Written by Carrie Mac
10 Things I Can See from Here is a compelling read. It is about Maeve, a seventeen year old girl with a great deal going on in her life. Her mother is taking a six month trip to Haiti with her boyfriend, so Maeve is forced to stay with her father, a recovering alcoholic, his very pregnant wife, and her twin half-brothers in a different city. The adjustments would be challenging for any teen, but Maeve suffers from Generalized Anxiety Disorder, so this magnifies the impact on her tenfold.
The characters in this book are believable and I really cared about them. Many topics are addressed, from sexuality (Maeve is gay) to sexual assault, death, substance abuse, marital issues, and especially anxiety. Maeve befriends Salix, a musically talented teen that is a positive influence on her, and a romance develops. The story is fraught with “emergencies,” throwing Maeve into situations requiring her to be calm when her nerves are jangling inside. She is in continuous battle with her thoughts.
The author addresses anxiety in a very real way. All of Maeve’s fears and her incessant rambling off of death statistics are very realistic. The author really gets inside the head of people who suffer from severe anxiety. Those around Maeve do not understand, with the exception of her eight year old half brother, Owen. Owen is almost like a reflection back at Maeve and he is a motivating factor in helping her try to reign in her fears. She wants to be a role model for him and this spurs her on.
The book is a mixture of dark and hopeful, very much like life. It may cause those with anxiety to feel more anxious, but it also provides some good strategies that could help others who suffer from anxiety. It would be a beneficial read for those who have loved ones who suffer from severe anxiety. The subject matter is high school, especially due to some of the issues that Maeve faces. This was definitely a worthwhile read about understanding and conquering your fears.
Review by Stephanie Garahana, Hunter High School Media Center
Rating: ★★★½✩ (3.5 stars)
Interest Level: High School
10 Things I Can See from Here
Written by Carrie Mac
Alfred A. Knopf
Release Date: Feburary 28, 2017
A review copy was provided by the publisher.