C.G. Drews's Reviews > Words on Bathroom Walls

Words on Bathroom Walls by Julia Walton
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it was amazing
bookshelves: 5-star, mental-illness, read-2017, ya-male-narrators, young-adult, contemporary

This was beautiful and heartbreaking and brutally honest and so so so good. Which is a freaking RELIEF because I preordered this back in July and it just arrived this week...like 3 months later. Thanks Australian bookstores. You're the best. BECAUSE IT DOESN'T FREAK ME OUT NOT KNOWING WHEN MY BOOKS ARE ARRIVE YEP IT'S OK I'M FINE I'M FINE I CAN BREATHE NOW.

+ It's about schizophrenia.
Which, like any mental health condition, is a huge spectrum. I've read quite a few books in schizophrenia that I really enjoyed and this was also most good. And most HURTING. I loved how brutally honest Adam was about his condition. He's also scared of it, but is doing his best not to be. And his hallucinations were really varied and real, mostly singing and different people. He's fond of Rebecca who is quiet but like kind and there for him. (view spoiler) And Adam generally knows when his hallucinations aren't real too. He's also on a trial drug to try and help him and WELL. READ IT AND SEE HOW IT GOES.

+ Okay so Adam does refer to himself as "crazy" all the time.
I am very much against calling mentally ill people "crazy". OBVIOUSLY. But at the same time I get why he was saying it. Adam was self-depreciating and honest and scared and bitter and lost. And we're getting his brutal most inner thoughts. And you know what it's like to battle with stuff like mental health???? You think you're crazy. YOU KNOW YOU'RE NOT. But you still think it because that's how cruel your brain is. (No, I don't have schizophrenia, but I have mental health struggles myself so I really got this aspect.)

Adam's thinking is not always correct and it's not always right. He's 16. He has schizophrenia and he knows when he's losing control. IT SUCKS. I loved how honest he was and I get that his thought process could come off as a problem at times. Like at one stage he calls his girlfriend his "cure"...and obviously it's not true haah, read the book. But you're with him on this roller coaster of a drug trial and falling in love for the first time and growing up, so you get EVERY BIT of the gritty and not-always-right part of his thinking.

+ It's also told in like letters!
I loved And was annoyed at this because, (a) I loooove letter and we get the story being 100% ADAM AND HIS MIND and this was fascinating and personal and beautiful, but (b) it makes the book tell tell tell. I wanted to bE in the scenes, but mostly I was just told them. And it made the two secondary characters, Maya and Dwight, (WHOM I LOVED) a little flatter because mostly Adam just told us about them.

Maya is like logical and not squishy and will eat your cookies and study hard and be a very cute and friendly robot. I LOVED HER. (She's also Filipino.) And Dwight was like this intense super-nerd who was super-pale and super-talkative and basically adorable and I loved him. AND DWIGHT AT THE END OMG. GO DWIGHT.

+ Did I mention I have eMOTIONS.
Because I have so so many. Adam was so raw and obviously life is not going to go perfectly because this is a BOOK and authors are CRUEL and like I just felt his suffering and thought it was so well written. I never wanted to put it dooooonw. It's like rAINING on my soul. The ending, particularly, was ajfkdasfd.

+ Also epic parents!!
Adam's mum is like 500% a protective and loving mama bear. And his step-dad Paul is quiet and unruffled and like Adam feels like Paul is scared of his schizophrenia...but Paul is still tHERE for him. And defends him!! AND AHHHH GOOD PARENTS!! What a sight.

+ Also Adam is a freaking epic baker and if that doesn't sell you what will.
It's his passion. He literally gets a girlfriend by baking her lasagna. He bakes cookies and he enjoys technical baking and his parents buy him like mixers for his christmas and hE APPRECIATES IT. Why is Adam so smol, so precious. He is a literal cinnamon roll. (Like, a really bitter one though. Boy, is he bitter and I love it.)

