Title- Both of Us
Author- Jonathan Friesen
Rating- 5 Stars
Elias Phinn has always been considered stupid, but that may be because no one knows his vacant exterior holds a gifted mind. A mind that has learned to focus on his created world of Warilia, through which Elias distills everything he sees in order to cope with the excruciating, actual world around him. But with each passing year, the detailed sketches and notebooks describing Warilia have not only taken over Elias’s time, they have become a world he must slip into in order to get through each day. Clara Tobias has been running from her own reality, leaving behind her fragile mother and two siblings in order to have the whirlwind life of travel and adventure she always wanted. She justifies she put in her time caring for others, and that the rest of her life is hers to use as she pleases. Even if guilt won’t leave her alone.
On a flight out of New York—Elias heading home for the summer, Clara on another trip to Somewhere—the two end up side by side. And when their carry-ons are mistakenly switched, Clara opens her bag to discover the histories of Warilia while Elias finds photographs and journals he uses to flesh out the mysterious girl who sat beside him, whom he sees as the beautiful daughter of a Warilian diplomat, making her and her mother an integral part of his entire world.
When Clara arrives at the Phinn’s boarding house for her luggage, she begs Elias to show her Warilia—and he does, taking her to locations that to him are not ordinary landscapes and buildings but epic mountains and massive skyscrapers. But as Clara finds herself further drawn to this intriguing boy, word comes her mother has died. When Elias becomes unable to deal with the death of his diplomat, he and Clara leave on a mission Elias claims will preserve Warilia forever. Though in the end it could be the one thing that allows Clara to piece her own world together.
“Have you ever run from reality? Have you ever run because reality was too much, too suffocating, too….. just”
Both of Me was sweet story of a girl would needed to get away and a boy who dealt with two realities.
At first I was a bit confused figuring out Elias’ different personalities and when he was, “The Other One”. Once I figured the two out, I was roped into this novel! It was interesting reading a story about a boy who has DID and it would have been extremely interesting having a story from his point of view, but I could see it being confusing as well. I also love how Jonathan Friesen wrote about dissociative identity disorder; I think many children who have this disorder could relate to this story.
I felt a lot of this story was about escaping realities, which is what happens when you read a book. Clara has gone on an adventure to escape her own reality of losing her mother and taking care of her siblings. During this adventure she was able to meet new people and escape into Elias’ world. Elias on the other hand made his own world in order to escape reality. His imagination allowed other to dive into his world. He also had an amazing personality where people gravitated toward him.
This was a great book by Jonathan Friesen and I cannot wait to read more from him!