Sometimes you’re looking for a light book, sometimes you’re looking for a more meaningful one, and sometimes you’re looking for something funny, you know? Invitation to the Blues by Roan Parrish is one of the more meaningful books that has some weight behind it. I don’t always read blurbs or even content warnings because I know authors that I like and I am almost never disappointed. I’m glad I was warned about this one going in just so that I could prepare myself. Don’t get me wrong – I LOVED this book. But it dealt with depression, anxiety, and mentions of previous suicide attempts, so not the easiest topics. If those things are hard to read about this book might not be for you.

Jude Lucens was introduced in Small Change and in Invitation the POV is all him which is intense because we get to hear everything he is thinking. Which I think was a really great author choice. I usually prefer dual POVs in books but here it is a very effective way to get across exactly how depression and anxiety works. Jude has dealt with these his entire life but also is dealing with the after effects of an emotionally abusive boyfriend. So this POV is extremely effective to have the reader get to hear what is going through his mind at all times.

Representation matters. I cannot express how dead on Parrish got both depression and anxiety. I highlighted so much in this book, which I generally just don’t do. These things are so isolating and make one feel so debilitated and insecure. I literally have never read a fiction book that portrayed these things so matter of factly – but not only that this is *still* a romance!

It wasn’t that I was shy exactly. It was just that the prospect of talking to people required so many dozens of decisions that I preemptively felt exhausted at having to make them.

Faron has his own issues to deal with but he is incredibly kind to Jude and loves him…for him. Their relationship is beautiful and I really enjoyed seeing it develop and how the relationship helps them both grow separately as well as a couple.

I let people do the work for me because I didn’t have the energy to do it for myself.

Yet another aspect this book gets so right is the friendships. I loved seeing people from Middle of Nowhere – Daniel and Rex. I really enjoyed Jude becoming friends with Ginger and Daniel and seeing Ginger’s mother hen personality coming out. Seeing how friends can help so much with depression and anxiety was portrayed so accurately.

But that’s part of the problem. My parents are lovely people. They’re incredibly kind to me. They love me so much. And I can’t be…I can’t BE around them. I can’t be myself. I can’t be what they want. When I’m near them, all I can think about is how I’ve made their lives ten million times harder than they would’ve been otherwise.

I just can’t say enough how much I love this book. I hope that people who could use this book get to read it, it meant the world to me.

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewer: Melinda

Title: Invitation to the Blues

Author: Roan Parrish

Release Date: March 28, 2018

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