Sunday 5 June 2016

Review & Discussion: I Crawl Through It | Raquel

Four talented teenagers are traumatized-coping with grief, surviving trauma, facing the anxiety of standardized tests and the neglect of self-absorbed adults—and they'll do anything to escape the pressure. They'll even build an invisible helicopter, to fly far away to a place where everyone will understand them... until they learn the only way to escape reality is to fly right into it. - Goodreads

I decided to write a sort of review more like discussion sort of thing. I found this book to be incredibly unique and interesting.
Hope you enjoy my random opinionated analysis of this book!

Note: Any of the quotes I make are from the book of course


First of all what made me chose this book was the summary of the book, as well as the book trailer. Based off the summary I could tell this book was nothing like anything I have ever read before. This is what compelled me to look more into the story. This is when I found the book trailer which was incredibly weird, but yet very intriguing. When I actually got the book I read the writing on the back of the book and it confused me. One of the lines from the back that confused me was “Gustav is building a helicopter. He believes his helicopter is invisible, and because he believes it, it is so.” WHAT IS THAT EVEN SUPPOSE TO MEAN..?? I really wanted to understand the meaning of this odd text and this is when I began to be fully interested into this story. Unsurprisingly this book lived up to my expectations!! The plot was extremely unique and incredibly confusing throughout the story. Even after having finished reading the book I am still not completely confident in my interpretations of the different aspects of the story, but I think that is perfectly okay. To me I feel this book was written in a way where what is actually said is not what is important, but rather the focus is about the interpretation of what is said. Everything seems like a sort of metaphor or reflection for what really is happening. It begins to get difficult to draw the line between reality and fiction. This is what I enjoyed about this book.

The author used multiple points of view to tell the story however Stanzi was the main character. The story was written in first person of whichever characters’ point of view it was for that chapter. I appreciate when books are first person because you are better able to get into the mind of the character and what they are thinking. Especially in a book like this that uses such a unique form to show their inner mental states. In order to really understand the meaning of these forms we really needed to understand the story behind each character and how they think. I think the author wrote it in a perfect way to still guide people’s minds to her idea, but still leave room for personal interpretation.

What was interesting for this story was how for each character her writing style was altered to fit their personality. Stanzi being a biology genius was pretty knowledgeable. When she is speaking about certain things her vocabulary becomes a lot more formal. China communicates a lot through poetry. There are many times in the story where the author uses poems to convey what China is feeling or what she wants to say. One of the poems I liked was:

“How to Tell if Your Helicopter Is Real
If someone can see it every day,
then there’s a good chance your
helicopter is real.
You don’t ever have to see it yourself.
A matter of faith.
A matter of altitude.
Your helicopter is real if
when you fly it,
the screaming stops.” 

In this book each character had their own distinct problem that was conveyed using unique surrealism. Such as Stanzi having PTSD which was conveyed by her saying she felt like there were two of her and constantly feeling like she was being split. It was this unique way of expression that caused some confusion. I feel this book is just really about interpretation and trying to understand the meanings of the language were kind of difficult for myself personally. However as I read on things became significantly more clear. I actually liked the confusion because I found it made me unable to put the book down as I really wanted to know more.

One of the characters who I liked was Gustav who is a physics genius who seems to suffers socially. Throughout the story there are parts where him and Stanzi are together that for any “normal” person it would strike them as odd. Stanzi is a biology genius and sometimes she would just walk over to Gustav’s house to tell him a random fact like “livers regenerate themselves” and then she would just leave. I found these weird quirky moments to be pretty funny and definitely lightened up the mood of the story.

I think I best related to Stanzi out of all the characters. I think this partially because she was the main character but also some about her personality. Through how she talks in the story you can tell how much she deeply cares about her friends. After she left with Gustav in his helicopter there were moments where Gustav asks her if she is alright and she tells him how she is just worried about China, her best friend. At this point they were leaving their whole life behind, but all she was worried about was her best friend. I feel this is how I would be as well, at least at first. My friend’s are a large and important part in my life. (FAITH)

In this story the secondary characters were still very important all for different reasons. On a general level the secondary characters were there to show different sorts of problems and issues. Each character had their own problem which took form in a different way. In the end every character had a role to play with the main character. It was Gustav who built the helicopter that took Stanzi away. China was Stanzi’s best friend, the one person who made her second guess her choice of leaving. From what I understood it was Lansdale who was the one sending the bomb threats that contributed to Stanzi wanting to leave. Kenneth was the one who pushed them to leave and gave them the map to the invisible place. Each character was important in setting up events to happen the way they did.

Something that stands out for me is the invisible helicopter. Of course a helicopter can’t really be invisible so you would think that this is just a creation of the character’s imagination. However, this starts to make less sense when the character’s fly away to a secluded place of no departures. There they also rescue a recently introduced character Patricia who has been forcefully stuck there. So if this helicopter is just a creation of imagination then what is the explanation for this? If someone tells you there is a helicopter, but you can’t see it is it really real? It is these confusing questions that actually make me think it isn’t the helicopter that is the important part. What I think the author is trying to show with this helicopter is the idea with mental illness that unlike physical illnesses, people can’t see them. Just because you believe that someone is perfectly fine, it isn’t always so. I also could be very wrong... but this is just my reasoning.

I think the theme of this book is about the blindness and ignorance towards teen anxiety. The author developed this theme by having the four characters who’s each problem has a sort of build up throughout the story. As the book references, each character is like a bomb whose timer you can’t see, but you know it is counting down. Finally, each bomb goes off. From there begins the healing. For China, Lansdale and Stanzi they all have this sort of sequence in the book. Stanzi’s though is the most drastic. However for all of them, you not only see their explosion, but also the beginning of their healing as everything is now revealed. I think this book has a very interesting story that really helps make you think. It was a touching story, but also funny at some parts. I think the author used the humour to brighten up the story where appropriate. To me this is relevant in my life because I know the danger that can come from being ignorant of these sorts of things. Sometimes we forget that there can be more going on with someone then we realize.

This all is just some of what I think is going on in this story... I honestly could be so far off but I mean does it really matter? I feel that writing is really just to guide a reader to a certain idea, but everyone sort of builds the story a bit different in their minds. In the end I can say that I really enjoyed this book and I highly recommend it! I rate this book 5/5 stars.

Hope you enjoyed my first review of 2016! Yes I realize the year is half over... maybe I will try to do another one before the year is over! Now I have a goal, anyway, Byeee!

Author: A.S. King


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