What Does A Ghostwriter Read?

Blog Five: Snowflake by Louise Nealon

Snowflake by Louise Nealon.

“The logic creeps towards me and I back away from it.”

The Book: Snowflake by Louise Nealon

The Genre: Young adult fiction

Ghostly Rating: 👻👻👻👻👻

The Blurb:

Eighteen-year-old Debbie White lives on a dairy farm with her mother, Maeve, and her uncle, Billy. Billy sleeps out in a caravan in the garden with a bottle of whiskey and the stars overhead for company. Maeve spends her days recording her dreams, which she believes to be prophecies.

This world is Debbie’s normal, but she is about to step into life as a student at Trinity College in Dublin. As she navigates between sophisticated new friends and the family bubble, things begin to unravel. Maeve’s eccentricity tilts into something darker, while Billy’s drinking gets worse. Debbie struggles to cope with the weirdest, most difficult parts of herself, her family and her small life. But the fierce love of the White family is never in doubt, and Debbie discovers that even the oddest of families are places of safety.

The Review:

I was gifted a free copy of this book from www.readersfirst.co.uk for giving my first impressions of the cover. Thank you, Readers First!

I loved this book. I want to start off by saying that. I really loved this book. Genuinely. Everything from the structure to the style of writing just worked. The small chapters, broken into sections, makes the story incredibly pacey. We fly through Debbie’s life as quickly as our own seems to pass. Over the course of the novel, we learn more about Debbie and her eccentric family. Nealon is so very talented at writing beautifully flawed characters, and we get to know them slowly, like you would a friend.

This book is raw. It’s not going to be for everybody because it’s different than anything else out there. The points touched upon are so intrinsically real and at times I felt like I was struggling right along with Debbie. The book gives a fly on the wall impression of somebody’s life, as though we are able to peer through a window and see what the characters are really like.

I tend to have an issue with books that touch on mental illness, simply because it’s so rare that it’s ever accurate and written in a way that those without mental illness will understand. Because, to me, why write about mental illness unless you’re trying to bring more understanding to it? The way Nealon portrays mental illness in her characters is just right. It simply works. There’s no romanticising it, no demonising it, and it’s not a character trait (I find it pretty insulting when authors turn mental illness into a character’s whole personality).

Nealon manages to write a book that means something. It will have an impact on generations to come, thanks to the topics covered and the talented writing. There’s nothing I would change. Nothing, and that never happens!

I highly recommend picking this book up if you’re into novels about coming of age, but also if you’re looking into branching out into ‘future classics’. I think we’ll be hearing a lot about this book in time to come. I feel like a better person for having read it. A difficult topic approached with both humour and compassion. A job well done!

Trigger Warnings: Loads of them! Mental illnesses (many different ones). Suicide, self-harm. Unsafe-sex. Violent injury. Death. FYI: This might not be the best book to pick up if you’re having a tough time with mental illness yourself. It’s important to remember that we don’t have to read anything, just because we think it will be ‘good for us’.

As always, wishing you love and books that make your heart skip a beat,

Sarah Jules x

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