Review: I Hope You Get This Message by Farah Naz Rishi

Title: I Hope You Get This Message
Author: Farah Naz Rishi
Release Date: October 22, 2019
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 420

Content Warnings: schizophrenia, talk of suicide attempts, suicidal ideation, depression, self-harm, racism, physical violence, gun violence, queerphobia, poverty, cancer, hospitals, surgery

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In this high concept YA novel debut that’s We All Looked Up meets The Sun Is Also a Star, three teens must face down the mistakes of their past after they learn that life on Earth might end in less than a week.

News stations across the country are reporting mysterious messages that Earth has been receiving from a planet—Alma—claiming to be its creator. If they’re being interpreted correctly, in seven days Alma will hit the kill switch on their “colony” Earth.

True or not, for teenagers Jesse Hewitt, Cate Collins, and Adeem Khan, the prospect of this ticking time bomb will change their lives forever.

Jesse, who has been dealt one bad blow after another, wonders if it even matters what happens to the world. Cate, on the other hand, is desperate to use this time to find the father she never met. And Adeem, who hasn’t spoken to his estranged sister in years, must find out if he has it in him to forgive her for leaving.

With only a week to face their truths and right their wrongs, Jesse, Cate, and Adeem’s paths collide as their worlds are pulled apart.

Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound

I Hope You Get This Message is a stunning debut and Farah Naz Rishi has such a bright writing future ahead of her.

Farah’s use of imagery was astounding. I’m somebody that isn’t able to picture things in their mind but Farah made it almost possible. The way she wrote about objects made them almost tangible and the emotions were easy for me to feel.

They were there for a slice of summer, a slice of happiness, packed into a cone. A scoop of forgetting.

When it comes to emotion – I Hope You Get This Message packs all the feels. I was simultaneously filled with hope and sadness and I watched these characters grapple with the possible end of the world. The parallels between their world and ours were so easy to see. In a way, I hate that, because it reminded me how screwed up everything is right now. But it also helped show me that no matter how bad things get there are still things worth fighting for.

Just because you’ve lost all hope doesn’t mean you get to throw out hope for us all.

We switch between three different character points-of-view throughout the story, Jesse, Adeem, and Cate. Each of them brought a necessary layer to the novel and I enjoyed all three of them. They were wonderfully developed and had depth to them – they felt like real people. Their struggles and personal journeys were unique but I loved seeing their stories intertwine in unexpected ways.

As a book dealing with the end of Earth should, I Hope You Get This Message deals with some very heavy topics. The morality of people in an end of times scenario is a big theme throughout. We also see Jesse dealing with depression and going to counseling as well as queer characters not always being in supportive environments. This is a very socially aware story and I was appreciative of that.

Morality should exist whether or not you are being watched.

The only thing I did not like about I Hope You Get This Message is how open-ended the ending was. I actually had to text Taylor and make her give it an ending. I’m an incredibly black and white person so I don’t do well in these types of scenarios but I do respect that some people like grey areas.

Overall, this is an absolutely stunning book that I 100% recommend. It’s diverse and full of characters that you’ll wish you could make life easier for.

A physical ARC was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Additionally, all quotes should be checked against the final copy.

What three things would be on your bucket list if you knew the world might end? Also, I’ve just started using Bookly! Do you want to start seeing my Bookly recaps at the end of my reviews? Let me know in the comments!

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