Perfect for fans of John Green's Turtles All the Way Down and Nina LaCour's We Are Okay, this is the poignant and uplifting story of Maeve, who is dealing with anxiety while falling in love with a girl who is not afraid of anything.
Don’t worry; be happy.
Keep calm and carry on.
Maeve has heard it all before. She’s been struggling with severe anxiety for a long time, and as much as she wishes it was something she could just talk herself out of, it’s not. She constantly imagines the worst, composes obituaries in her head, and is always ready for things to fall apart. To add to her troubles, her mom—the only one who really gets what Maeve goes through—is leaving for six months, so Maeve will be sent to live with her dad in Vancouver.
Vancouver brings a slew of new worries, but Maeve finds brief moments of calm (as well as even more worries) with Salix, a local girl who doesn’t seem to worry about anything. Between her dad’s wavering sobriety, her very pregnant stepmom insisting on a home birth, and her bumbling courtship with Salix, this summer brings more catastrophes than even Maeve could have foreseen. Will she be able to navigate through all the chaos to be there for the people she loves?
An ALA Rainbow Book List selection
A Bank Street Best Book of the Year
"With Maeve, Mac delivers a character who's heartwarmingly real and sympathetic, and her story provides a much needed mirror for anxious queer girls everywhere."—Kirkus, Starred review
"This is a good companion book for other anxiety-riddled stories, such as The Shattering by Karen Healey, and Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella."—Booklist
"This hopeful offering will resonate with young people for their own lives, even if the journey is hard and takes time and patience...[a] compelling portrait of a teen’s experiences with anxiety and challenging family dynamics."--SLJ
"Mac carefully makes clear that Maeve is plenty able to find joy other places than the perfect girl and that she’s working at dealing with her own problems; the romance is therefore lovely and cozy and free from overtones of dependency. The descriptions of anxiety are true and powerful, and romance buffs will likely revel in a book celebrating deep connection."—The Bulletin
"Mac is good at showing how a dread-filled mind works... [An] affecting story.''—Publishers Weekly
Everyone tells Maeve that things will be fine, but they don't know what it's like to have an anxiety disorder, to visualize possible disasters constantly. Spending six months in Vancouver with her father and stepfamily is terrifying for nearly 17-year-old Maeve she could die on the way, for one thing. Even after arriving safely, she finds cause for worry. Her father may be drinking again, the home birth her pregnant stepmother is planning is risky, and being around Salix the girl she likes is nerve-racking. But to Maeve's surprise, Salix likes her. Even more surprising: when some of Maeve's fears come to pass, she's upset, but not helpless. Mac (The Way Back) is good at showing how a dread-filled mind works and how Salix, whom Maeve sees as wholly confident, also has to fight nerves. Mac's not interested in villains: there is no evil stepmother, no homophobia. Instead, the struggles are internal, like Maeve's anxiety and her father's relapse, and relational, as people try to forgive and be honest with each other. The result is a low-key but affecting story. Ages 14 up.
Interesting Read but It Didn't Hold My Attention
10 Things I can See From Here is an interesting coming of age story about a teenage girl with a severe anxiety disorder. I like that the main character is not your typical teenage girl and had high hopes for this book, but it simply did not impress me or hold my attention. I can usually read a book a day, but this book took me almost a week to get through because I had to force myself to read it and just had no desire to pick it up during the day.
I voluntarily received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Important topics but boring plot
I was really excited to start this book, and actually it jumped ahead of a LOT of other books in my pile. Unfortunately, I was disappointed.
The thing about Maeve is that she's a really annoying and boring narrator. I understand WHY the story was told as it was, but I just didn't really like her or care about her for a good half of the story. I know that anxiety is a real and often crippling thing for someone to go through, but for my personality type, this book was too much for me. I actually found humor in a lot of Maeve’s thoughts, but they were very repetitive and didn’t move the story forward.
I hated the adults in this book. Her dad was a joke of a father, and her mom was... well, not there. Which I get. But she made questionable decisions (such as not allowing her daughter to take medication to help her through her anxiety.) The only adult who seemed to really look out for Maeve and want to help her was her stepmom, Claire, who is a fun and slightly kooky character herself.
I liked that there was a f/f romance, but I didn't buy it. I’m not really sure what Salix sees in Maeve. It was a little too "insta-love" for my liking. Salix was actually the best thing about the book, though.
By the time I reached the halfway point, the book actually seemed to be developing a plot versus the endless pages of Maeve freaking out about everything. Salix really helped with that. The ending was really good too.
So do I recommend this book? It had it’s good parts, but on a whole it was mostly just boring with not much happening plot wise. Ultimately for me this just wasn't a very memorable book.