This was such an adorable, cute and heartwarming read dealing with first love, chronic depression and the perks and drawbacks of superpowers, all wrapped up in an amazingly realistic (yes, despite the superpower thing), honest and relatable way. I read it all with a smile and with so much happiness, sympathy and hope for the two main characters and their love story.
The story is set in high school and told in different POVs from the two main characters; the football star Caleb, who struggles with more than anyone could ever guess, and the supersmart misfit Adam, who is suffering from chronic depression and loneliness.
Caleb is generally quiet and kind, not the stereotype jock, but lately he’s been overwhelmed by anxiety and rage and somehow ended up in fights. When he’s forced to go to therapy, he finds out that there’s more to the world than he’d ever known and that not only are there people with superpowers (atypicals) but he’s one of them, being an empath who can feel everyone else’s feelings. The only person that makes him calm, whose feelings fits his own, is the quiet nerdy boy Adam.
Adam on his side is struggling with his high school situation. He’s chronically depressed, not good at social interactions and gets bullied a lot. He’s also secretly crushing on Caleb, but would never dare to hope that he would even notice him, even less that his feelings could be reciprocated.
This might sound like a sad story, but I promise that it wasn’t! It was a story that made me happy, that gave me hope and all the fluffy warm feelings. I loved Caleb and Adam’s love story and how relatable it was with all the cringy parts, the doubts and miscommunications, and how Adam wasn’t magically cured from depression just by falling in love. Lauren Shippen really dealt with the depression aspect amazingly, never diminishing it but always describing it in a hopeful and real way, showing how Caleb couldn’t save Adam from the depression itself but easing it and joining him in the ocean of feelings and letting himself drown in Adam’s blue feelings until he was finding his way out of the water again. The connection between Caleb and Adam was simply beautiful and heartwarming!
It’s quite and intense and different book, but I adored it so much and all the feelings it gave me. I truly took the two main characters to my heart and rooted for their struggles and their romance. I haven’t listened to The Bright Sessions podcast, but I never felt like I missed anything from that to understand the story of the characters. But I definitely need to start listen to the podcast to get more of Caleb and Adam! They are amazing, supportive, kind and have such great humor, I loved their banter and sarcasm.
A minor thing was that the ending felt a bit rushed and open. I would have preferred to give more closure, but that’s just my personal preference.
All in all, this was a beautiful, heartwarming and wonderful read that I recommend for anyone who enjoys a story that makes you smile that is spiced with superpower, queer romance and flirting through playlists.
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All 1 Star 2 Stars 3 Stars 4 Stars 5 Stars Abbi Glines Abdi Nazemian Adam Silvera Adib Khorram Aiden Thomas Aisha Saeed Aislinn Brophy AJ Collins Alexandra Christo Alex Beltran Alexene Farol Follmuth Alexis Hall Alex Kelly Alex Sanchez Alice Dolman Alice Oseman Ali Hazelwood Alison Cochrun Al Riske Alwyn Hamilton Amanda Ferreira A. Meredith Walters Amy Aislin Amy Harmon Amy S. Foster Amy Spalding André Aciman Andy V Roamer Angie Thomas Annabeth Albert A. Poland Ashley Poston Ashley Woodfolk Ashlyn Kane Audrey Coulthurst Becca Fitzpatrick Becky Albertalli Benjamin Alire Saenz Beth Bolden Bill Konigsberg B.L. Maxwell Briar Prescott Bri Spicer Brooke Skipstone Cale Dietrich Casey McQuiston Cassandra Clare C.F. White C.G. Drews Charli Meadows Chris Bedell Ciara Smyth Clarissa Pattern C.L. Beaumont Colette Davison Colleen Hoover Crystal Frasier C.S. Pacat Daven McQueen David Biddle David Yoon Dean Atta Debbie McGowan Debbie Rigaud Debbie Schrack Deborah Harkness Delia Owens D.G. Carothers Dhonielle Clayton Douglas Stuart Dustin Thao Elisa A. Bonnin Elizabeth Acevedo Elizabeth Arroyo Elle Kennedy Elle Wright E. Lockhart Emily M. Danforth Emily Mims Erin Watt Ernest Cline Evan J. Corbin Eve Morton Everina Maxwell Evie Dunmore Felice Stevens Grace Williams Gwen Martin Hanya Yanagihara Hayden Stone Heather Truett H.E. Edgmon Hettie Bell Holly Black Hope Irving Hudson Lin Ingrid Sterling Jacqueline Lee Jacqueline Woodson James L. Sutter Jamie Deacon Jandy Nelson Jax Calder Jay Hogan Jeanette Winterson Jeff Zentner Jen Bailey Jenna Evans Welch Jenn Burke Jennifer E. Smith Jennifer G. Edelson Jennifer Gilmore Jennifer Iacopelli Jennifer Kropf Jennifer Niven Jenny Downham Jenny Han Jeremy Ray Jesse H. Reign Joelle Lynne John Green Jonny Garza Villa Julianne Donaldson Julian Winters Kacen Callender Kami Garcia Kara Leigh Miller Kasie West Kate Larkindale Katharine McGee Kathleen Mareé KD Casey Kendall Grey Kevin Van Whye Kiley Reid Kim Fielding Kim Holden Kim Liggett Kitty Bardot Kris Ripper K.S. Marsden Laura Hall Laura Pavlov Laura Silverman Lauren James Laurie Frankel Leah Johnson Lee Matthew Goldberg Leigh Bardugo Leylah Attar Lisa Henry Lisa Williamson Lisa Wingate Liv Rancourt Liz Plum Lola Noire Lynn Michaels Mackenzi Lee Madeline Miller Magdalena Di Sotru Maggie Doolin Maggie Stiefvater Malin Persson Giolito Malorie Blackman Margaret Stohl Marie Lu Mary E. Pearson Mason Deaver Matthew R. Corr Melina Marchetta Meredith Russo Miel Moreland Mila Gray Miranda Kenneally Moa Backe Astot Morgan James M. Tasia Nancy Garden Natalie Haynes Nicholas Sparks Nicola Yoon Nic Starr Nic Stone Nina Kenwood Nita Tyndall Nora Sakavic N.R. Walker Owen Lach Penny Aimes Phil Stamper Quinn Anderson Rachael Brownell Rachael Lippincott Rachel Hawkins Rainbow Rowell Ray Stoeve Renée Dahlia Rhiannon Wilde Riley Hart River Braun Roan Parrish Robin Gow Roseanne A. Brown Rowan MacKemsley Ruby Moone Ruta Sepetys Ryan La Sala Sally Green Sally Rooney Sarah J. Maas Sarah Waters Sarina Bowen Sasha Laurens Saundra Mitchell Saxon James Serena Bell Shannon O’Connor Sidney Bell Simone Elkeles Siryn Sueng Sophia DeRise Sophia Soames Sophie Gonzales S.R. Lane Stephen Chbosky Stephenie Meyer Steven Salvatore Susan Mac Nicol Suzanne Collins Tahereh Mafi Tal Bauer Tamara Girardi Teagan Hunter Terry J. Benton-Walker Tiffany D. Jackson Timothy Janovsky T.J. Klune T.L. Bradford Tobly McSmith Tomasz Jedrowski Tomi Adeyemi Tracy Deonn Val Wise Veronica Rossi Veronica Roth V.E. Schwab Victor Dixen Victoria Aveyard V.L. Stuart Wesley Chu Xan Van Rooyen Yamile Saied Méndez