My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I’m not quite sure what I was expecting when I requested this book…obviously the title had me thinking it’d be something involving real-life, and then the “movie version” of this life would be the better, more exciting/interesting on. But this wasn’t the superficial fluff I’d excepted, though sure, it was still very superficial in that dramatic way that is stereotypically teenaged.
If I were to sum up the synopsis of The Movie Version, I’d basically just be telling you that it’s about MC Amelia (or ‘Meals as she’s called many times…cringe…I just couldn’t stand that nickname, and couldn’t imagine calling my friend’s daughter, also Amelia, by a nickname that would conjure up images of food…), who pretty much worships her older brother Toby. All she does is talk about how amazing and cool Toby is, and though she supposedly has a life outside of Toby, her all seems to be centered around him. But when Toby stars exhibiting strange, irrational behavior, Amelia doesn’t know what to do with herself. Amelia looks at Toby as the star of her life (mentions of movies and the like are very common between the two), so what is she supposed to do when the star isn’t playing his part?
Amelia was pretty annoying. She took out her anger on her friends and her boyfriend Epstein – whose status she took a million chapters trying to figure out. Seriously, she took about 40% of the book wondering if he considered himself to be her boyfriend, and when it’s FINALLY clear, Toby’s problems get worse, and instead of allowing Epstein to give her support, she pushes him away and treats him horribly. Or whenever her best friend or other friends would try to ask after Toby (who was friends with them as well), she’d shut them out, cause
could ever understand what she was going through…at least, according to her. And then when it’s realized that Toby has a mental illness, Amelia gets embarrassed and continues to lament over how Toby was supped to be so cool, not this person he was now.
I get that Amelia is a teenager, and having relegated herself to sidekick status with Toby, she would have a hard time, but it got to be a whine-fest on her part, cause again, NO ONE could understand what she was going through. Not her father, mother, grandmother, or younger twin brothers, who are all related to him as well…I couldn’t help but think that if Toby really had that big personality in which he was easily loved by all he came across, then wouldn’t it make sense that others would have concern for him, so it wasn’t fair she was keeping everything to herself? Shrug.
I appreciated the author touching on the reality of mental illness, and the fact that it can affect anyone, but because Amelia didn’t want to learn more about what it meant or entailed, we don’t actually get to read much about Toby’s illness and basically have to work with any knowledge we may already have on it (I’m not going to be specific as to what he has, because I feel that it may be hard to go into the book unbiased if you already know). I wish it could have expanded on mental illness more, but I guess I’ll just have to read other books if I want to learn more.
Finally, when coming to the end of my review, I feel like I have to say that the ending of this book did not work for me at all; there were too many things left unresolved, and I strongly dislike unresolved “open” endings. Anyway, not sure I’d recommend this book…I don’t think I’ve spoken very positively of it in this review…
Thank you to Amulet books for this copy received via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.