"When you're fourteen and trying to deal with the highs, lows, traumas, and humiliations that go along with being a high school freshman, having severe anxiety can become all consuming. Chelsea Rae Swiggett's anxiety has affected every area of her life—school, family, friendships, and romance—ultimately pushing her to lose her voice, withdrawal from everyday life and school, and develop an eating disorder.
The sounds of planes flying overhead could spark a panic attack and something as simple as being called on in class could push her over the edge, convinced that everyone was judging her, mocking her. Faking sickness so she could stay home became her only solution, since she'd rather do anything than face the reality of what happened behind the school's double doors. Rae tells a story all-too-many teens today relate to—what it feels like to see the world through a lens of constant debilitating fear, anxiety, and stress."
Rae profoundly affected me. When I read this book, I saw myself. So many of the author's experiences are like my own; I know what it's like to analyze every word you say, to worry, and worry, and worry, to be labeled as simply "shy" when it's so much more than that. Going on this journey with the author, through elementary school bullying to the trials of high school, was amazing.
Similarities to my life aside, Rae is still a great read. With strong references to mythology, witty word choices, and a fresh, engaging voice, Rae claims its place as one of the best memoirs that I have ever read. Alternately funny and terribly sad, this book completely captivated me. I devoured Rae and then longed for more after it was over.
Chelsea Rae Swiggett's voice is not only frank and unique, it's so very real. Her words spoke to me and changed me, what more can you ask for from a book?