Signs We Don’t See a fast read that takes place before the internet and deals with dating and mental illness. Etta’s father is mentally suffering from something, and it’s taking a toll on her family. He has delusions and is obsessed with the signs around town. With her father not working, Etta picks up as many shifts at the deli her best friend’s family owns to help pay some of the family’s bills. But she can’t seem to get ahead. When she meets Jordan, she finally has something to look forward to each day.
I always appreciate when an author tackles mental illness in their books. While I wished Etta stopped referring to her father as crazy, I appreciate that we see how he is suffering, though we never find out exactly what he’s suffering from. Because Etta is going through a lot at home, she ruminates a lot. She’s quick to judge Jordan and doesn’t really have a reason to. I didn’t much care for Etta’s mother because she is pretty checked out. She depends entirely too much on Etta bringing home food to feed them from the deli. She’s so busy coddling her husband that she isn’t getting him the proper help he deserves. But you know, I feel this was pretty typical back then, especially when mental illness was something to be swept under the rug and not something to be talked about.
For me, I didn’t relate to Etta and Jordan’s relationship because I didn’t feel invested in them. I felt more like an outsider rather than being drawn into their emotions, which felt pretty two-dimensional. But it’s clear I’m in the minority on my feelings for this book as it has some great reviews. Overall, this is a solid read which tackles real-world issues in a relatable way.
Signs We Don’t See is available on Amazon for $3.99.
About the Book
Etta Litali has grown accustom to the superstitious behavior that comes along with being in an Italian family. But when her dad begins to spend his nights stealing signs from every city pole within three miles of their home, her house becomes overrun with dirty poster boards and the neighbors begin to notice.
Stressed her dad will end up on Oprah as the man who hoards stolen signs, Etta distracts herself with a boy named Jordan. Despite the ban Jordan’s clique has on Etta, their connection grows into something special.
Jordan starts to miss school and disappear leaving Etta confused and wondering if their relationship was ever real. Knowing Jordan is hiding something, Etta has to find a way to show Jordan he can trust her or she will lose him. The only way to do that is to reveal to him that she’s been keeping a secret too.