Author: Nic Stone
Published: February 28, 2023
Audiobook: 5 hours 41 minutes
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Listened To: July 7-10, 2023
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
The #1 New York Times bestselling author of Dear Martin, delivers a gripping romance about two teens: a certified genius living with bipolar disorder and a politician’s son who is running from his own addiction and grief. Don’t miss this gut punch of a novel about mental illness, loss, and discovering you are worthy of love.
Scars exist to remind us of what we’ve survived.
Since Shelbi enrolled at Windward Academy as a senior and won’t be there very long, she hasn’t bothered making friends. What her classmates don’t know about her can’t be used to hurt her–you know, like it did at her last school.
Andy Criddle is not okay. At all.
He’s had far too much to drink.
Again. Which is bad.
And things are about to get worse.
When Shelbi sees Andy at his lowest, she can relate. So she doesn’t resist reaching out. And there’s no doubt their connection has them both seeing stars . . . but the closer they get, the more the past threatens to pull their universes apart.
Nic Stone likes to take on tough issues and brings them to attention in a YA setting for the YA reader. She begins the novel with an author’s note to bring attention and reader discretion to some of the issues brought forth in Chaos Theory. This one would be for older teens who can handle these issues.
We have Shelbi and Andy and both have a far from perfect life. Both have been through a lot and are going through life the best that they can. Shelbi has been burned by friends before and changes schools for her senior year. She just wants to make it through school and move on in life after high school. Andy has multiple family issues with a politician mother. And he’s an alcoholic who hasn’t come to terms with the past. Both are at a low point and then meet. It’s a unique way they meet too. They become friends, but with the challenges they both face will their friendship last? Or will they become more than friends?
We see both Shelbi and Andy’s home life and we get both sides. I adore Shelbi’s parents and Andy’s are just..Well… They have many issues.
There are many sensitive and triggering issues bravely and candidly discussed in this novel including mental health, alcoholism, teen pregnancy, abortion, parental abuse, suicidal tendencies, and self-harm. Stone writes her novels with a very realistic approach. She is also from the Metro Atlanta Georgia area, so I know about and have been to some of the places she writes about in her novels.
Stone is honest and frank about her own mental health issues in the past while informing us about the brain’s different functioning. Stone can seemingly write it all: Keep writing what needs to be written for those readers who need to be reached.
Nic Stone herself narrates as Shelbi and Dion Graham narrates as Andy. They both did a superb job with the narrations! Stone really brought out Shelbi and part of that is from her personal experiences. And I can’t help but think that Shelbi on the cover looks like a young version of Stone.