#aww2019 · 2019 Reviews · contemporary fiction · young adult

Book Review: The Way I See It by Lucy Marrett

Title: The Way I See It

Author: Lucy Marrettthe way i see it lucy marrett small

Published: 1st October 2018

Publisher: Elephant Tree Publishing

Pages: 270

Genres:  Fiction, Contemporary, Young Adult

RRP: $20.00

Rating: 3.5 stars

Holly has something on her mind, but it’s not something she wants to admit to. It’s only after the funeral of a high school friend that she begins to realise she might have to speak up. It’s the reason she tears her hair out, the reason she picks at her skin, and the reason she sometimes has trouble breathing.

She has two friends on her side, Lara a friend from university who she lives with and Jem, a high school friend who she couldn’t live without. Jem is her rock and the one person in the world she trusts most, while Lara is everything Holly wishes she could be herself.

But time feels like it’s running out for Holly, and she’s not sure how much longer she can live the way she is. It’s time for her to stand up and speak out.

The Way I See It is is not a self-help book, nor is it full of inspirational quotes or success stories. It is a realistic portrayal of the ongoing, daily battle a young woman has with her anxiety, and how she decides to deal with it.

Review:

The Way I See It is a raw and contemporary piece of fiction from Lucy Marrett. Published by Elephant Tree Publishing in 2018, this is an emotional and insightful glimpse into the world of a young sufferer of anxiety.

The Way I See It is Holly’s story. Holly is a young woman, who suffers daily from an anxiety disorder. The death of an old friend from high school serves as a big wake up call for Holly. It prompts Holly to confront her anxiety head on, rather than bury her head in the sand, Holly decides now is the right time to voice her problems. Relying on her friends when she reaches crisis point is imperative for Holly. Without her best friends Jem and Lara, Holly would be lost. When things change and her friends are not there for her when she needs them most, Holly decides to take the upper hand over her anxiety. The Way I See It is about confronting important mental health issues head-on and seeking help to make changes for the better.

In recent times, in my role as an educator of young children, I have seen a big push towards the recognition and training focus on mental health disorders. Therefore, I firmly believe there is a strong place for books such as The Way I See It by Lucy Marrett. Young people, their friends and loved ones need to find ways to share, connect and support those who suffer from the above disorders. The Way I See It is relevant and reflective of our current day climate, we are in society where anxiety rates are soaring and we need to be proactive in dealing with this increasing health issue. Preceding this novel is a trigger warning which is sensitive to those who are dealing with depression, anxiety or suicide. There are also options presented to those who may be suffering from a mental illness, by seeking help from the access points of Lifeline Australia and Beyond Blue.

It is hard to say when a book concerns itself around such a complex and emotionally fraught issue that the story was enjoyed. Rather, I came to appreciate the direction and overall message The Way I See It has in mind for its readership. I think this book will go a long way in recognising the feelings and experiences of those suffering from anxiety. Here is a glimpse of a moment in time in Holly’s life.

‘I don’t even know where I’m going, I might get lost, and if I get lost I will panic. The heat will rise from the anxiety in my gut and fill me up to my ears. And I’ll feel it and it will consume me, eat at my brain and my logic and suddenly not only will I be lost, but my face will be at risk of splitting apart  as it tries to contains the tears and anguish.’

The Way I See It is a connective text, that allows those suffering from similar experiences to feel a sense of relief that they are not alone. It also opens up the possibility of living a healthier life in the face of anxiety. There is hope from the painful experiences shared. Marrett gets right inside the heart and soul of her main character Holly, who suffers from debilitating anxiety. We learn how every day is an uphill struggle, but Holly eventually rises above her anxiety and is able to seek help.

The experiences in the novel, aided by some solid characterisation, is realistic and relatable. The accompanying dialogue is authentic and will enable readers to see shades of themselves, or perhaps others in the characters. I was a little concerned that this book initially was going to read like a self help guide, or a memoir on anxiety, but I was mistaken. This is a very personal, almost diary like set of fictional experiences of a young woman negotiating her place in the world, while simultaneously dealing with a threat to her wellbeing. It gives the reader plenty of food for thought and plenty of in-roads in approaching anxiety.

Realistic, insightful, emotional and confronting, The Way I See It is a powerful title that gives a face and a name to the everyday silent victims of anxiety. Holly’s journey is well worth your time and it will give you a deeper appreciation for the daily struggles of a young person battling anxiety.

‘But I no longer mourn for myself, for the life that I was seeing burn our right in front of my eyes. I have a renewed strength and renewed light inside my soul and I will continue on every day of my life holding that light, letting it guide me and lead me where I am supposed to go.’

The Way I See It by Lucy Marrett was published on 1st October 2018 by Elephant Tree Publishing. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.

To learn more about the author of The Way I See It, Lucy Marrett visit here.

I wish to thank Elephant Tree Publishing for providing me with a free copy of this book for review purposes.

The Way I See It is book #69 of the 2019 Australian Women Writers Challenge 

 

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