Book review: Clean by Amy Reed

Simon Pulse, 2011

Clean by Amy Reed

This YA novel is told with a five-person narrative in addition to the patients’ detailed personal essays and compelling substance abuse questionnaires. While I both like to read and write from alternate viewpoints, I was concerned five would be too much but then remembered how much I enjoyed The Poisonwood Bible. That was also five perspectives being the mother and the four daughters caught up in the Belgian Congo in 1959. Well besides both being five viewpoints, they couldn’t be any more different. These five patients in a rehab center come together not on their own accord but end up enhancing the lives of the other characters, if only for a brief moment in time.

Olivia, Kelly, Christopher, Jason, and Eva have hit the rock bottom of addiction. The individual voices were unique, honest and intriguing and portrayed their distinct frame of minds as they confronted their pasts amidst forced introspection in this new group of strangers. The difficult, often gut-wrenching concepts of the danger of drugs and the necessity of help were well written, albeit occasionally choppy because of the format. But it was heartening to know that there is hope out there, so you don’t have to be alone once they stopped resisting treatment as is common with teens.

All in all, the characters were relatable in this fast-moving story about hope and guidance despite bad backgrounds and experiences. It was reminiscent of the 1985 teen movie, The Breakfast Club as to how the five teens were thrown together, not knowing they needed one another and ultimately touched each other’s lives amidst the harrowing nature of life’s circumstances and sometimes obstacles.

Until my next post, why not check out my YA novels about mental illness, my memoirs, or Native American mystery series on Amazon, or follow me on TwitterInstagramFacebookGoodreadsLinkedInBookbub , or AllAuthor.

My Reason for Starting This Blog

I started this blog to reach out and connect to people with similar challenges in a healthy and positive way. The blog has personal history, ideas on lessening the severity of some symptoms, insight, goals, and therapies for those with similar diagnoses or those with family members or friends that are curious on how to communicate or help their loved one.

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It’s fulfilling and therapeutic to open up about my past, present, and future goals. I’ve enjoyed the messages that I’ve received from likeminded individuals through my books’ contact information. Some of the things that helped me aided them as well. That makes it all worth it.

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By finding articles and researching studies to write my own articles, I learn more about my diagnosis, symptoms, and treatment for my disorders and those of loved ones such as depression, anxiety, OCD, PTSD, eating disorders, self-harm, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder, among others.

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Some people who read this mental health blog are concerned individuals who want to reach out and connect with the mental health community to understand what their children, family members, friends, or acquaintances experience. Some of the earliest posts on this blog are from a few years ago when I started it. My mental health took a downturn for a brief time, and I became distracted. This time around, I’m in a better place and have learned more than I knew before and continue to take part in therapies to lessen the illness. I welcome those new readers and thank those that have written to me about the topics I share here and those in my books.

Enjoyed this post? Why not check out my YA novels about mental illness, memoir writing, or even my Native American mystery series on Amazon, or follow me on TwitterInstagramFacebookGoodreads, LinkedInBookbub, BookSprout, or AllAuthor.

Book review: Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow

Delacorte Press, 2016

Girl in Pieces talks is a masterfully created emotional rollercoaster about self-harm, sexual assault, eating disorders, depression, suicide, alcohol and drug addiction so there is a trigger warning for anyone seeking to read this book. This novel doesn’t romanticize or glorify self-harm and mental health and reveals dark depictions of homelessness and abuse. Kathleen Glasgow masterfully shows the inner turmoil of someone battling mental health issues. The book has its readers walk along with the protagonist, Charlie Davis on her journey from waking up in a Minnesota psychiatric hospital to a sudden discharge back to the same life that drove her there. She should be dead by now.

As the title suggests, Charlie attempts to pick up the pieces of herself and make herself whole again throughout the book. Every time Charlie would go two steps forward, she’d fall two steps back and may not off the happy ending we always hope for in a read that tackles the less spoken issues in society such as suicide down to less triggering topics as our health care insurance system whose lack of healthcare puts Charlie back out from where she came.

As Charlie grapples with toxic relationships, an unfixed past, and an unsteady future, she must make a decision to fix herself or stay shattered. Girl in Pieces is raw, blunt, and acknowledged a lot of the struggles that are normally not written about like the recovery aspect of mental illness and the ups and downs of healing.

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