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Publisher's Summary

Soon to be a major motion picture starring Charlie Plummer, AnnaSophia Robb, and Taylor Russell!

Fans of More Happy Than Not and The Perks of Being a Wallflower will cheer for Adam in this uplifting and surprisingly funny story of a boy living with schizophrenia.

When you can't trust your mind, trust your heart.

Adam is a pretty regular teen, except he's navigating high school life while living with paranoid schizophrenia. His hallucinations include a cast of characters that range from the good (beautiful Rebecca) to the bad (angry Mob Boss) to the just plain weird (polite naked guy). An experimental drug promises to help him hide his illness from the world. When Adam meets Maya, a fiercely intelligent girl, he desperately wants to be the normal, great guy that she thinks he is. But as the miracle drug begins to fail, how long can he keep this secret from the girl of his dreams?

An ALA-YALSA Best Book for Young Adults
A Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year
2018 Kansas National Education Association Reading Circle Catalog Selection
2019 Rhode Island Teen Book Award Nominee
A CBC's 2018 Teen Choice Book Awards Nominee

"Echoing the premise and structure of Flowers for Algernon, this frank and inspiring novel shows how a teen's life changes after he is given an experimental medication to treat symptoms of schizophrenia." (Publishers Weekly)

"A brutal, beautiful book that sits right beside The Perks of Being a Wallflower and I'll Give You the Sun." (Jennifer Longo, author of Up to This Pointe)

"This book reminds me of A Monster Calls. I saved the final twenty pages for the next day because I didn't want Adam's story to end." (Peter Brown Hoffmeister, author of This Is the Part Where You Laugh)

"Despite heavy subject matter, Adam is hilarious and infinitely lovable, and the ending is hopeful and realistic rather than happily-ever-after and contrived." (The Hub, YALSA)

©2017 Julia Walton (P)2018 Listening Library

Critic Reviews

"First-time author Walton creates a psychologically tense story with sympathetic characters while dispelling myths about a much-feared condition." (Publishers Weekly)

"A welcome novel that doesn't treat schizophrenia as an unavoidable sentence of doom and that allots friendship and romance equal weight with mental illness." (Kirkus Reviews)

"Adam's witty voice will resonate with adolescents, punctuated by moments of humor that add a spin of positivity to Adam's struggles with his mental illness. Walton does a brilliant job of giving a voice to a population that is often silenced." (Booklist)

What listeners say about Words on Bathroom Walls

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A Wonderful book!

I bought the Kindle version and read it and then I added the Audible version and listened to it. I loved the audible version so much. The narration is PERFECT. It added so much more than just simply reading the book. It's a really moving story and I really enjoyed Adam's relationship with his therapist,and his mom and Paul and of course Maya. All his imaginary friends were entertaining as well. It was just a really good book, I really enjoyed it. I'm glad I purchased the audible version too!!

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Great book

Great book. Really loved the whole thing. Great description of Main character thoughts and good descriptions based on knowledge.

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amazing!

loved it, the narrator did such a great job felt like I was there in the moments

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Fabulous!

Once I started I couldn’t stop! Great job with the balance between funny and serious!!!

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I'm in tears, in a wonderful fulfilled way.

I understand that Adam's story is a work of fiction but, it was beautiful and truthful in the most painful of ways. I do not suffer from schizophrenia in fact, my mental health falls in the (needs help but not drugs yet) realm. None the less I found Adam's story so comforting in the many ways I could relate to the ways his "crazy" made him feel. This is a beautiful story that shines a full but not scary light on mental health. It is so easy to forget that those who suffer are in fact suffering and I'm thankful for a story like this one.

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WOW!

Great job. Strong characters with dimension. The narrator had the perfect voice which made the story more believable? relatable? ALL of the above. I loved it. Thanks.

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Couldn’t stop!

I loved this book so much. The story grabs you and keeps you wanting to know more about the main character and every one in his life. Great writing!

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Trigger Warning

Great book. For those of us struggling, TRIGGER WARNING. But you'll love the story. Thanks.

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Absolutely Wonderful & Heartft

A definite must read! I was able to relate to this amazing book of fiction, however it is very relatable, honest and truth. It definitely shows how there was research done, or the author has a personal experience with mental illness and how in society it is treated as if it is taboo. This is a book I will most definitely be recommending to other people I know, as I will also be listening to it again! Great book, & Subject Matter. Let's start a conversation & KEEP it going!

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"A great deal of creative license."

The author's note in the end is much appreciated. I have Schizophrenia, so I am always interested in seeing how it is depicted in media. As such, this review is going to be full of SPOILERS. Most of us don't have imaginary friends. Some of us see things, some of us hear things, and sometimes both; but it's extremely rare for them to be fully fleshed out like they are in this book. Even more rare for them to persist through medication. Two more things bothered me about this book. The smaller thing was a passing mention of Tardive Dyskinesia when he was at ~3mg of his drug, followed by incremental increases to ~5mg. TD is serious business. It can be irreversible. Any responsible doctor would reduce or change the meds once those symptoms present. They would not increase the patient's dosage by nearly double. No mention of TD beyond that point. Did the author forget? What bothered me even more is that the negative symptoms of the illness got two passing mentions. The first was when he was describing the textbook definitions of positive vs. negative. The second was a brief mention of "six months when I stayed home and did nothing." The negative symptoms are far more debilitating than the positives. Over time, you adapt to the positive symptoms. You focus a little harder on something to avoid looking at things you know are not real. You play loud music to drown out the voices in the shower. You can't really adapt to the negatives. There are times when you just don't function. I wish the author had spent more time considering how her character got through that. I did ABSOLUTELY appreciate the written notes to the pdoc. This is a technique I used in my teen years, too. Even as a 40 year old, I find writing an infinitely more reliable means of organizing and communicating my thoughts. Too often when speaking, I will forget a word or use the wrong one. You can't edit words once spoken. The "love cured my brain disease" was a direction that almost pissed me off, but the author handled it well. Love does NOT cure schizophrenia, but it does make it more manageable. I liked the character's voice. It was very relatable to me. I liked the way he thought about his "crazy." I liked that he didn't let the words bother him as much as people without the disease think they should. I liked the depiction of the step-grandmother. Yes, even in your family, there are people who will say things like that to your face. There are people who don't want you near their children, and would love to exclude you from family events entirely. It's painful, and the character handled it well. I could have done without the teen sex, because I didn't feel it added much to the story. The narration was excellent! I enjoyed the reader's voice, and will be looking for other books read by her. It's a pleasantly gender-neutral voice that worked very well for this story.