Oliver Hurst has always been abnormally normal.
His grades are horrible, his best friend just left for Utah, and he’s depressed. His overly religious parents don’t help, especially since they control every facet of his life. One stupid sentence said in desperation gets Oliver tossed in an adolescent psych ward, where his depression and fears become even more of a reality.
When Oliver meets snide, tough girl Lacey Waters he doesn’t think his life could get any better, that is, until she becomes the ray of sunshine he has desperately needed on his cloudiest of days.
I’m at odds on how I feel about this book. I applaud the author for addressing the serious subject matter of teen depression and mental illness in general.
Byrne excelled in characterization. Oliver was a triumph. I felt as if I was in the mind of a 17 year old boy suffering from severe melancholy. I felt his anger and frustration. His relationship with his mother was well played. For a young man, Oliver had a naivety and innocence and he seemed to embrace this given his social surroundings and peers. He was rather mature for his age and articulated his feelings without hesitation, never easy for males especially the younger set. Watching Oliver grow in the days while hospitalized wasn’t overdone, it was full of ups and downs, tragedy visited.
The mental hospital and protocol with staff seemed plausible. The various cast members were numerous and differing to add a lightness as opposed to a heaviness overall.
The ending was a ‘surprise’ not exactly sure of my feelings on this whopper of a twist. On one hand it seems abrupt, on the other hand very high impact. The ending was anything but predictable and will undoubtedly leave the reader pondering and discussing with fellow readers of A Million Little Snowflakes.
Great first effort but a trusted editor is needed and worth the time and investment Mr Byrne. Both parents and teens, young adults would benefit from giving this a read, fabulous way to initiate dialog regarding mental illness and suicide – depression.