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Showing posts from May, 2016

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

This is my second novel by Laurie Halse Anderson, my first being Speak. I love that Anderson tackles difficult topics and she puts so much of herself into the book and characters and makes sure that the characters are portrayed correctly and that their issues are accurately written about. So I was very eager to read Wintergirls, although I have also put it off due to my own personal history with eating, not eating, and in general, having a very conflicting relationship with food.

Just like with Speak, I was not disappointed with this book. It is moving and scary. The accuracy of what the main character, Lia, goes through is so jarring.

This book starts like so many others that I have read for Mental Health Month-with the death of a friend. However, unlike the other books, it doesn't deal with the aftermath alone. Lia is a Wintergirl; a girl who is so thin, she's never warm; she is past size 0 and 00; she wants to be the thinnest. Her best friend is Cassie, who also wants t…

All Better Now: A Memoir by Emily Wing Smith

So All Better Now was the only book on my list that was non-fiction, and I don't always like non-fiction books, but this one amazing! I didn't know too much about it going in, aside from the fact that it's about a girl who is a little different who is in a car accident at a young age and discovers she has a brain tumor.

On the cover of the book, there is a picture of Emily at a young age, and despite the sweet pigtails and adorable frilly dress, she looks incredibly forlorn. From that picture, you get a good idea of what will happen in the book.

The book starts when Emily is 6 years old and starting therapy. She talks about how she likes to please her therapist, and really all adults. She doesn't like children; she is easily aggravated by their behaviors and attitudes. She argues with her mother; she doesn't really go into what type of arguments or how the turn out, but it sounds like they are a very emotion driven ordeal. She has a younger sister and a baby br…

I Was Here by Gayle Forman

In so many ways, I hate this book. Cody is so stupid and immature and does not think before she acts. It is easily the most depressing of the books I have read for National Mental Health Month. Everyone in it is bitchy and moody and lies so much. I wanted to yell at all of them.

In so many ways, I loved this book. This book reads like I am watching the lives of these people unfold in front of me. I really felt like a fly on the wall, watching everyone's lives fall apart and come back together. And as much as I hated everyone's moodiness throughout it, that's what makes it so real. In this book, the characters are: upset, depressed, manipulative, insincere, happy, crazy, funny, hangry, tired, worn out, and every emotion that I have ever felt. If someone were to write a book about me, the reader would definitely see all of those emotions in me, including the ones I'm not proud of.

I Was Here starts the day that Cody receives an e-mail from her best friend, Meg, saying…

Hold Still by Nina LaCour

Hold Still is the 5th book I am reading for Mental Health Awareness Month and is a captivating book about a girl, Caitlin, who is trying to survive the death of her best friend, Ingrid, who killed herself at the end of sophomore year. Although the books starts slow, and I was questioning if I would like Caitlin as a character, about a third in, it picks up speed as Caitlin comes to terms with the death of her friend, and learns that life moves on.

The book is split into five parts: Summer, Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer Again.

Summer is short. There is not much dialogue. Caitlin is going through depression, and you can hear the worry in her parents voices, and even in the voices of people she comes in contact with, like a bus driver. And then it is September and she must go back to school.
Fall starts with Caitlin up in the middle of the night and taking a picture of her house and sleeping in her car. The start of the school year is tough. She expects everyone to be talking abou…

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis

Wow! I have finished The Chronicles of Narnia. I can't believe it. I definitely dragged it out, I think I read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe for the first time in 5th grade maybe, but even reading it through this time, I wasn't ready for it to be finished, because you can't read a book for the first time again. But, it's finally over.


In the most basic of terms, not too many Narnians are followers of Aslan anymore, and it quickly becomes a battle between the believers and non-believers. In our world, the Pevensie's along with Lord Digory and Polly find out that a battle is ensuing in Narnia and begin to find their way to Narnia by using the rings that Digory and Polly used in The Magicians Nephew. However, through a series of events in each world, everyone dies. Non-believers fade away to an unknown fate and believers follow Aslan to his land and are saved.

