn't that exactly what high school is like?). It's not a book I'll highly recommend, but I'm absolutely interested in hearing other perspectives. It left me feeling meh, and wasn't all that I was hoping for.