Title: THE OPPOSITE OF FALLING APART
Author: MICAH GOOD
Genre: YOUNG ADULT CONTEMPORARY
Publication Date: FEBRUARY 25, 2020
ABOUT THE BOOK
After losing his leg in a terrible car accident, Jonas Avery can’t wait to start over and go to college.
Brennan Davis would like nothing more than to stay home and go to school, so she can keep her anxiety in check.
When the two of them accidentally meet the summer before they move away, they’ll push each other to come to terms with what’s holding them back, even as they’re pulled closer to taking the biggest leap of all—falling in love.
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Honestly, it’s very rare to find a YA book that tells a good story and doesn’t have any typical YA drama in it, for example: relationship drama, high school drama, love triangle drama, and any other YA drama. But, this book is excellent in so many ways, this type of YA book is very hard to find nowadays, and I’m glad that this book is far different than most YA books.
This book have zero drama in it, I do admit that there are some issues in the main characters’ relationship, but it wasn’t dramatic like most YA relationships. This book have a well-written storyline with a very engaging plot, and amazing characters. The story was so good. It focuses on Jonas’ and Brennan’s mental health issues, their recovery and healing process, how they overcome it, and how it affected their daily lives.
The story was wonderful and yet emotional which doesn’t really surprise me at all. I knew stories like this one tends to be emotional and sad even though overall the stories are beautiful. I cried a lot reading this book because I knew the pain that Jonas and Brennan felt. These two are very much relatable characters that I can easily connect with. It was like seeing the fictional version of me.
Jonas is an amputee who had a hard time trying to move on from the tragedy that caused him to lose his leg. What I really liked about his character is how he never lose hope, how he always tried to continue driving despite losing his leg. He gets very anxious when it comes to driving which is understandable. But his determination was there, which is why I really admired him. I really liked how the author portrayed his character in the story.
He wasn’t weak, he wasn’t broken, but he does have a strong determination when it comes to doing something. He was also secretly hilarious. There are parts that he made me laugh out loud. At the start of the story he doesn’t talk much, he was just this quiet guy who doesn’t want to do anything other than watching his favorite films and playing games. I do get why he acted that way. After all, no one can just be perfectly fine after going through a traumatic tragedy like Jonas did. But he does have a good development later on in the story. His development brought a new side of Jonas; a fun, outgoing and confident Jonas. I really liked the development that the author gave his character, it was really fitting.
I find Jonas’ character so relatable because we both share the same fear, which is the fear of driving. When it comes to driving, I’m always anxious and my confident sometimes just gone. I do have a driving license and I’m 22, but trust me, I don’t drive much. I always feared that something will happen on the road that I didn’t expect will happen, and my anxiety made me question a lot of things whenever I wanted to drive hence the reason why I ended up not driving. I did drive, but not as much as most people do. Especially a long distance driving, that alone made me anxious. There are a lot of thoughts that pop up in my head when it comes to driving and it has always been hard for me to shut it down.
As for Brennan, she is a very quiet character. She have an anxiety disorder which made her hard to try living a normal life like other people, and also made her hard to communicate with others normally. For the majority of the book, she always battling the voices inside of her head and always trying to fight the anxiousness she felt. I do understand her situation because I also have anxiety and dealing with it has always been hard for me especially in social situations. This is the reason why I can relate a lot to Brennan. I do get her feelings, and the whole thing with the voices that made her second guessing basically everything.
What I liked the most later on was how the author develop her character. Brennan had to go through a huge changes that help her overcome her anxiety and made her appear and feel more confident. She may be anxious with the whole making conversation with other people, having to meet new people in college, helping out Jonas and so on, but there are times when she was just confident and wasn’t afraid of so many things and just being a carefree person for a day. Seeing her so carefree and made a spontaneous plan truly surprised me, but it was nice to see her like that when she was just free from her anxiety even though it was just for a day.
Brennan is a very helpful person, she also have a talent of writing stories, and most importantly, she always give good advice. She is a wise person and I really admired her strength for being strong despite how weak she felt most of the times. She and Jonas are both great and well-written characters.
