As patients in a mental hospital, Drew’s and Artie’s meeting is anything but cute. The way that shy Artie approaches Drew over their shared love of art is. The instant connection between the two during the course of their stay in the hospital deepens as they share their fears, interests, and dreams. When Drew’s family disowns them and severs all ties, their time in the hospital is cut short, and they’re forced to leave Artie behind. Together, the two make a plan for what comes once they’re both released. Drew and Artie make it all the way to New York City to chase dreams of school, careers in art, healing, and managing their own mental health issues. With the help of a compassionate psychiatrist, Artie’s parents, an art supply store owner, and a cast of characters they meet along the way, Drew and Artie lock eyes firmly with their future. But will that future push the two of them together? And if so, for how long? Are some wishes destined to go ungranted
📕 Diverse characters
📘 emotional and potentially triggering content
📙 categorized as adult, reads like YA
📗 feels personal, emotional
Drew and Artie meet when they are both at low points in their lives. Their battles may be different but they certainly have things in common. One of the major things that draws them together is their art.
There’s a lot to unpack in this novel because there’s a lot going on for both of the main characters. They are both dealing with mental health issues when they meet and they become fast friends. The novel follows their relationship from their first tender and risky conversations through the growth of their feelings and the confusion it brings both of them.
I think my favourite character was Drew. Perhaps because the novel is written from their perspective, I felt as though I had more of a connection to them. The descriptions and thoughts of Drew really made me feel immersed me inside their mind and their challenges. While that was difficult at times, it was rewarding.
I would definitely recommend this book – perhaps – in particular to someone who may want a greater understanding of what it is like to live with mental health conditions.
Content warnings: suicide attempt (unsuccessful), suicidal ideation, self-harm in past, vomiting, body dysmorphia, bullying, homophobia, hate speech, descriptions of intense therapy sessions, descriptions of child abuse, abandonment by parents, descriptions and depictions of disordered eating, descriptions and depictions of person with anorexia.
I received an ARC of A Firecracker Wish by Ace Jameson from the author in exchange for an unbiased review.