Losing Adam

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 19 Mar 2019

Member Reviews

Breathtaking and heartbreaking. Those are the only words I can use to describe this wonderful book, with the amazing characters and the cold atmosphere it gave me!
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Losing Adam 

What happens when the person you love most in the world suddenly becomes a stranger? Adam and Jenny’s world is falling apart. Their dream of attending college together away from home quickly becomes a nightmare when Adam begins hearing the voice of the Snow Queen. Adam’s startling transformation from popular drama student into a withdrawn, suspicious stranger leaves Jenny frightened and confused. How can the person she loves most in the world suddenly become someone she doesn’t recognize? As Adam drifts farther and farther away into the Snow Queen’s mysterious world of ice and snow, Jenny believes she must fight to bring him back or risk losing him forever. Vividly narrated by Adam and Jenny, the struggle to understand the impact of Adam’s mental illness, forces both characters on a journey of self-discovery that leads to understanding about life’s uncertainty, the power of first love, and the pain of letting go. 

It’s a short YA read at 217 pages.  It was an easy read - managed in one sitting and it didn’t bore me. Though I feel the mental health issue could have been portrayed better as well as the relationship between Adam and Jenny. 📚
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I tend to love books about mental health, and this one was good but not one of my favorites. Jenny and Adam meet in high school and go away to college together, assuming they will stay a couple. But when Adam suddenly begins to hear voices and loses focus, it's clear that something sinister is in play. Jenny tries her hardest to help her boyfriend, but his odd behavior both draws her to him and drives her away. Clearly he needs the kind of professional help that only doctors can provide. I never completely connected with the characters or their dysfunctional families, but it certainly touches your heartstrings!
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The take on mental illness in this story was great. The writing was good and the characters interesting enough.
I just missed some more emotion in the writing, it felt a bit too clinical. 
But overall it is a wonderful and tragic story.
Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for letting me read this book.
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This book is told from Adam and Jenny’s point of view. We get to see what Adam goes through as he starts hearing voices, having headaches and seeing things. It’s scary because Adam doesn’t know what’s happening to him and he only tells Jenny about the headaches. He tells the nurse and doctor about the headaches but not about the voices or hallucinations. 
Jenny is a young woman who is in love with Adam and she wants to help him. She doesn’t tell anyone about what he’s going through and that doesn’t help Adam. It’s 
I couldn’t even begin to understand what either of them is going through. It has to be really scary to go from someone who is perfectly healthy to slowly losing yourself. 
It has to be hard on not only Adam but also those around him who know and love him. And we see just how much they are affected by everything. 
I liked the last few chapters the best because we get to see and feel what he’s going through and Adam’s mom writes Jenny a letter that’s very emotional because it says what she as a mother is going through.  
I enjoyed the epilogue because it shows what Jenny and Adam are up to and how much Adam’s life has changed.
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My thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest opinion.
This is a New Adult novel, set in the 1990's,  about Adam and Jenny who have been together throughout high school, and who are looking forward to the freedom of going to college together.  Each of them have less than ideal homes.  Jenny's father drinks and her parents argue all the time.  Adam's father is demanding and controlling and when Adam starts exhibiting signs of schizophrenia, he is doubtful that his son is really mentally ill at all.
When Adam's hallucinations about the Snow Queen cause him to hurt himself, he finally gets the medical attention that he needs, and a proper diagnosis and medication.  Jenny is heartbroken and college is not the same without him.  Jenny writes to Adam, telling him that she still loves him, and always will.
I had a hard time relating to Jenny and Adam..  The writing style was so distancing, and the pace and  flow of this story was continuously  bogged down with  minor details or background material that the author felt it necessary to keep inserting in the narrative.
At one point, Jenny's mother encourages her daughter to move on, comparing her own difficult marriage to Jenny's father, who was a lifelong alcoholic.
" I know you love Adam, but you can't fix this for him.  Believe me, if I thought I could stop Dad's drinking...... All I'm saying is that you can't save someone else.  Not from something like this." Then they go and make chili.  This was the sort of thing that messed up the flow of the story for me.  Sometimes I felt that the story was being written for middle school readers - the language was just too basic.  But here and there would be a few hidden gems.  The Epilogue is the best part of this novel - for me, at least.
