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286 pages, Hardcover
First published June 4, 2015
“They talk about “body language,” as if we all speak it the same. But everyone has their own dialect. For me right now, for example, swiveling my body right away and staring rigidly at the corner means, “I like you.” Because I didn’t run away and shut myself in the bathroom. I just hope he realizes that.”
"Life is all about climbing up, slipping down, and picking yourself up again. And it doesn't matter if you slip down. As long as you're kind of heading more or less upwards. That's all you can hope for. More or less upward."
"My chest is starting to rise in panic. Tears have already started to my eyes. My throat feels frozen. I need to escape. I need-- I can't--"
Dad (Voice-over): A PARTY? Are you serious?
Mom: Why not? It would be fun. We used to throw him some lovely parties.
Dad: When he was EIGHT. Anne, do you know what teenage parties are like? What if they knife each other and have sex on the trampoline?
An anxiety disorder disrupts fourteen-year-old Audrey’s daily life.
"I think what I've realized is, life is all about climbing up, slipping down, and picking yourself up again. And it doesn't matter if you slip down. As long as you're kind of heading more or less upwards. That's all you can hope for. More or less upwards."
“But I'm sick of this bloody jagged graph. You know, two steps up, one step down. It's so painful. It's so slow. It's like this endless game of snakes and ladders." And Mum just looked at me as if she wanted to laugh or maybe cry, and said, "But Audrey, that's what life is. We're all on a jagged graph. I know I am. Up a bit, down a bit. That's life.”
“I’ve come to think of my lizard brain as basically a version of Felix. It’s totally random and makes no sense and you can’t let it run your life. If we let Felix run our lives, we’d all wear superhero costumes all day long and eat nothing but ice-cream. But if you try to fight Felix, all you get is wails and screams and tantrums, and it all gets more and more stressy. So the thing is to listen to him with half an ear and nod your head and then ignore him and do what you want to do. Same with the lizard brain.”
"Well, if you loved me, Frank, you wouldn’t get up at two a.m. behind my back, to play online with people in Korea!"
"You adults. You think teenagers lie. You assume teenagers lie. That’s the starting point. It’s infinitely depressing."
"Are you sleeping well?" Mum peers at him anxiously. "You teenagers need sleep. You should be sleeping fourteen hours a night."
"Fourteen hours?" We both stare at her.
"Mum, even comatose people don’t sleep fourteen hours a night," says Frank.