C.G. Drews's Reviews > Definitions of Indefinable Things

Definitions of Indefinable Things by Whitney  Taylor
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it was amazing
bookshelves: 5-star, contemporary, best-of-2017, mental-illness, read-2017, young-adult

Okay but just WOW this was one of those unexpected pockets of beautiful perfection that I can't love enough. I had no no idea I was going to fall so in love with this book. INSERT ALL THE HEART EYES AND THEN THE CRYING EYES AND THEN ME = A BUCKET OF APPRECIATION. The characters were complex amazingness and I laughed so hard I actually had to stop reading for a moment and collect myself.

It's just exploding my heart that a book about people trying to feel made me feel so much.

It's about depression -- a really honest and brutal view of it. Depression is different for everyone, it's a spectrum just like literally every mental health issue out there. And for me it was a really relatable version of depression that kind of made me want to cry because HI THIS BOOK GETS IT. It's also really gut-punching, because it features people who don't believe depression is real. Reggie's mum says out right that Reggie's depression is "her being selfish" and I...peoples, it hit me so hard. That is a lot of people's view. That you choose depression. I have literally had someone tell me if I was just more grateful I'd be happier. And so going through Reggie as she struggles with depression AND having a mother who disbelieves it was just painful, honest, gritty, and real. This book doesn't coddle and turn mental illness into a romanticised picnic. And yet it's also hopeful and it doesn't do ANY OF THE PROBLEMATIC TROPES.

Omg I will say that again: there is no "love cures all illness"! messages here. NONE. I'm so relieved. Thank to this author, this book, the moon, a local porcupine, the planets, all the small acorns of the world. THANK YOU.

Reggie is an unlikeable person and I loved her. She's so caustic and her depression makes her really cut away from feeling or caring about anything or anyone. She was bitter and almost cruel at times, but she was hurting. And she was just trying to be true to herself. I REALLY REALLY LIKED HER. And I can't even with how much I adore Snake. He's like this completely vainly grungy beautiful boy who quite thinks a lot of himself and is almost pretentious in the best possible way. He's an aspiring indie film-maker and he wants things and he's also been socked pretty hard in the jaw by depression. He's absolutely incorrigible, ok??! He acts like he's god's gift to the world BUT YOU CAN SEE MOST OF IT IS AN ACT. I just love love loved him.

And both of them together?! #SHIP #IT

Okay here's the part where I tell you it's actually a love triangle. Surprise. Because, um, I usually hate triangles. But Snake and Carla got pregnant in a one-night-fling sort of thing and they aren't in love...and then Snake meets Reggie and he loves her so much and so hard but she knows he's going to be unavailable eventually because HE'S GOING TO HAVE A KID. So much pain. At least 9 buckets of angst. The difference is: this triangle is right out in the open and no one is intentionally manipulating other people's feelings. Plus everyone was complex and interesting. And like Carla and Reggie's slowly growing friendship (even though Reggie is like "HELL NO WE ARE NOT FRIENDS" the entire time; adorable) was AMAZING. Like can I just cheer for girls in books who are complex, interesting, relatable, struggle, make mistakes, are witty, powerful, suffering, and not bitchy? Because thank you.

GOD IT'S SO PAINFUL AND SO MANY FEELS. I laughed, I cried, I don't know what you want from me. Pls. I'm suffering.

Okay the only thing I didn't like is a bit petty. And maybe it just shows I'm a horrible person but...here it is: (view spoiler)

ALL IN ALL: I seriously didn't expect to love this book so much. It's a roller coaster with one of the most brittle and relatable examples of depression I've ever read. I cry as they cry and shut down and ask what is the meaning of life. Yes it gets a bit pretentious and very very philosophical almost, at the end, but you know what? That is so heckin' true to teenages. I was a pretentious teen and I LOVE reading about them. And the characters just caught my heart 500000% and I really REALLY didn't want to let go. Words are jfadkslafdj. I love this book ok.
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Reading Progress

October 30, 2016 – Shelved
October 30, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
August 31, 2017 – Started Reading
August 31, 2017 –
25.0% "Everyone is depressed, a little pretentious, likes ice cream, dark humour, and flirts with insults.

I ACTUALLY QUITE LIKE IT."
September 1, 2017 –
70.0% "oh wow i am dangerously in love with this book AND I DIDN'T EXPECT IT SO HIT ME IN THE FEELS WHY DON'T YOU"
September 1, 2017 –
75.0% "JUST LETTING YOU KNOW I CANNOT EVEN FREAKING BREATHE I'M LAUGHING SO HARD"
September 2, 2017 – Shelved as: 5-star
September 2, 2017 – Shelved as: contemporary
September 2, 2017 – Shelved as: best-of-2017
September 2, 2017 – Shelved as: mental-illness
September 2, 2017 – Shelved as: read-2017
September 2, 2017 – Shelved as: young-adult
September 2, 2017 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-8 of 8 (8 new)

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Danielle (Life of a Literary Nerd) This was such a beautiful surprise.


Stella ☆Paper Wings☆ Glad you liked it!!


message 3: by Bee (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bee Soooo glad you loved it! It's one of my faves this year!


message 5: by Elise (new)

Elise (TheBookishActress) oh my god, your review just totally convinced me to read this!! I love how open you are about talking mental illness rep - I always worry about it reading new books and I love that you always discuss how your fav books don't Do The Thing because otherwise I'd be paranoid this did. anyway - great review and thank you for being so awesome :')


C.G. Drews @Danielle: It was!! I'm so pleased. :')

@Stella: SO HAPPY.

@Bee: omg I didn't know you loved it so much! I should've read it sooner honestly.


C.G. Drews @Amy: Aww thank you!


C.G. Drews @Elise: omggg thank you so much for this comment!! I think mental health/illness rep is so easy to misconstrue and I'm really pleased you find my reviews helpful. <3


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