+ I mean heck yes it gets 5 stars because iT STOLE MY HEART.
But there were a few things I didn't like. Mainly the fact that it was set very muchly in school. Dude. I don't care. I care about your classes as much as I care about a cabbage's family tree. I also really wish it had more SCENES instead of all the tell tell telling. And I still don't get the title, haha. I don't get how it ties in. Adam is not, in fact, a graffiti artist in the bathroom. (I know. I am surprised too.)

+ Also there's a lot of really honest discussions about mental health.
Some of it hurts. Some if it is amazing. Some of it is so spot on afjdsklad. I was trying to take iPod photos of a million quotes but like, my iPod got very rude and said "storage full" and was I going to stop reading to sort that out? No. I have priorities. (ALSO MY FRIKKIN IPOD FAILED ME IN TIME OF NEED.) But it's so quotable and I love Adam and I LOVE the ending and I just ajfkdlsad.

Yes leave me alone to hug this book and also the fantastic cover and also, idk, wear it as a hat to show my affection.

*** QUOTES ***

I don't waste time feeling sorry for people with mental problems, because I don't want people to waste time feeling sorry for me. I don't need the pity -- it doesn't do anyone any good. We see the world differently and make our own rules. That's what terrifies everyone.

So I baked. I made shortbread cookies to dip in dark chocolate, tiny thumbprint peanut butter cookies, and really complicated little pinwheels with jelly in the centre. I was in the zone.

It's different when people are afraid of what you've got, because then you get some of the sympathy but none of the support. They don't wish you ill -- they just want you far away from them as possible.
Cancer Kid has the Make-A-Wish Foundation because Cancer Kid will eventually die, and that's sad. Schizophrenia Kid will also evnetually die, but before he does, he will be overmedicated with a plethora of drugs, he will alienate everyone he's every really cared about, and he will most likely wind up on the streets, living with a cat that will eat him when he dies. That is also sad, but nobody gives him a wish, because he isn't actively dying.
It's abundantly clear that we only care about sick people who are dying tragic, time-sensitive deaths.

At least Dumbledore came back towards the end of the last book. Remember? Maybe you don't. It was at King's Cross station. That hallucination where he told Harry he had a choice. And then, when Harry asked if it was real or if everything was just happening inside his head, he said: "Of course it is happening inside our head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?"
He's right, isn't he? It doesn't really matter that no one else can see what I see. That doesn't make my experiences any less real.
Real is subjective.

^^^ THAT QUOTE MADE THE BOOK FOR ME <3 <3 Also my favourite HP quote.
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Reading Progress

October 10, 2016 – Shelved
October 10, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
September 18, 2017 – Started Reading
September 18, 2017 –
page 52
17.11% "Character: *memorises a whole prayer book*
Me: *forgets what character's name is after 2pgs*"
September 18, 2017 –
page 103
33.88% "Adam loves to COOK (!!) And he legit just said "good food fixes everything" which is the most honest truth in this universe."
September 19, 2017 – Shelved as: 5-star
September 19, 2017 – Shelved as: mental-illness
September 19, 2017 – Shelved as: read-2017
September 19, 2017 – Shelved as: ya-male-narrators
September 19, 2017 – Shelved as: young-adult
September 19, 2017 – Shelved as: contemporary
September 19, 2017 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-5 of 5 (5 new)

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Anja V OH glad you loved this! It's one of my favorite mental health books I've read this year so far and it has one of my favorite couple scenes of all time (view spoiler) I mean how FREAKING PRECIOUS IS THAT?

message 2: by Charlie (new) - added it

Charlie Yeap, so I need this five minutes ago.

Fantastical Geek (Atarashii Sekai) Beautiful review, Cait. <3

C.G. Drews @Anja: Omggg that scene where (view spoiler)

@Charlie: TOO TRUE THO.

@FantasticalGeek: Aww, thank you!! So much gushing haha.😂

message 5: by Jason (new) - added it

Jason I am very curious as to the amount this book focuses on the love/romance between characters compared to the dx of schizophrenia. I asked another person to go into this too. I am finding myself in a trend, which i like, of reading about m-m relationships. I have zero understanding as to why I focus on this. I think it has something to do with how m-m relationships haven't saturated novels, and it seems fresh and new and zing.

Also, obvi, your review is greatness.

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