A high school sophomore discovers that her dreamy new artist boyfriend is suffering from mental illness.
Shy April is devastated when her outgoing and popular best friend abandons her for private school. Enter Jonah, an attractive and charismatic new student. He wins April’s heart by throwing over the resident queen bee in favor of her and inviting her to view his gallery of intense oil paintings. Soon they are inseparable, and April feels even closer to Jonah after he confesses his grief over the recent death of his best friend and his troubled relationship with his distant father. But then April starts noticing that Jonah sometimes seems to see and hear things that aren’t there, which culminates in a terrifying episode where Jonah destroys his own paintings in an attempt to silence the negative voices in his head. When Jonah is given a diagnosis, April is determined to see him through his illness, even at the expense of her own happiness. But for how long? This paint-by-numbers problem novel follows a predictable path that may initially intrigue readers curious about mental illness but will ultimately disappoint with its bromidic dialogue and sluggish pace. Better choices are Inside Out, by Terry Truman (2003), Challenger Deep, by Neal and Brendan Shusterman (2015), or the classic I Never Promised You a Rose Garden, by Joanne Greenburg (1964).
Well-meaning but ultimately unsuccessful. (author’s note) (Fiction. 12-15)