Tick Talk


Young Adult - Romance
250 Pages
Reviewed on 08/17/2021
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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Tick Talk is a work of fiction in the teen drama and social issues sub-genre. It is aimed at young adults and was penned by author Renee Wehrle. The book follows teenager Mia as she starts to show symptoms of an invisible illness that she’s unable to identify. Bereft of support from her family and friends, the growing anxiety about what is wrong with her starts to become crushing until she finds an unlikely confidant in the form of bad boy Ethan, who seems to understand her pain in a way that others don’t. It’s a race against time as the symptoms worsen, and Mia must discover what exactly has started to go wrong with her body.

Tick Talk is a highly engaging young adult novel that does some inventive new things within the coming of age sub-genre. One of the things that I enjoyed the most was how unique the central message of the plot was, setting itself apart from other books in the same genre with its take on invisible illnesses. Author Renée Wehrle is a master at crafting three-dimensional and interesting characters that are a joy to journey with through the world. Protagonist Mia was a fascinating character, and I enjoyed following her journey, especially her developing relationship with Ethan and in knowing herself better. The world around them was crafted beautifully and was easy to envision, making you feel at times like you were part of the story. Wehrle does a beautiful job of exploring and raising awareness on living with chronic illness. I would not hesitate to recommend Tick Talk to fans of young adult novels, especially those looking for an emotional and relatable story.

Susan Sewell

A teen struggles to convince her mother that something is wrong with her body before it becomes a dangerous situation in the young adult novel Tick Talk by Renee Wehrle. Mia's family is very active in softball, and they lead a healthy lifestyle. Once a military nurse, her mother runs the home with strict precision. When Mia starts developing blinding headaches and stiff and painful joints, she is concerned. However, when she tells her mother about her symptoms, Mia's complaints are brushed aside. Her symptoms continue to worsen, and the only person who understands is the school's bad boy, Ethan. Ethan takes her to a therapy group gathering for Lyme disease, and Mia believes she may have found the source of her agony. Unfortunately, Mia is not allowed to spend time with Ethan and must sneak around to see him. When her father has a heart attack, Mia believes their health issues are related. Once again, Mia tries to convince her mother something is wrong with her, but to no avail. Can Mia and Ethan persuade her mother to let her get tested? What will happen to Mia if she doesn't?

Tick Talk by Renee Wehrle is an absorbing young adult novel that deals with the difficulty of growing up and being heard. Mia, the protagonist, is a typical teen and is quite relatable. Her conflict with her mother is normal, except that Mia's problems are extenuating and dangerous. Well-written and absorbing, Tick Talk is a disturbing portrayal of how Lyme disease attacks its victims. Realistically depicted, the symptoms and related illnesses are rather shocking. I appreciated the information and was appalled at how prevalent it is. I know that I will be upping my precautions in the future. The story is emotional, atmospheric, and held me captive from the very beginning. It is a sensational young adult novel that will fascinate those who enjoy stories of teenage heroines fighting to be heard and making a difference.