This book is such an emotional ride and I found it near-impossible to put down.
Sadie has been coping with her generalized anxiety for years, but after she watches cops unjustly attack a young Black woman, she is suddenly finding it impossible to walk down the front stairs because “what if what if what if.” As she works on coping and healing and adding new tools to her tool box, Sadie is also trying to use her platform and her voice to bring more attention and justice to Corinne, shining a spotlight on the ways being Black and Brown in America too often results is targeted violence in harassment. Told in verse, this book gripped me tight and did not let go. And to be clear, this is not a story exclusively focused on pain and trauma, but instead a story of reclaiming joy, because Black queer joy is resistance.
Sadie’s anxiety was so relatable and her many panic attacks over the course of the summer were a lot to read. But I love how her story shows her working through her panic and working on her anxiety and having support in her family, her friends, and her therapist. It was so hard to see how hard she was struggling to get back to old routines and the things she loved when the thought of leaving her safe space brought on a panic attack.
I also really loved how this book is so much about community and collective action. Sadie uses Ruckus, an app similar to TikTok, to share her journey with anxiety over the summer and through her lives makes connections and helps people. She also starts a collective action to center and prioritize joy, sharing joy because their joy and survival is an act of resistance in our white suprematist and capitalistic society. Using stories of joy as a way to keep going forward was such a great aspect to use.
Overall I really enjoyed this emotional story and love everything about it. It was definitely not always an easy book to read, but it hit me in all the best places!