I'd give this a 3.5, because of the serious subject matter and that fact that so few fiction novels are written on this subject.
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Jenny and Adam are a young couple just starting out on their first year at college. Its a big adventure, with a lot of change from their small town life , and when Adam begins to complain of headaches and starts to withdraw, Jenny is worried. Despite encouraging him to seek medical help, the situation continues to get worse - Adam becomes moody , irritable and paranoid , and eventually hurts himself.  All he tells Jenny is that the voice in his head, the "Snow Queen" told him to do it.  Finally forced to seek treatment by his worried family, Adam learns that he has schizophrenia and begins taking medication to try to get his life back on track. Meanwhile Jenny has let her coursework slide, too busy worrying about Adam, and when he is forced to withdraw from school for the sake of his health, the separation, though difficult , forces her to take stock of her own needs  and what is really important to her. 
I loved that we were given both perspectives,  seeing events from the outside as Jenny and then learning what was going on in Adam's head at the same time worked really well to show how distorted his thinking had become. I also thought it was really important that the author emphasized that Jenny could not "save " Adam, he needed to take charge of his own recovery. As a long time fan of the story of the Snow Queen, I also loved  how that tale was woven into the book.  The depiction of Adam's illness was raw and vivid and disturbingly accurate. 
I read and reviewed an ARC courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher, all opinions are my own.
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I read this book relatively quickly, however, something just didn't sit right with me. The writing style was very good and I like the story from Jenny's point of view, but Adam's point of view was just very disturbing to me. Now I have never really read anything about mental health/illness so that could be the reason why I struggled a bit or it could be that i recognise it as a very good representation. I just don"t really know what I think about that certain subject. I really like Jenny's character and Adam's was okay but he always seemed cloudy, now I realise it could be because he is ill but his hallucinations just felt a bit weird. 
I really enjoyed the representation of student life, I am a full time student myself and see myself in Jenny, so I really appreciated this aspect. 
This story starts with a couple (Jenny and Adam) going to college and Adam getting slowly more and more confused until he finds out, many months down the line that he has schizoprenia. It also follows both characters' struggles in their respective day to day lives and how hard it is for Jenny to come to terms that Adam is changing and that their relationship is no longer what it used to be or what she would like it to be in the future. 
I think it is an important book to read because of the mental health subject but I think maybe the reason I was blocked a bit in my reading experience was the parallel story with the Snow Queen, I didn't really find it realistic, obviously, I am not mentally ill but I found it slightly hard to believe or picture. I did really enjoy the author's writing and would like to read other books she has written. 
I suppose the reason why I felt it is a bit iffy is simply because of the touchy subject but that should not deter you from reading it because i generally did really enjoy the story, and especially the end. I gave it 3,75 stars out of 5.
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I wanted to love it but I just didn't. The idea of this book is so beautifully heartbreaking and soul wrenching, but it missed its mark with me. Adam's situation is supposed to be sad...but where is all the emotion? I didn't have a genuine care for the characters and found Jenny to be selfish and annoying. I think if she whined a little less, I would be more interested in the book, but I hate how her attitude completely overshadowed Adam's mental illness. The setting is great, the story line is great, but I feel that the characters could use some more depth to turn it into more of a page turner.
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Great read. The author wrote a story that was interesting and moved at a pace that kept me engaged. The characters were easy to invest in.
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This story was really good. There was a few times I found myself skimming with details, but the take it took on mental illness was so good.
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This story has a deep dark side along with a fairy tale.
Adam is starting college and is into drama and stage plays. He is very intelligent and comes from a nice home with a strict father. He meets Jenny and loves her from the moment he sets eyes on her. She is going to the same college and they make great plans together for when they both finally leave home. Then Adam life gets completely turned around when he starts hearing voices, in particular the voice of the Snow Queen. His whole demeanor changes and he seems to turn away from Jenny who is both hurt and mystified. 
This story takes us on Adam's sad and troubling journey, his diagnosis and how it completely changed him.
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*Thank you Netgalley for this arc.*