I know I usually go into more details in the plots, but really, so much happens and so many chara…

Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley

Oh man! This book was amazing! This was my first John Corey Whaley book, but it was wonderful! I will definitely be looking into more of his books. The only thing I know about agoraphobia is that it is a fear of places or situations that causes panic and anxiety. I don't know how it comes about or if it is curable or anything else. At least I didn't. Now I understand a little bit about it, and I kinda get it. The world is a really scary place; so much bad happens, I definitely understand wanting to stay inside in a safe place where I feel like I can protect myself. That is why Solomon Reed in Highly Illogical Behavior hasn't left the house in 3 years.

Three years ago Solomon Reed had a panic attack at school He striped off his clothes and climbed into the fountain in front of everyone, and since then, he hasn't left his house; he hasn't even gone into the back yard. And he is perfectly fine with that. Lisa Praytor is a high school junior who remembers Solomon&#…

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

This is the third novel I've read for Mental Health Awareness Month, and this one reached out to me the most. I had actually purchased the book back in March with my birthday money. I have always heard amazing things about Thirteen Reasons Why; it's on a few of my lists: my Must Reads list, my Suggested by an Article list, and Suggested by a Person list. But I have always put it off because, lets be honest, it's a dark subject matter: girl kills herself and then forces 13 people listen to how they played a role in her suicide. But from the minute I picked it up, I couldn't stop. I needed to know why she did it and how it got there; I needed to know each of the thirteen reasons that led to the premature death of this girl. And I would be lying if I said I didn't cry multiple times throughout the novel. This book has definitely changed me.

Two weeks ago, Hannah Baker killed herself. But before she did that, she recorded 6 tapes with 13 reasons why she did it. And…

Schizo: A Novel by Nic Sheff

This was my second novel for Mental Health Awareness Month. I honestly didn't know what to expect. Most of what I know about schizophrenia is from TV and movies, and I know that I should take everything that I see there with a grain of salt. When Nic Sheff started this novel, he did a lot of research on the subject, and so I felt going into this novel that it was going to be more realistic. On the cover, it says "How do you manage when you don't know what's real?" I knew there would be some sort of twist in the novel and I spent the entire time trying to figure out what was real and what wasn't just like Miles, the main character, does. It was eye opening.

Schizo is about Miles Cole, a teenage boy suffering from schizophrenia and suffering with the guilt that he is the cause of the disappearance and/or death of his younger brother, Teddy. He has spent the last two years believing Teddy was alive and that the police just gave up looking for him, but that no…

Looking for Alaska by John Green

This is the first novel that I am reading for Mental Health Awareness Month that was suggested by the Penguin Teen. I have never read a John Green novel before, but I have seen The Fault in Our Stars movie and I know how much I cried during that one and the emotional turmoil that occurred in the movie, multiplied it by 10 and decided that that was probably what I would feel during Looking for Alaska.

The book is told from the point of view of Miles "Pudge" Halter as he starts his junior year of high school at Culver Creek Boarding School. He figures that this is a place that he can start over and make his life something special; he is looking for the "Great Perhaps."
His roommate is Chip "the Colonel" Martin, also a junior. The Colonel takes Pudge under his wing and shows him around, introducing him to Alaska Young, "the hottest girl in all of human history" (p. 14). Alaska doesn't have a filter; loves sex, alcohol and smoking; and has v…

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Silver Chair by C. S. Lewis

Before Christmas, I had never read The Chronicles of Narnia in its entirety, I had only read The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe; I had read that one multiple times, both for school and pleasure. The world of Narnia has always fascinated me, and so I decided it was finally time to read the whole series. So with an Amazon gift card from my brother and sister-in-law, I bought it and have been slowly working my way through it.

When I got my series, it was set up in a different order that what Goodreads listed the titles as. My set was in chronological order, starting with The Magicians Nephew and ending with The Last Battle. Goodreads lists CoN in publication order, which starts with The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. So this threw me off a little bit, because I am a stickler for doing things in order, and this one has two. So I pulled up my good old friend Google and did some searching. On Wikipedia (I know, not always reliable) it talks about how this is kind of a big issue in the …