The Form of Things Unknown (Robin Bridges)


Honest, nuanced, and bittersweet, The Form of Things Unknown explores the shadows that haunt even the truest hearts…and the sparks that set them free. 

Natalie Roman isn’t much for the spotlight. But performing A Midsummer Night’s Dream in a stately old theatre in Savannah, Georgia, beats sitting alone replaying mistakes made in Athens. Fairy queens and magic on stage, maybe a few scary stories backstage. And no one in the cast knows her backstory.

Except for Lucas — he was in the psych ward, too. He won’t even meet her eye. But Nat doesn’t need him. She’s making friends with girls, girls who like horror movies and Ouija boards, who can hide their liquor in Coke bottles and laugh at the theater’s ghosts. Natalie can keep up. She can adapt. And if she skips her meds once or twice so they don’t interfere with her partying, it won’t be a problem. She just needs to keep her wits about her.

Once again, I read this book with Cátia @The Girl Who Read Too Much, as a buddy read, so check out her blog in the next couple of days for her take on it.

I will start by saying that I did not read the first book set in this universe, Dreaming of Antigone, but I honestly didn’t feel like I had any problems from not having read that one. Maybe if I had, though, I wouldn’t have requested this one…

Unfortunately I couldn’t connect with the writing style of this book, I felt like it was abrupt and it skipped over details and situations. I couldn’t emotionally connect and I couldn’t envision some of the scenes. I mean, sometimes simple things like an embrace were complicated for me to “see”, because I couldn’t understand how she can reach on her tiptoes to kiss the guy, if they were lying down the second before… With this said, this book had a LOT of continuity problems.

Still, I had hope! Both main characters are supposedly dealing with 2 serious mental illnesses, schizophrenia and depression (with a suicide attempt), and yet the representation of both in this book is very poorly done. To be honest, by the end of the book I couldn’t really tell you if Natalie really was schizophrenic, or if Lucas was better, because even though the subjects are talked about plenty, they are not discussed. The illnesses are just used as plot devices and I hated that.

Sorry to be the bearer of more bad news, but I kind of disliked all the characters in this book too. Nat… I don’t even know what to make of her! This is a girl who thinks that fitting in and getting drunk is more important that taking her meds… after she ended up committed because she was drinking and doing drugs, and ended up having one episode. Then at some point she goes to her doctor to up her dosage… what does she do the next day? Yep, she drinks like crazy again. I just can’t… sorry but no!

The rest of the characters had no depth at all, and they all had attitudes that left me at least a little baffled. Her brother David, who seemed cool at start, doubts his sister at every turn. I don’t get it. The supposed “friends”? How did they go from totally unknown people to “friends”? There was no development of characters or relationships in this book. NONE!

So, how about Lucas? I usually always like the romantic interest, so I should like Lucas, right? Well, I did… to some extent. He was sweet and attentive and all, but I finished the book and those, and his eyes and hair colour, would be the only things I could tell you about the guy.

The romance was weak! They were never friends… they go from strangers to totally in love, and I don’t know why, because they never talked at all. Why were so into each other? Did they have anything in common besides spending some time in the same place? No clue!

Overall I though that every single bit of this book had potential: the characters, plot and relationships, but everything fell short and lacked depth. It really wasn’t for me, unfortunately.