The Chance You Won't Return

The Chance You Won't Return - Annie Cardi

I have mixed feeling about this novel. I listened to this novel on a Playaway and I feel that this didn’t help with my rating of the novel as I felt that the voice of the main character Alex did not sound like a high school student but she sounded like a young child. This difference in voice was hard to justify as her actions and words just didn’t go with her voice. I also felt that Alex handled the situation of her mother’s mental illness poorly and I felt sorry for everyone in the novel as I believe they got cheated for many reasons. They got cheated out on having Alex in their life as she hid from them, they also got cheated out on being informed about mental illness as she tried to hide her mother from everyone, Alex tried to act as if everything was ok when in reality it wasn’t ok and they got cheated out on some wonderful memories with Alex and her family. Alex ditched her friends when her mom got ill as she was worried about what they might say or think about her and her family. Alex’s relationship with her family becomes stressed and Alex herself turns into a different person when her mother became ill, her whole life is changing and she doesn’t understand why her mom just cannot be her mom anymore. Alex wanted the world to see her family as if everything was still in balance but it wasn’t, her mother was now Amelia Earhart. She hid her mother, she tried hard to make things look okay but her mother was now a famous pilot.   Alex needed her friends, she needed someone to talk to but she decided to hold all her feelings and thoughts inside her making the situation much more difficult. Meeting up with Jim, she finds a distraction as Jim teaches her some much needed driving skills. Jim and Alex hit it off and this relationship was the highlight of the novel for me.

 

I started to wonder exactly what year this novel was created for I didn’t think the issue of mental illness would be such a difficult subject for high school students to address, especially with their friends. Alex just needed someone to talk to, anyone as she like a bubble ready to burst. Her mother, why she decided to be Amelia is a quest Alex tries to answer. The family is falling apart and their mother is planning her next solo flight, no thoughts of her children or the house they share together. I’m glad that the author addresses this issue and I am sure others will enjoy this novel but it just didn’t settle with me.