Review: Things I’m Seeing Without You

Things I'm Seeing Without You

 

I’m just not having a lot of luck with sad stories nowadays. They truly are hit or miss and this was a huge, big ol’ miss for me.

Short recap: Tess is distraught by the sudden suicide of her boyfriend, Jonah. She drops out of school and starts living with her dad again. Tess then helps her father with his work and happens to befriend David, Jonah’s roommate, and they form a bond.

I know that blurb sounds cryptic but it is the best I could come up with. I just did not like this story. It was all over the place and was confusing at the best of times. I really started to lose interest about a quarter of the way into this story and have no idea why I stayed with it. It was frightful. I fear something may be broken because I did not love it the way everyone else did.

Tess’ character was one of the two reasons I did not enjoy this story. I never connected with her because I didn’t get to know her. The story started out with being distraught over the suicide of her boyfriend (but is he a boyfriend?), Jonah. See, they had one encounter while she was drunk and quickly passed out on a couch. After that one meeting with him, she called him her boyfriend. Clingy and delusional much? They exchanged emails, texts, and FB messages but that was it. How and why she considered to call him her boyfriend was beyond me. They were good friends at best. I never jived or even understood their “relationship”. It didn’t feel believable to me. Maybe that could also be because I was never given the chance to really know Jonah. What I did know was given to me in flashbacks by Tess and his roommate, David. I cannot connect or feel anything for a character if I cannot get to know him. As a result, I never truly felt heartbroken for his loss. I wanted to, I tried to, but I cannot feel something for a character I did not know.

Back to Tess… I did not agree with how she handled the loss. She chose to drop out of school and move back in her with dad. Her family life was just as dysfunctional. Her father always had “get rich quick” schemes that drained all of the money. It was hard for me to trust a father that did not have his family’s best interest first. He chose to spend Tess’ college fund to pay for his schemes, the latest being a funeral service that promised fireworks and a party. groan Her mother was just as absent, choosing to go on a European tour with her new boyfriend instead of staying home to be with her teenage daughter. Needless to say, Tess’ relationship with both of her parents was unconventional and unbelievable. How neither of those parents could or would object to their daughter dropping out of high school to help with the ridiculous funeral business was beyond me. These points were the second reason I gave up on the story.

That is basically when I lost interest. The story went downhill after that. I didn’t jive with the characters or overall creeptastic factor of Jonah or the oddly bizarre profession of Tess’ father. None. Of. It. I know a lot of people really like this story but I’m just not one of them. This is a readable story but that’s as far as I’ll take that statement. This is not a book I would reread or recommend to anyone. I truly believe the author lost a golden opportunity to discuss suicide in teens and he missed the mark terribly.

 

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