“As a child, Calvin felt an affinity with the comic book character from Bill Watterson’s Calvin & Hobbes.
He was born on the day the last strip was published; his grandpa left a stuffed tiger named Hobbes in his crib; and he even had a best friend named Susie. Then Calvin’s mom washed Hobbes to death, Susie grew up beautiful and stopped talking to him, and Calvin pretty much forgot about the strip—until now. Now he is seventeen years old and has been diagnosed with schizophrenia. Hobbes is back, as a delusion, and Calvin can’t control him. Calvin decides that Watterson is the key to everything—if he would just make one more comic strip, but without Hobbes, Calvin would be cured. Calvin and Susie (is she real?) and Hobbes (he can’t be real, can he?) set out on a dangerous trek across frozen Lake Erie to track down Watterson.”
I have mixed feelings about his book. The beginning was quite wonderful, and really had me invested in Calvin and his life. But…
Then it got strange. Everything came across as Dues Ex Machina (that is, that the solutions to all the problems just magically appeared.) So it started losing me in the middle, and it seemed to keep consistent with this.
I started getting bored. After all, this teen was going on an extremely dangerous journey across a frozen lake. He encountered NUMEROUS adults, and none tried to stop him or call authorities.
And then of course you start thinking that maybe none of these adults actually existed. Some might have been complete figments of Calvin’s imagination.
Which makes Martine either really clever, or really cowardly. That one thought separates these elements and all of the sudden you don’t know if it was on purpose, or if it was just really terrible writing.
Then the ending was wonderful! It was intense, and practically perfect in every way. But then, it’s just over. I can’t tell you exactly what happens, because that would be a spoiler, but long story short, all problems are neatly put into a box and stamped as ‘solved.’
Yes, it was entertaining. But this is about a teen with Schizophrenia. In reality, the battle against it doesn’t ever end, and ‘solving’ it isn’t that easy. It’s not as easy as medication. It takes bravery, and therapy and better sleep and stress management.
I felt like the ending trivialized the condition a bit. It makes me feel conflicted. I don’t know quite what to think. I’m giving it three stars for now. Plus half a star for the deep chains of thoughts (which actually were expressed very well.) I really felt this had potential. I just think it fell flat. I so, so, so wished that the ending had been more accurate to a teen with schizophrenia. Really. I think just polishing it up would have made the book miles better.
*FTC Disclaimer* I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. It has in no way, shape or form effected my opinion or review.