Seventeen-year-old Bo has always had delusions that he can travel through time. When he was ten, Bo claimed to have witnessed the Titanic hit an iceberg, and at fifteen, he found himself on a Civil War battlefield, horrified by the bodies surrounding him. So when his worried parents send him to a school for troubled youth, Bo assumes he knows the truth: that he’s actually attending Berkshire Academy, a school for kids who, like Bo, have “superpowers.”
At Berkshire, Bo falls in love with Sofía, a quiet girl with a tragic past and the superpower of invisibility. Soíia helps Bo open up in a way he never has before. In turn, Bo provides comfort to Sofía, who lost her mother and two sisters at a very young age.
But even the strength of their love isn’t enough to help Sofia escape her deep depression. After she commits suicide, Bo is convinced that she’s not actually dead. He believes that she’s stuck somewhere in time—that he somehow left her in the past, and that now it’s his job to save her. And as Bo becomes more and more determined to save Sofía, he must decide whether to face his demons head-on or succumb to a psychosis that will let him be with the girl he loves.
When I started this I thought, ‘ Here we go, a quasi X-Men wannabe’. But I was so wrong. Bo thinks he is in a school for kids who have powers. He thinks he can travel through time, Sofia can turn invisible, Harold can see and hear ghosts, Gwen can control fire and Ryan can control objects and other peoples minds. Even the therapist in charge of their unit can heal himself. Bo truly believes this. When Sofia comes to him asking him to take her away from Berkshire, from the present and take her to the past, Bo agrees and takes her back to the time of the Salem Witch Trials. As the school morns her death, Bo knows it’s all a show to hide the real truth, that she is back in time and only he can save her. When some people from a government body comes to investigate Sofia’s death, things start to fall apart for Bo, and for Ryan who doesn’t want to leave Berkshire, and what he thinks is real isn’t.
This story deals with mental health issues. The slow shattering of what Bo believes to be real makes for strange reading. You can see that he catches glimpse of the true reality, Sofia committed suicide, there are no powers and that all the kids that are there are suffering from various mental illnesses. But it gets mixed up in his version of reality and gets to the point that he doesn’t honestly know what is real and what isn’t.
I did find it interesting but in places it got very repetitive, especially Bo talking about how the various threads of the time tapestry feel to him. It was interesting to see him fighting what was going on around him. I know nothing of suffering from a mental illness but it seems to be a somewhat glimpse of what might just go on in the head of a person who can’t tell for sure what is going on around them.
I did like the alternating chapters that focus on Phoebe, Bo’s sister. It didn’t contribute much to his story but it did tell of how she felt with him in a private school, the pressures on her to be ‘the good one’ and how Bo’s health affected the family as a whole.
I will admit that when I bought this book, I just glanced at the blurb and liked the bits that did catch my eye, it wasn’t what I expected it to be. I have to say that because of my not really paying attention to what it was about it turned out to be a surprise for me. While some parts were a bit repetitive as I had said above but the last few chapters are truly scary, your heart is in your throat and that made up for the parts that were so-so. Is this a book that is a true portrayal of someone that suffers with the delusions that Bo suffers from, I can’t tell you, but it was a worthy read none the less.