Monday, March 6, 2017

10 Things I Can See From Here by Carrie Mac

A trip to Haiti presents all kinds of possible dangers. First there's the plane ride there, which statistically offers tons of possible dangerous outcomes. Then there's the fact that it's another country. One with a history of earthquakes. And finally there's the fact that Maeve's mother will be there with her new boyfriend while Maeve spends six months living in Vancouver with her dad. 

Maeve's anxiety is a part of her. And sometimes it gets to be too much. Six months with her dad shouldn't be a big deal. But it is. It's six months away from her home, away from her mom. Six months with her dad and his very pregnant wife, who's planning a home birth (which Maeve is all too aware can be rife with complications), and her twin brothers in an apartment that isn't her own. 

But then Maeve meets a girl, and things start to look up. And then Maeve's father falls off the wagon, and things start to look not so up. 

Maeve is compellingly charming at times. But she also becomes a bit too much at times as well. Her penchant for dire statistics is actually one of the endearing qualities, for me anyway. See, I'm kind of a worrier who fixates on worst case scenarios - so I can empathize just a little with Maeve.

But Maeve's awareness of her issue and her coping strategies made it a little hard to get behind her when she started to go over the top with it. And while things with her parents aren't great, she actually does have pretty good support from her stepmother and her little brothers. Her relationship with the latter is actually quite wonderful, but her inability to realize what she has in her stepmother is actually part of Maeve's bigger issue.

Of course, going into the story it's made very clear that Maeve is dealing with something she's not really ready to face head on. Something concerning her best friend, Ruthie. And so, at the heart of it, Maeve is actually, utterly lonely. She's also feeling just a little bit abandoned by the person who knows her best - her mother. And while all teens (and I'm pretty sure it's ALL teens) fight with their parents, her dad breaking his five year sobriety doesn't help one bit.

10 Things I Can See From Here isn't all family drama, but that is a large part of it. In fact, the story really is how Maeve deals with the maelstrom that is her life. One things it's not is a coming out story. Maeve has already decided and pronounced that she likes girls, and she's comfortable with it. But there is a romance aspect to the story. And it's one of the better parts of the book, lifting Maeve out of what could really be six months of despair.

While Maeve is dealing with some heavy issues, Carrie Mac does manage to keep much of the story light. I think readers in search of a contemporary read with a relatable character will find much to enjoy in Maeve and her story.

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