Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Tell Me When You Feel Something - Vicki Grant

Okay, so I read the synopsis of Vicki Grant's latest young adult novel, Tell Me When You Feel Something, and knew it was one I had to read! 

Many of the high school students in Tell Me When You Feel Something have part time jobs working as SPs - simulated patients - for the local university's medical students. I too have worked as an SP - although we called it standardized patients. I'm curious too as to how Grant came to use this as part of her plot. It's a great idea with lots of ways the book could unfold - and it does. 

The book is told from three points of view with Viv being at the center of things. She's the 'it' girl - the one who has it all. Or that's how it looks from the outside in. Davida is the girl nobody notices, but she and Viv click. And Tim - all round quirky good guy. Grant has done a great job in creating believable teen characters - the pressure, the angst and the uncertainty of finding your place. The adults in their lives are a very mixed bag.

Now this isn't a spoiler - it's in the publisher's description and is the first chapter - something happened to Viv and she's in a coma. From that point, the book goes back and forth from past to present recounting what lead up to Viv being in a coma. I adore multiple points of view and timelines. There's some epistolary elements as well with police interview transcripts. They all combine to make addictive reading. The reader knows what is going on with every character (including the supporting cast) and can start to figure out the answers to why Viv is in a coma. But who is telling the truth? That supporting cast comes complete with lots of choices for the final 'whodunit'. (I did find the cab driver to be an odd insert) I certainly did have my (jaded) suspicions and in the end was proven right. The icky feel stuck around for a while....There were a few things that felt unresolved at the end for this reader - what about Jack - and poor Eva?

The title is clever - it can refer to physical or mental sensations, feelings or emotions. Take note that there are trigger situations in this book and it would be best for older teens. 


Joy said...

This is definitely interesting. I've never heard of SPs but you've piqued my interest. Curious about the mystery of her being in a coma.

Luanne said...

Joy, the SP thing is a great teaching tool for prospective doctors. I really enjoyed my time working there.