This week’s Teenfunked Thursday review is both timely – given it’s Oscar week – and important. Tackling mental health from the perspective of a sibling, this is The Movie Version.
Amelia Anderson has always lived in her older brother Toby’s shadow – if their life was a film, he would be the star. Popular, funny, creative and liked by all, Amelia has always been happy to stand back and watch her brother shine.
When she returns from a summer babysitting job, however, Amelia realises Toby isn’t his usual show-stopping self. Amelia must take on a new role and become the star or her own story, in order to help Toby.
The book is enjoyable, although at times the dialogue can fail. You will find yourself liking Wunsch’s characters, and cheering them on.
The Movie Version also provides a truthful and accurate portrayal of mental illness and how it can affect the family and friends of those diagnosed with one. This story doesn’t romanticise the issue, and deals with it at face value, for what it is. Nobody is healed magically by unconditional love or understanding, and the healing process is difficult for all involved.
This book deals with Amelia’s attempt to come to terms with what her brother is suffering from, while she fights a few battles of her own.
While dealing with a heavy topic, this book remains a funny, light page-turner which should prove to be a very enjoyable read for anyone aged 14 and up.