“You can’t ignore the truth just because you don’t like it. It’s true whether or not you want it to be. It’s true even if you think it’s impossible…”
Priya has had a difficult year. She had been on the road to greatness, enrolled in medical school across the country at Stanford. After a bout with Lyme disease, Priya moves back home to recover. Even though the bacteria is gone, the effects of the disease still linger. She deals with joint pain, swelling, and brain fog that makes it difficult to even get out of bed, let alone complete all her courses and eventually the gruelling work needed to become a doctor. Basically, Priya feels lost.
Thankfully, our girl is not alone thanks to the internet. Some of her buddies form a support group/group chat for those experiencing chronic pain, “oof ouch my bones.” Priya becomes pretty close with one of the members, Brigid. They even end up exchanging addresses and find out they only live an hour apart. After some scary morbid postings, Priya and the group are concerned about Brigid’s wellbeing. They know he illness comes about once a month, but otherwise it doesn’t have an official diagnosis. Priya becomes so concerned that she takes her brother’s car and drives to Brigid’s house.
Once there, she finds a messy house, a bunch of spoiled steaks in the fridge, and a giant dog that tries to attack her. Priya ends up calling animal control, but when they arrive, all they find in the bathroom where she locked the dog is…Brigid. It turns out that Brigid’s illness is lycanthropy, and she has been changing more frequently and unpredictably. It’s up to Priya, Brigid, and animal control guy Spencer (Team Werewolf) to find a cure or at least a way to get Brigid semi-normal.
This was a pretty fun story, although a lot of the werewolf details are kinda gross. The chronic pain issues are valid, and it’s funny how lycanthropy isn’t all that different from normal illnesses. Part of me was frustrated with Brigid through a lot of the book because she’s very unpredictable and gets upset, angry, etc…but I think it’s pretty realistic. Priya and Spencer are trying to help her, obvs, but they also treat her like a sick person, a fragile person, and it’s got to suck. There’s also a lot with Priya having to accept her new normal, that even though she may feel better sometimes, her illness will still flare up and never completely go away. Also, this doesn’t really fit but I don’t know how to end this, here’s a quote from one of their friends on medical diagnoses for women:
A lot of chronic illnesses are considered female illnesses, which is honestly why we don’t know enough about them
Women are just expected to live with their pain
I was actually talking to Lee about this recently, you know what she said?
She said that being a woman means that everyone hates your body, and your body hates you…”
Yeah, I’m still here trying to finish this thing…I dunno, just read this book if it sounds cool to you? It’s this quarter-life crisis, chronic illness, internet nerd, werewolf lore thing. Go for it!