Yan Harris is VERY EXCITED.
Well, of course she is. It’s summer, she’s got over her depression and she’s in London for a week with her BFF Chelsea. After seventeen years in a sleepy village where everybody just knows them as The Chinese One and The Brainy One… life is calling.
It’s a pretty cool prospect… if Chel can stop worrying about online discourse in the Nordhelm TV fandom long enough to enjoy it. Chelsea’s worried about Yan, too, to Yan’s annoyance.
Barely sleeping, barely eating, getting increasingly gobby, having an – ahem – close encounter in a toilet, giving a Tory MP a good kick in the shins, and running around kind of literally screaming…. well, it’s all just good summer fun, isn’t it?
In the desperate battle of Yan vs. bipolar disorder, does the poor disease really stand a chance?
I was asked by Zuntold if I would like to be a part of the book tour for Rapids a little while ago and jumped at the chance. While I myself do not have Bipolar Disorder, I’ve had my own struggled with mental illness and it’s important to me to educate myself, even if that is through fiction! It’s worth pointing out I finished this in 24 hours – I needed to know what was happening to Yan and Chelsea and get to the end, this is a novel that will grip you and take you on a wild ride.
Two teenagers exploring London for the first time while also looking at universities was always going to have humour in it, even if you don’t expect one of them to kick a Tory MP in the shins – although I’m sure plenty of us who have had their mental health services cut to ribbons have thought about it in the last few years. I was in love with the friendship between Yan and Chels, they’re very different but they work. I also liked the fact that as characters they could stand on their own two feet and not be completely dependent on each other – I’d quite like to read a book about Chels actually!
Fandoms and online interaction play a big part of this story and while I can see why it was included and it did add to the plot, it wasn’t really for me – but I think that’s just because I’m not really into fan fiction so it didn’t grab me in a way it would others. That said, I think including the online world, the worry about doxxing, people arguing about ‘what’s appropriate’ did make the novel more realistic, teenagers are online and it should be shown more in books!
What Bowles does well is mixing humour while also helping us to understand mania and what Bipolar can look like. This is a funny book and it takes a good writer to mix humour with a delicate subject. There were times where I laughed out loud, but others where I wanted to reach through the book and hug Yan, tell her it’s all going to be ok.
It’s important to note that this novel is own voices, the author herself lives with bipolar disorder, meaning that the reader is engaging with someones own perspective of what it is like to live with it. I think this comes across in the writing because when she’s manic Yan is Yan. You can understand how she thinks and feels when in this state and even though she may not be a likeable character at times – it further reinforces that mania is a medical issue. It’s obvious that Yan cares for her best friend and her family but in the grips of mental illness she acts in a way that she cannot help without treatment.
This is definitely a book to pick up, it will make you laugh but will also make you think and I do believe that, for some, it may help them feel less alone.
Thank you to the publisher and author for inviting me to take part in this book tour and don’t forget to check out some of the other lovely bloggers below!