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The Year I Stopped Trying by Katie Heaney

The Story

From the Publisher

Booksmart meets The Perks of Being a Wallflower in this novel of overachieving, existential crises, growing up, and coming out, from the author of Girl Crushed and Never Have I Ever.

Mary is having an existential crisis. She’s a good student, she never gets in trouble, and she is searching for the meaning of life. She always thought she’d find it in a perfect score on the SATs. But by junior year, Mary isn’t so sure anymore.

The first time, it’s an accident. She forgets to do a history assignment. She even crosses “history essay” off in her pristine planner. And then: Nothing happens. She doesn’t burst into flames, the world doesn’t end, the teacher doesn’t even pull her aside after class.

So she asks herself: Why am I trying so hard? What if I stop?

With her signature wit and heaps of dark humor, Katie Heaney delivers a stunning YA novel the sprints full-force into the big questions our teen years beg–and adeptly unravels their web.

My Review: The Year I Stopped Trying

Thinking back to high school, I don’t think I ever could have made the decision Mary makes in The Year I Stopped Trying. To actively sabotage my grades and not put any effort into my assignments or tests. Granted, I wasn’t an overachiever. My parents weren’t ones to get upset or ground me over passing grades (C- or higher). But the thought of not trying wasn’t something that would have crossed my mind. Seeing if I could, like a domino effect, fail, or get close to it.

As a parent reading a novel about a teenager going through an existential crisis is an interesting one for me as well. To see someone who clearly needed some type of support or feedback as to the reasoning why she resorted to this behavior made me pause. Made me consider as a parent what would I do if one of my children felt the way Mary did. And how I provide support.

An efficacious scheme of faineance and zero effort, Katie Heaney’s The Year I Stopped Trying is a coming of age novel with breadth, humor, and an honesty that is refreshing as it is satisfying.

The ending is the absolute BEST!

Happy Reading ~ Cece

RATING: ink blotink blotink blot – Satisfyingly Inked

Publication Details

Pub DateISBNPage CountPublisherAge GroupSource & FormatReview Posted Online
16-Nov-21978-0593118283256Knopf Books for Young ReadersYANetGalley, Digital CopyNovember 22, 2021

Photos Collage Inspired by The Year I Stopped Trying

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