I had to DNF this. I wasn't really connecting to the characters at all and so it was hard for me to continue. I read about 30 or so pages in and really I didn't know anything about the characters other than:

Adam loves theater and acting and wants to be an actor. 
Jenny...worked backstage on plays working with costume management and that's how they both met. She likes to read. 

That's pretty much all I know. I'll be talking about my view *from the parts that I read, not the parts that I didn't read* So if something is later explained but hasn't been explained yet, that's why I've mentioned it. 

As far as the beginning of the book, Jenny is super dependent on Adam. It's like she can't do anything properly if he isn't around and that's super annoying. She couldn't even sit through a college orientation meeting without him cause she felt like something was off. 

Also, we are clearly told about what Adam wants to do and it's pretty obvious he must be in college preparing to work toward acting whereas, with Jenny, we don't even know what she wants to do or why she is at college other than she wanted to be there with Adam. Of course. 

We know that Jenny's parents fight all the time so why they are still together is beyond me but we know nothing at all about Adam's parents or what his home life was like. 

Adam's illness seems to spring up out of nowhere and this part I didn't like. It didn't seem realistic to me. I feel like the build-up should have been gradual or already existent prior to when we are introduced to it. We are told when he starts feeling weird in his dorm room but he was clearly irritated before that happened so it had to have been before that even though he says that's when it started. 

The story has just confused me a bit so far and it's very shallow. Not in depth at all and I couldn't even reach far into the story to learn more about the mental illness part but I've heard it's more a story on how obsessive Jenny is for Adam and her wanting him back for herself other than just wanting him to be better in general.
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It starts out as an average teen romance but then turns very real as the subject of mental illness is portrayed.  An important book that realistically captures how loved ones have to deal with a disease that we still don’t know much about.  I’ve had to deal with this in my own life and I really appreciate how this author was careful yet precise on how she describes what Adam is going through.  It was painful for me to read (some parts) because my son didn’t survive his battle.  I really hope this book gets the attention it deserves.  The opportunity to open any dialogue is priceless. Thank you for this book.
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I want to thank Netgalley for providing me an Arc of this book in exchange for my honest review.

I really enjoyed this book.
This is such a touching and heartfelt story.
It really draws a picture of mental illness in an extremely compassionate and caring way.
Adam was an amazing character I found myself fighting for him the whole way through the book.
I give it 4 stars.
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I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I have put off writing this review because I have been very apprehensive about what to say. I wanted to approach this book and its subsequent review in much the same way I do with every other book, but the subject matter of Losing Adam makes it hard to do so. I want to make very clear that the opinions and beliefs that I am about to write here reflect on this book and the way it's written, not mental illness itself. I am in no way an expert on mental illness or schizophrenia but I did begin this book with an expectation of what I wanted to see in the quality of the writing and story lines in Losing Adam. The same expectation that I hold every book to regardless of how delicate the subject matter may be. Unfortunately, Losing Adam just didn't do it for me.

I found the writing in Losing Adam to feel cold and impersonal. We don't get much of a view into who Adam is or who Jenny is. We get taken on a vague walk through their day-to-day lives once they arrive for their first day of college. Without a compelling backstory - specifically in this case, one that provides more detail on the actions and feelings of both of their inadequate sets of parents and why they aren't great parents - there is nothing for the reader to relate to. The writing of both Adam and Jenny made it impossible for me to form that connection with them on a deeper level that I've come to expect when reading any book. 

