Chasing Rainbows tells us the story of Addison Hayes, a seventeen-year-old girl that lost her older sister, Natalie, in a car accident three years ago. Addie is somewhat stable in the beginning of the book, but still suffers a lot with depression, even after lots of therapy and counseling, and keeps a secret that no one ever knew: she auto-mutilates herself.
The story officially begins at the start of her freshman year and two new students threaten the little piece of mind that Addie has: Chase and Chance Logan, identical twins that shake her up, each one in a way. Both start a sick competition for Addie’s attention, making her doubt everything that is happening around her and go even further on her depression hole. Addie doesn’t want this for her life, but she also can’t deny the twins. Chance was her bad boy prince and Chase was the needing attention whore one; and none was ready for Addie’s secret.
After a night in Addie’s place, Chance simply stops talking to her, without further announcements or explanations, showing an awful behavior – and they didn’t even had sex. That was too much for Addie, already so tired of unstable affective grounds to rely on, as Chance just pushed her from his heart and her parents were too trapped on their own grief to remember they still had a living daughter.
Just when everything seemed to be over at Addie’s life, she meets Jake, her best friend Kara’s boyfriend roommate. Their connection is instantly and strong, but will Addie have the courage to move on and be happy?
Few, explosive book! Now let’s go to my favorite part: analysis! Just remembering that this were my impressions and opinion during reading, ok? 🙂
I really loved the book, much more than I expected to. I connected with Addie in an unbelievable level, as it had never happened with another book character before. The book narrator is Addie herself, so there were many things written that I had said myself during life, that I had already thought. This book was too close to home, in a way that made me loose it while I read – I cried, laughed, screamed, replied Addie’s questions out loud. Those are things that I usually don’t do. I’m a laughing person, I think a lot about the story of the book, but I’m never extreme, you know? And, this time, I was. The title may sound a bit abstract, but, on the last chapter and in this post from Oaks, we understand why Chasing Rainbows and I can say that Oaks is totally right. Being addicted to something is just like chasing a rainbow, chasing a fleeting and unique moment, that disappears right in front of our eyes, but you need to have that again.
In narrative matters, the book is good. As I said, Addie herself tells us her story, so it’s possible to dive in her emotions and on the events easily. You understand why she commits the mistakes that she does, her frustration at herself for not being able to control her emotions. Of course, first person narratives have this problem of leaving gaps on the plot without the purpose of doing so, and I’ll talk more about this when I go through the plot itself, but they weren’t serious business.
But let’s go to the characters: Addie is that kind of person that you love, but want to kill at the same time, haha! I loved her deeply as a protagonist and she will always have a special place on my heart. My other favorite ones were: Brandon, the strongest and loyal friend ever; and Jake, the magic boy that I won’t tell a thing about to not spoiler you guys, haha! Ok, I’ll tell you what I wrote on one of my Goodreads statuses: “Jake reminds me of the first fresh breath we take as soon as we exit a very dark and closed place <3”. In the other hand, I thought Kara, Addie’s best friend, too fake. I can’t picture her like a real teen, you know? She’s a nice character, but completely unrealistic. And it’s not different with Devon, her boyfriend and Jake’s roommate. I have to agree with Addie, those two were so sweet on each other all the time that I felt diabetic, haha! I started the book really digging the twins. Then I hated them, went back to loving them and wanted to them to just drop dead, haha! I have a thing for bad guys, but you don’t cross some barriers and they did it, hard.
Now, the plot. It was well constructed and fluid; the scene transition is smooth and the reader doesn’t get tired of the story, even with the strong theme behind the book or with the thousand problems of Addie, as we have the sensation that she only gets fucked up for more than half of the story. Overall, Chasing Rainbows had a good closure and few loose ends – but they do exist and bother me. For example, we don’t know what happened to the twins, nor how Brandon and Cal’s relationship works, why did Miley decided to be “nice” with Addie on her birthday. Oaks presents us to several small stories in the plot, but they are just as fleeting as the rainbows that Addie seek; only glimpses of the reality of the book. But that’s how it goes with firs person narratives: no one knows everything about everything that goes on in the world, haha! However, I admit that I’m still let down by not knowing those answers.
By the way, I already mentioned before, on a review, that I have problems with narrator-characters, but I’ve been biting my tongue on the matter lately 😀
In describing matters, Addie is a queen. She always notices people’s appearances, what they are dressing, how they wear their hair and their cologne. She also is very good at body language reading, it’s awesome. She doesn’t always react on time, but always knows what’s going on there, which feelings are involved. Her sensations are also a strong point, you can feel with her, haha!
I really liked how the book ended. Calm down, no spoilers, haha! Promise 🙂 The thing is, I usually end a book and think “O.M.G., I need another, give me a sequel, dear author, do a sequel NOW!”. I didn’t feel this way. I mean, I would gladly read a sequel if there’s one, but I felt the story so complete, the end of a cycle, you know? Battles like Addie’s will only truly finish in the day that the person dies, it’s true. The shadows are always lurking on our minds, waiting for the right moment to come. The difference is on whether you have the courage to fight this feeling and keep living or not. Death is the easiest way, very comfortable and controlling, so different of life. I know Addie will keep fighting because she finally understood that the past can’t hurt her, that she’s the one controlling her life and has the inner strength to go on. And this is the key to freedom.
Oaks gave voice to many people that suffer with self-mutilation through Addie and I honestly think that everyone should read this book, to understand how a person with this problem thinks and how, sometimes, the sadness just wins. I wish 15-yeard-old me had read this and learned some lessons.
That’s it, guys! Thanks for reading this and I’m sorry if I was a bit too carried away, but, sometimes, it’s impossible to put the book under the microscope and not hug it afterwards, haha! Linda, thanks again for the book, it was life changing.