I’m torn about this one. I usually enjoy young adult and I generally enjoy first person. I don’t mind flashbacks, even though, goodness me, there were a lot of flashbacks. The characters were really well written, and I thought the way the Zel was thinking about her family, her school work, and the way her friendships grew felt right. All of that was lovely. Her drama friendship group was great, and I loved the way we saw the drama group and the separate, but important, friendship with James in her art class. It was really nice that the main friendship group were from different ethnic backgrounds and didn’t feel stereotyped.
My biggest issue with Here’s the Thing was that the emotions didn’t really engage me. It all seemed at arm’s length. That was a real shame, because I really wanted to love this and I didn’t. It wasn’t that I didn’t like it, but I didn’t love it, either.
Not a lot happens, but that’s ok. I’m used to school stories where the biggest drama is the school play and the minutiae of friendships and betrayal. What I want, though, is for the drama, and the heightened teenage emotions, to make it off the page, and unfortunately, it mostly just felt bleak.
ARC received from the publisher for an honest review.