At first, Jonas and Brennan are just two strangers who crossed each other’s path by accident. But they slowly become friends because Brennan was so determined to help Jonas and she never stop blowing up his phone by sending him lots of text. That part was quite funny to me, the way Jonas replied to her so coldly and she never stop texting him, that really made me laugh. I can just imagined their facial expressions. I loved the progress of their friendship and how it slowly transition into a romantic relationship.
Their friendship was golden, there are moments when they just hanging out together, talking about their hobbies, discussing about their college studies, I loved seeing that. But their romance was really beautiful. Purely beautiful and full of so many wonderful moments. I understood how anxious both of them were to start the whole romantic relationship thing because it can either ended up good or bad considering their daily struggles; Jonas with his leg, and Brennan with her anxiety. Even though things went smoothly and it was all good for them, there are still times when they just felt anxious to open up the deepest part of themselves to each other.
Their relationship put a lot of pressure on them respectively because Jonas couldn’t trust Brennan to stay with him if he showed her his leg, and Brennan couldn’t trust Jonas would still want to stay with her whenever her anxiety gets worse. I really get why they were thinking that way, and these are the struggles they had to deal with in their relationship. Both of them are really committed and tried to be the best they can be, but the moment those anxious thoughts came back, it was hard for them to fight it. But I loved how the two of them made peace with the part of them that made them struggling a lot in their daily lives, because that was the only way for them to be able to move on. The way they overcome their struggles together showed how strong they actually are as a person, even though they might appeared weak to other people.
Jonas and Brennan possessed an incredible strength that helps them overcome not only their daily struggles but also the issues in their relationship. There are emotional moments in their relationship that made me sad and feeling so heartbroken. These two are so compatible together, and they are basically each other’s motivation. I loved seeing Jonas help Brennan overcome her anxiety, and she help him overcome his fears and being the reason why he was so eager to go out of his house and be productive in the first place. The way they cared for each other was sweet. I was happy they get a beautiful ending. They really deserved that.
The whole story was marvelous, and it ended beautifully which was really satisfying to me. I was so invested in Jonas and Brennan’s story, and really appreciate the author for creating their characters, showcasing their inner struggles, and making them the relatable characters that many people can relate to. Also, this book does have positive messages it wanted to tell its readers. There are so many great things I can take from this story. It was a very enjoyable book to read, and reading this once wasn’t enough. I might need to re-read this the next time around.
MY FAVORITE QUOTES
1. Why pretend everything was normal when it clearly wasn’t?
2. What’s the point of pretending nothing has changed when everything has?
3. People weren’t worth her putting extra effort into dressing herself up and hiding who she really was.
4. How could you write a summary for something when you didn’t know exactly where it was going? When you didn’t know the ending?
5. Those without powers were just as powerful as those with.
6. Maybe that happened when you grew up—the things you used to like became somehow less exciting and more of an inconvenience.
7. She thought that maybe writing was this big journey, like an adventure of sorts, that should be enjoyed one step at a time. You would work hard and then, one day, look back and realize where that hard work had led. However, she also wanted to feel like what she was doing mattered now, at least to someone.
8. He just needed away from anyone who knew him before, because then maybe he could become someone else without the pressure that came with having everyone from before watching him now.
9. Sometimes, it was just as hard being off work as it was actually going to work.
10. She was nervous about being nervous. And it never ended; it only repeated itself.
11. It was depressing to think about the what if it never goes aways and the what if nothing changes.
12. Don’t think about the worst thing that could happen. Just let life come. Thinking about that stuff won’t change anything.
13. Anxiety is a wave. It will recede.
14. The people with abilities weren’t the ones who were normal in the stories. They were sometimes even feared because they were different.
15. Everything big and unconquerable inside her seemed insignificant when she put it out there.
16. It feels like there should be so much more time. Like life should have so much more time. But we just sit here and wonder where it goes.
17. Maybe it was like homeostasis, and his life had just tried to find a new set point in response to the change.
18. Pretending was hard. Pretending to be normal was the hardest thing of all.
19. Maybe you have changed, but maybe that means you’ll just be better than you would have before.
20. She didn’t know what it felt like to be drunk and lose your inhibitions, but she imagined it was like that—warm and less conscious of the rest of the world.
