Friday, September 8, 2017

Review: Me & Milo the Great

Note: Top Shelf Text received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own!

Me & Milo the Great is one story I've read this year that was totally outside of my comfort zone, but it's also one that made me glad I pushed my boundaries. Before I launch into my review, I want to share with you the description for this book:

"My name is Holiday Sanchez. I carry a heavy burden. But I'm not the only one. There are others who know what it feels like to remember. Maybe they are the answer. Maybe we can help each other. Maybe I'll finally get past it. Maybe it just takes time -- and a little bit of magic." 

Not much to go on, right? So when the author of Me & Milo the Great, Michelle Schlicher, sent me a copy to read in anticipation of the release, I was intrigued but a little hesitant -- it's hard to know what to expect when the description for a book is so mysterious.

I can't tell you my feelings on this contemporary novel without telling you more about the plot, though, so I'm going to give you a few more details here. This novel follows Holiday Sanchez, a young woman who was just one victim in a terrible act of domestic terrorism. Years later, she lives with the burden of crippling anxiety.

Most days, Holiday prefers not to leave the safety and comfort of her apartment. But each year, on the anniversary of the event that changed her life, she ventures out for an annual pilgrimage to the site of the crime. Except that on this particular year, something is different. In this place where Holiday feels so much sorrow, she meets a new friend named Milo the Great.

Here's what I appreciate about this book: it's a genuine portrayal of anxiety and depression as a result of a trauma. Holiday struggles with daily life and finds comfort in her routines and boundaries that she's set. When Milo comes along, Holiday finds herself shifting her perspective on the outside world and wanting to sustain a friendship. I liked watching Holiday's progress in opening up to the outside world and I felt deep empathy for her character.

What I didn't love was that this book turned out to be about such an intense topic -- and that there was no way for me to know about that just from reading the blurb. It was hard for me to read about the suffering in this book and I could see the novel being a trigger for people who have experienced trauma in their own lives. I'm not saying that this book isn't worth reading -- it prompted me to think deeply about how people (and society) deal with trauma, but I think readers deserve to know a little bit more about it before diving in. If you're an HSP, this might be a book that you want to think carefully about before picking it up. Otherwise, I would recommend this to readers of contemporary fiction who are looking for genuine, flawed characters and plots centered on personal growth.

This title will be released on September 14, 2017.

Bottom-Line Rating: 3/5

Title: Me & Milo the Great
Author: Michelle Schlicher
Publisher: Michelle Schlicher, 2017
Format: Paperback
Source: Author Submission

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