Friday, May 17, 2019

Unravel by Calia Read

I was watching a YouTube video recently about a psychiatrist talking about the portrayal of mental illness in films, and while talking about schizophrenia, he went on this side tangent about how he knew a couple patients who suffered from visual hallucinations and part of how they dealt with that was with their pets. If their cat or dog didn't react to the hallucination, then no matter how real it seemed, they knew it wasn't real.

I remembered that video while reading Calia Read's UNRAVEL. I thought to myself, "Oh, man, what Naomi needs is a dog."

UNRAVEL is an interesting new adult book. Read's style, in how she combines mind-fucks and psychology, reminds me a lot of Tarryn Fisher's. Our heroine, Naomi, is in a mental hospital. We don't know why she's there, and neither does she. All she knows is that something horrible must have happened and that she needs to get out to save her two friends, Max and Lana.

This is one of those books where saying too much about it will ruin the entire story, but it has some pretty dark themes - mental illness, obviously; abuse; rape; self-harm; suicide; and so much more. The themes fit the story, though, and don't feel like they're thrown in there for shock value. The reveal, when it comes, is chilling. I saw it coming, but I have a degree in psychology and have read about some cases that were similar to this. That's all I'm going to say.

If you're tired of the typical instalove new adult formula, UNRAVEL is a great way to break the mold. It's dark AF, and a little slow in the beginning, but I feel like it's worth the ride - especially if you enjoy Tarryn Fisher's MUD VEIN.

3 to 3.5 out of 5 stars

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