Life Unaware by Cole Gibsen
The realness of this book is uncanny.
This story is about the class mean girl – think Regina George except without the Cool Mom and has Crazy Strict Mom. Regan is the classic mean girl trope: pretty, perfect, and a blonde cheerleader. Except she has a darker side to her: she suffers from panic attacks because her government mom demands too much from her. When all of the nasty texts that Regan has sent in the past are plastered throughout the school, things go from bad to even worse for Regan. Can she manage to salvage her damaged reputation before she has a full mental break?
Truthfully, I wasn’t expecting too much from this book. I hadn’t heard about it before finding it on a book closeout website (Bookoutlet is epic for finding super cheap books), and the summary honestly seemed like it could either way. Like a Mean Girls 2.0 or some intense soul-searching loveliness.
Instead, what I found in this book was quite surprising and I found myself feeling things I wasn’t expecting. There was a realness to this book that shocked me. Girls can be so vicious and cruel especially in high school, and I think it was interesting to see from a bully’s point of view. You never know another person’s demons and what drives them to do something and this showcases that perfectly. It was a way to show that it is true that every villain really does have a backstory and that everyone has a story – even the meanest people out there. How many people have sent out a nasty text, never expecting everyone to ever see it? This was definitely a wonderful way to show the consequences of actions in the real world, and I thought it was such a great teaching tool.
I’ve never had panic attacks or dealt with anxiety in the way that Regan has. However, it did seem very realistic to me how it was portrayed in this novel. The author didn’t just give Regan a disorder to make her “damaged” but it really played into the novel the way it was supposed to. It was interesting to see just what this disorder can do to a person, and I felt so much for Regan.
What was beautiful was the growth that Regan did and how she saw her flaws and was determined to fix them even though she didn’t know how. Her thought processes while not perfect were honest and what real people go through. The relationship between her and Payton and Logan were wonderful and I truly connected with each of the very flawed characters.
This was a very heart-felt story and I would definitely recommend.
Five out of Five Crowns!
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