Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Review: All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

Title: All The Bright Places 
Author: Jennifer NivenPublished January 6th 2015 by Knopf ADD ON GOODREADSYA Contemporary, romance, mental illness,Summary:Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him. Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death. When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.

 I knew from the start that this was a book that dealt with suicide, which isn't an strange topic in Young Adult Literature and I have had my share amount of reading about it and experiencing it in the hospital. But you know you never really know everything about it, it´s impossible. It's a whole new world behind each case, each person.

At first I wasn't very into it. I liked the main characters enough. Finch seemed all over the place and his recount of things hinted his diagnosis at me right away. But it wasn't until he really began to tell his story that I became attached to him as a character. He wasn't a diagnosis anymore, he was a person and a ticking time bomb.

I feel like I could have liked Violet a lot more. To me she was a little bland and a little too passive. I know she was having a horrible time and I cannot begin to think how I would feel if I lost my sister, but I feel like I was just sitting there witnessing everything go to sh!t and it made me feel helpless and restless.

At the end it happened. And I guess it was inevitable and we all need to learn from it. Although it wasn't my favorite book on the topic, I will applaud and support every book that tackles on mental illness, especially in our youth. I don't have any statistics on where you live but when I did my Psych rotation I´d say around 50% of the people in the ward were teenagers. It literally shredded my heart. 

Talking to them you realize they know exactly the stigma that will follow them for most of their lives after they leave the hospital. These books are doing us all a favor. The more we educate ourselves the less weight we put on the shoulders of these people. So if I could advice you to give this one a try I would, even if it's no your cup of tea, at least it would be a good learning experience. I know it will stick with me. Now I can´t think of the wordThe JovianPlutonian gravitational effect without feeling like I´d burst into tears.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Review: Truest by Jackie Lea Sommers

Title: Truest Author: Jackie Lea SommersPublished September 1st 2015 by Katherine Tegen BooksADD ON GOODREADSYA Contemporary, Romance, Mental Illness

 Truest was deep, and contradictory, and philosophical, and I don't think I have ever read a YA book with as many metaphysical dilemmas. So it´s safe to say I loved it.

I don't know what I was expecting because the summary does not share much, so I dove in practically blind. Turns out it's the story of small town girl, West, and her summer before senior year of high school, when she meets newcomers, the Hart twins.

The Hart twins are not only new to town, they are different, they are attractive and mysterious and West can't help her curiosity. She ends up befriending Silas first, and through her friendship with him she realizes something is not right with his sister, Laurel.

Laurel. She is kind of Don Quixote. Reminds me of a story in the Bible, in Acts 26, when King Festus says to Paul, "Paul, many letters turn thee to madness." Laurel read so much when she was a young kid that know she has a rare syndrome that makes it impossible to differentiate if she is living real life or a dream. And believe me, it is more dangerous and complicated than it sounds.

I really liked the whole philosophical aspect of the book. My heart swelled for Laurel and her confusion and sadness. What I didn't like was the way Silas and West's relationship started. I mean, I didn't like that West stayed with her previous boyfriend, Elliot, even when she started having feelings for Silas. I thought that was low and mean. But I did think Silas and West made a great couple, if only Elliot's feelings could have been spared it would all have been perfect.

And the saddest thing, was Whit's story. It was short, he is not in the book much but oh my, did that poor boy had it bad. I was almost in tears by the end when the unexpected thing happens and I thought it would destroy him.

So anyway. It was a well rounded, interesting story. It stepped away from the cookie cutter romance and introduced me to a world of analytical thinking.