21. It can’t be normal to feel sick almost every day of your life, usually for unexplainable reasons.
22. You shouldn’t expect that people will leave just because of your anxiety. Yeah, it makes things different. And yeah, it makes things harder. But if people leave you just because you have this thing that you have to deal with, then that’s their fault.
23. I know what it is to be the one who feels like they’re making everything more difficult. I know what it is to feel like you’re the one who has a problem that inconveniences the people around you.
24. For the people who matter, you aren’t an inconvenience.
25. Just because you have this thing to deal with that’s different from some of the other people you know, it doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you. It doesn’t make you broken.
26. Trust is hard.
27. I’m always second guessing myself, replaying everything over and over in my mind, trying to analyze what I’ve done wrong because it seems like there’s always something.
28. She wished she always knew how to respond to people.
29. Being not ready implies a readiness someday. Implies that there is a someday, somewhere.
30. Does it ever make you feel small? Like, we go about our lives and there’s a certain space that we feel we occupy, but then you go outside on a night like tonight and when you stare at the sky, it all just starts to seem tiny, and you realize you’re smaller than you thought.
31. I like knowing there’s something bigger than everything that scares me.
32. I’ve always sort of been afraid to let myself feel happy—to be alive—because what if I can never be as happy as I was before?
33. Writing is a journey.
34. Everyone with anxiety tends to feel it differently.
35. The idea of being with someone is a little scary to me. I just feel so needy. I feel like I’m always seeking assurance, validation. And I don’t exist in my own little orbit now; there’s someone else to consider.
36. People see you differently than you see yourself.
37. She was the opposite of fragile; she was strong to survive after breaking and breaking.
38. How broken are you that you can’t even let the good happen?
39. There’s no such thing as a perfect life, but definitely perfect moments.
40. Nobody is meant to be alone.
41. Sometimes I worry that I’ve got so much good that something bad is going to happen to even things out.
42. Sometimes you just have to believe in the good. The bad’s going to come, but we have to believe that the good will outweigh it, you know? Even if we have to look hard to find it.
43. A lot of the pressure you’re feeling? You’re putting it on yourself.
44. You can’t let your hobbies get in the way of your life.
45. I guess it’s just got too easy to lie about being okay.
46. It felt like he hadn’t really been breathing, this whole time, and he suddenly could. It felt like seeing his new life for the first time. It felt good.
47. I wanted to move on. And I do. I think I have for a while, but now it’s like I’ve given myself permission to. But part of me is afraid that if I go back home, the feeling will fade.
48. There are sixty seconds in a minute, but each of those seconds can be divided into infinitely smaller and smaller increments, until they are so small that people can’t comprehend them, but they’re there.
49. Time is a funny thing. If you become too aware of it, you start to drown—drown in the infinite number of moments. People say that forever is a long time, but even a second is a long time when you think about how many tiny moments went into that one second. Time, no matter how infinite, is always moving, never stopping.
50. Being one in a thousand. It didn’t mean she was unique; it just meant that the rest of the thousand hid her.
51. I will always have doubts. I will always need to be constantly reassured that you’re not going anywhere, that you’re here, that you won’t leave me. That’s too much of a burden for anyone. I’m too messy for someone else.
52. You will regret it for the rest of your life if you don’t at least try to fix things.
53. We break, we fall, we piece ourselves together again. We tear relationships apart, and we glue them back together. Maybe it’s not always perfect, and by nature, happy endings come after a lot of unhappy crap. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t happy endings. And you’ll never know if you don’t try, because the happiest endings always require some effort on our part.
54. You are not your anxiety. It is part of you, but not all of you. You can still have the things you want, anxiety notwithstanding.
55. Lots of people have anxiety and they’re out having the life they want to have. They’re doctors, they’re writers, they’re living. You have the choice to let it rule or to force it to coexist with the rest of you in your head.
56. We may be a mess, but we’re our mess, and everything we are is pretty perfect, in the end.
*** FOLLOW THE TOUR HERE***
Micah Good has been writing since middle school. She’s been writing stories on Wattpad since the summer before her freshman year of college. Her stories have been featured, won a Watty, and she was invited to participate in Wattpad’s Paid Stories program. She currently lives in the midwestern United States, where she is pursuing a career in nursing. She loves dogs, naps and getting lost in a book.