Bee Reviews DEFINITIONS OF INDEFINABLE THINGS by Whitney Taylor // I Got Punched In The Feels & I Liked It

Posted March 27, 2017 by Bee in Reviews / 8 Comments

Bee Reviews DEFINITIONS OF INDEFINABLE THINGS by Whitney Taylor // I Got Punched In The Feels & I Liked It

Definitions of Indefinable Things

by Whitney Taylor
Published on April 4th 2017
by HMH Books for Young Readers
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon | Goodreads

This heartbreaking, humorous novel is about three teens whose lives intersect in ways they never expected.

Reggie Mason is all too familiar with "the Three Stages of Depression." She believes she’s unlocked the secret to keeping herself safe: Nobody can hurt you if you never let them in.

Reggie encounters an unexpected challenge to her misanthropy: a Twizzler-chomping, indie film-making narcissist named Snake. Snake’s presence, while reassuring, is not exactly stable—especially since his ex-girlfriend is seven months pregnant. As Reggie falls for Snake, she must decide whether it’s time to rewrite the rules that have defined her.

I received this book for free from the publisher or author in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

5 Stars

Guys. GUYS. THIS BOOK. Ohmygod. Read it. Don’t even read this review. Just go read this book. Please. Shoo. Go. You’ll thank me later.

NO NO NO WAIT, just kidding. Please read this review? You’ll hurt my feelings if you don’t and I’m very fragile right now after finishing this book. So please read this review, then go read this book, okay? Okay. Great. Because, seriously guys, this book was all kinds of amazing. And I really didn’t expect it to be at all.

Definitions of Indefinable Things is about Reggie, who is in the midst of a serious depression. Capital-D, Zoloft-prescribed depression. She keeps people at a distance and doesn’t get close to anyone because that way they can’t hurt her either. But then Snake appears in her life. Twizzler-chewing, full-of-himself, aspiring-filmmaker Snake. Who has a pregnant (ex-)girlfriend. And whether she wants to or not, her life gets completely turned upside down.

I’m all too familiar with depression. And reading about it can be a difficult thing. BUT why it’s difficult can go two ways.

  1. It is not represented well and thus makes me want to toss the book out of the stratosphere and sulk in my room for the rest of the year.
  2. The book gets it SO right it gets too real and it hurts my feels and I need to go build a blanket fort and curl up in it for a few weeks to recover.

This book is one of those rare ones that falls under neither option. Well… Kind of option two? But also not? Because I feel like I have to start off with this first because mental health in books is SO important and it needs to be done right. And in this book it is. It absolutely is and I weep with joy because of it. It did get very real sometimes and punched me in the feels because of how real it got. BUT that was very nicely balanced out by lighter moments and humor and it softened the blow a bit for me which I liked a whole lot. It made the book less heavy emotionally. Oh and no, romance didn’t cure anything. Just in case you were wondering. So again, points to this book for that. But seriously, A++++ on Mental Health representation. All the brownie points for this precious book.

I really had very low expectations going into it. It sounded like it would end up being a super-dramatic love triangle with teen pregnancy and yeah… I was very scared it would end up that way. I’m very iffy about teen pregnancy in books and I loathe love triangles with the passion of a thousand suns. Especially if they’re overly dramatic and done so very wrong (which they often are). But this book wasn’t like that! It never got too dramatic? Like, there is some drama of course but it felt needed and realistic and that makes all the difference to me.

What drew me into the book though, was the voice. The writing. Reggie’s voice hooked me right from the start and I loved her. This book is SO funny. The banter and Reggie’s narration made me laugh out loud so much and I didn’t expect that from a book dealing with depression. Though, to someone else it might not be funny at all because humor is subjective and all that. Reggie’s humor and her voice were just really my thing and I laughed a lot. And I love funny books. I love fantastic banter. And this book had lots of it. It’s 2000% quotable and of course I will share a few of my favorites at the end of the review. Please be patient.

But next to that this book did this wonderful thing where it made me laugh SO hard one chapter and then punches me in the gut with feels, stabs me in the heart and makes me tear up the next. Delicious. I love it. Who needs a heart anyway?

Though, of course, a book is nothing without great characters. Luckily this book had lots of them. Like Snake’s moms were the best. And Reggie’s parents were great too, even though her mom took a while for me to warm up to. AND all the points for this book for giving awesome parents in YA, which I recently shouted about in a post. Also a quick shout-out to Polka. He’s adorable and I want a spin-off about him. Make it happen?