I also had the most difficult time with the way the author had Jenny deal with Adam's struggles. It made no sense to me that she would implore him to go to a nurse for help but not really follow up with him at all. Jenny then found a specific diagnosis of schizophrenia that fit everything she saw Adam going through, but said nothing to anybody about it. It's inconceivable to me that someone could watch the person they love the most digress from their regular behaviour and retreat into themselves so much that they become a shell of who they used to be and yet not push harder to get them help. Jenny's reaction, or non-reaction as it were, to Adam's suffering was probably what ruined this book for me the most. I can deal with not connecting with the characters, I cannot deal with them not connecting with each other. 

I began to wonder if maybe the book had been written in this aloof manner on purpose. Maybe the writing was supposed to throw off the reader and make it easier for them to imagine themselves in Adam's cold, lonely and confusing world with the voice of the Snow Queen guiding him. Maybe there was some hidden genius going on that I just hadn't been made aware of yet. But the further I got into the book the more I lost faith in that theory. Even at the end where there is a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel the climate of the book was so ominous that I didn't feel any hope for Adam at all. 



The redeeming factor of this book was that while the author may have put the quality of her writing second in this book, she definitely put the affects of schizophrenia and mental illness first. I learned a lot about the journey that one goes through both on the search for a cause/diagnosis as well as through the treatment and rehabilitation they may also experience. In truth, it terrified me. There was so much unknown in Adam's story and with Adam's disease that I felt as though his case was completely futile. I can only imagine what such a thing would feel like if it were to personally affect me in real life. Adam's point of view during his psychotic breaks was devastating and so well written that, as bad as it is to say, I almost looked forward to the glimpses into what mental illness looked like in his case. It was staggering and heart breaking.

Suffice it to say that while I immensely enjoyed the very real and very raw look into mental illness and the effect it has, on both the person suffering it first hand as well as their family and friends, I did not enjoy the book itself. There was a lack of character growth and plot that I had a hard time getting through, and the book could do with a good edit. The format of it was off, there were spelling errors and some sentence fonts were randomly bold halfway through.
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Losing Adam was a beautiful story about a terrifying mental illness. The story is told from Adam and Jenny's points of view as they begin their college life together and Adam is taken by Schizophrenia. The story shows the struggle Adam faces as he tries to figure out what is real and what is not. Jenny his girlfriend since 9th grade sees the changes in him but does not know what is happening. When Adam confides in her about hearing voices Jenny agrees to not tell anyone. We even get a glimpse at what the parents go through as well. This book tries to help us understand a little bit of what someone suffering from this devastating disease can experience.
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Wow... Losing Adam is frighteningly real. This is the first book I've read that portrays mental illness and all it's horrifying aspects realistically without making a character quirk or playing it down and romanticizing it. I would have given it five stars, but I think we were too focused on how Adam's Schizophrenia affected Jenny rather than Adam himself. I do recognize that mental illness affects loved ones as well, but I feel like we need to start focusing on the victims themselves since they are the ones to get the worst of it.
It's scary how close to home Adam's suffering hit. I myself was a victim of mental illness, I was "lucky" enough for it to be depression and severe anxiety (several different types it turns out) and not Schizophrenia, and in the sequences where he was feeling paranoid about people watching him, hating him and wanting to kill him... I could really Identify with that. 
I applaud Adrienne Clarke for delivering such a raw and realistic sight into mental illness, and hope others will learn how to do so in the future.
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Losing Adam follows two young college students Jenny and Adam, and the struggles for Adams mental illness with schizophrenia.

While the like the story of Jenny and Adam individually, i felt like I didn't feel the connection between the two characters themselves. I also wish I would of seen more support from Jenny after Adam diagnosis.

The ending and epilogue also fell flat me. Overall, i don't think I could recommend this. 

Thank you net galley and the publisher for allowing to read this ebook in exchange for an honest review.
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