What If by Anna Russell is the second bit of poetry fiction that I’ve read so far this week and I’m finding that I really enjoy this type of storytelling. Poetry collections are nice and all, but they are infinitely more appealing when they follow an actual story and plot. Young Joshua’s grades have slipped and his family has moved to a new school where he finds himself stuck at his locker, opening and closing it exactly a hundred times before he can go to his class. He loves playing the drums but must complete a very specific set in order to ensure that nothing bad will happen to his sister.
Following, in a poetry format, the story of a young man as he learns to deal with his obsessive compulsive disorder, the book does an amazing job of capturing what it’s like to live with this condition, the effects it has on one’s family, and how it can take over one’s every day life. I really enjoyed and appreciated the accurate portrayal of OCD as well as the poems in which they were described.
I’ll admit, I didn’t feel like there was really much plot to the story and it basically just followed a very simplistic, “get your grades up or you’ll lose out on all these things” sort of path which, frankly, I have never found wholly interesting. While I do deeply appreciate the availability of a diversification for neuronal states, I never really felt deeply interested in Joshua’s friend nor the talent show he wanted to participate in. Those just aren’t my kind of books.
All in all, I think this poetry book was well written and a fun, quick read. I definitely think I’ll be reading more like this in the future.
I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.