NOW the most important characters. Starting with Carla. She’s a pretty rich girl and used to be super-popular before she got pregnant and going into this novel I expected to hate her because I thought she’d be one of those stereotype characters and I hate those. She was NOT what I thought she would be and I loved her for it. She’s not some cliche stereotype at all. She’s actually quite lovely and I loved her more and more as the book went on. There’s more than meets the eye with her and I seriously shipped her and Reggie so hard as friends. They’re perfect for each other, really.

Next up is my darling Twizzler-chewing Snake. He’s not just a random rich bad boy that knocked up the head cheerleader. NOT AT ALL. He’s sweet and sassy and a bit full of himself but he’s also supersweet and struggles with depression and I felt the strong need to cuddle him and protect him from harm. He’s an aspiring indie-filmmaker, has crappy tattoos, two awesome moms and again, so much sass. I loved him so much.

And of course, lastly, our main character Reggie. I love her. Simple as that. She was super-relatable to me and her voice was perfect. I love her snark and sarcasm and her no-nonsense attitude. I loved how she viewed the world because I could relate to it. Because I’ve been there and I understood what she felt. But she’s also super-funny and she grew SO much throughout the book and I’m so incredibly proud of her. And I need to repeat that I’m SUPER happy that romance didn’t cure her depression. Or Snake’s. And their romance was handled perfectly and it never felt like an icky, messy love triangle of doom. It was sweet and realistic and I shipped them so very very much it’s not even funny.

So in the end, Definitions of Indefinable Things is definitely a must-read for 2017 and will most likely have a spot in my top ten at the end of the year. Unless this becomes a ridiculously good reading year and I read ten books that are so much better than this one. Which would be lovely, of course. But still. Put this on your calendars, people. And please read it at your earliest convenience.

My Favorite Quotes

(These quotes were taken from an eARC and are subject to change.)

He turned to me, earnest and eager. “I think it’s the same way with caring. Caring about things, no matter how utterly wasted the effort, is just a way to survive. Everything we do is. It’s like that old saying.”
“What old saying?”
“You’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t.” He shrugged. “Might as well do, I guess.”
~ eARC p. 41
“You want me to go on a date with you? And you’re paying for the pleasure of my company in ice cream?” “This is called hitting rock bottom. A concept not unfamiliar to either of us.”
“I’m rock bottom?” I awwed sweetly, touching the spot above my heart. “That is the most romantic thing anyone has ever said to me.”
“I came up with that gem while you were discarding my opinions. Yes or no?”
I tapped my chin. “Tomorrow night? Nope. Sorry. I’ll be busy doing nothing and hating it.”
~ eARC p. 29
Disconnect was either the best or the worst stage, depending on how you looked at it. It was numbing. It was staring for half an hour at a spot on the ugly wall Karen insisted on painting yellow to make me stupid (see: happy) while the piano from my earbuds spilled into every bone and vein and fiber. Numb. That was what made it the best stage. It didn’t hurt. It was also the worst, because I could feel nothing for only so long.
~ eARC p. 33
“What do you think?” he asked. I couldn’t concentrate with the crooked bow tie beneath his chin.
“You look ridiculous.”
“I think I look like James Bond.”
“Maybe his deranged stepson twice removed.”
“You’re a harsh critic.” He grinned, unbuttoning the tuxedo jacket to reveal his white T-shirt underneath. “I’ll have to remember to never come to you if I need an ego boost.”
~ eARC p. 159

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8 responses to “Bee Reviews DEFINITIONS OF INDEFINABLE THINGS by Whitney Taylor // I Got Punched In The Feels & I Liked It

  1. OK – you have convinced me – adding this book to the wishilst right now! 🙂 But glad to hear you enjoyed this so much. Its great when a book really connects with you – especially when its as issue based as this one. It sounds like a really comforting sort of read!

  2. Nathan

    You say this book deal with depression well? It sounds like it deals with several issues at once, and that is a good thing. A good review. In case you were unaware, yesterday was Purple Day, epilepsy awareness day. I am reading Teagan’s Story: Her Battle with Epilepsy by Talia Jager. If you would like a book that deal with what it is like to have epilepsy, and deal with those issues, even the mental health accepts of it, you will enjoy this book. You will have an idea of what it is like to have epilepsy. For the record, I even have one of Teagan’s seizure types (tonic clonic), so I really connect with her. Books dealing with mental or other health issues in a realistic way have to do it right and it sound like Definitions of Indefinable Things gets depression right, here is one for epilepsy. I know I am championing it, but epilepsy is personal to me (I have had it most of my life).

    • Bee

      Awww that is why I think books repping mental health and stuff are so important! Because there might be someone out there that feels alone in their situation and then they read a book and are like “hey that’s me!”. That is SO important.

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