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Your Voice in My Head

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  2,878 ratings  ·  364 reviews
Emma Forrest, an English journalist, was twenty-two and living in America when she realised that her quirks had gone beyond eccentricity. Lonely, in a dangerous cycle of self-harm and damaging relationships, she found herself in the chair of a slim, balding and effortlessly optimistic psychiatrist - a man whose wisdom and humanity would wrench her from the vibrant and dang ...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published January 17th 2011 by Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (first published January 1st 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Anthi

I'm trying to find ways to describe this book but it's a difficult task because my mind is overwhelmed... in a good way. Emma Forrest is a charismatic and gifted writer, she's also a bipolar. At the age of 16 she was a columnist in The Sunday Times and by the age of 21 a contributor to the Guardian. And then to Vogue and Vanity Fair and The Independent. She interviewed rock bands, writers and Hollywood stars (even dated A-list actors and famous writers). She also published 3 books at that time,

...more
Stephanie
Emma Forrest has a way with conducting a story. Her talent shines as she weaves her memoir into a tale that reads like fiction, yet presents constant reflection--almost as a third party--to her experiences, doing so in a charming and funny, yet heartfelt and honest way. I laughed, I cried a bit, commiserated tons, and just faced the fucking facts: We all have our struggles and living is the hard part; but perseverance is always a path awaiting our pursuit, if we choose it. I think this also sums ...more
Isabel
Disappointing. There's the famous writer who is more gifted than anyone of our generation (whatever that means), the movie star who was her soul mate until he wasn't and a handful of other more forgettable beaus. There are a few oddly placed pop culture references. Forrest comes across as an attention seeker, seemingly more driven to convince us all of her desirability to famous, gifted men than anything else. There were a few passages which were quite moving about her struggles but the emphasis ...more
Sarah
This is one case where I wish we could give ratings in half-star increments - three stars is too much, two too little.

I'm attracted to memoirs. I'm intrigued by mental illness, it's debilitation and it's manifestation: namely, addiction. In the case of this book, said addiction is self-injury and bulimia. It seems Emma's (to call her 'the author' is too academic; 'Ms. Forrest' too austere) initial intention is to chronicle her battle with these compulsions, along with a touching homage to her l
...more
Valentina
Oh Lordy. This book should be retitled: Your Voice In My Head: a Humblebrag in 224 pages.

Allow me to paraphrase...
I am so messed up, it almost obscures how precocious and brilliant I am. I am full of self-loathing and body image issues in spite of being a beautiful, fashionable waif. I have terrible taste in men - the movie stars, über talented writers, and poetic souls i date are all gorgeous (and tall!) but totally wrong for me. My amazing, eccentric, perfect family are stuck with me and my m
...more
christa
My boyfriend had a writing professor in college who said: "Don't write about your dead grandma because I don't want to give you a D on a story about your dead grandma."

I should maybe alter that to: "Don't read memoirs with mentally ill protagonists because I don't want to give someone a D on a story about suicide attempts, cutting and bulimia." Especially not someone who has already been pummeled with toxic internet sledge by Colin Ferrell fanatics who found her too fat, too ugly to be the actor
...more
Saloma Miller
Of all the good memoirs out there that never make it into print, how in the world did this one make it? I skimmed it because I wanted in the worst way for Emma to face up to the truth... to find her Self. To do so, she would have had to face the underlying reason for her self-destructive behavior in the form of cutting, bulimia, promiscuity, suicide attempts. And that is not to mention losing her Self in every relationship and then being completely bereft when he leaves her. The one moment... ju ...more
Sheldon
Your Voice in My Head by Emma Forrest can be very uncomfortable to read, not because it is a memoir about mental illness, depression, mania, cutting, attempted suicide, and death, but because it is a humorous memoir about mental illness, depression, mania, cutting, attempted suicide, and death.

To start, I have a confession to make. I didn't know who Emma Forrest was before reading this book. She's published a few other books, written screenplays, blogs, worked as a journalist, and has been invol
...more
Valentina
I just finished reading this memoir. I received it from NetGalley and have been unable to put it down since I started it.
This is an honest book. If you’re looking for powdered-sugar lies, then this is not the right book to read. If, like a large number of us, you have suffered through major depression or manic depression, this is a must read.
Ms. Forrest writes beautifully, there’s no denying that, but it’s not the beauty of her phrases that captivate the mind, but the spine of truth that allows
...more
Alex Templeton
As someone who spent five years with an absolutely wonderful therapist in New York, I was intrigued by the premise for this memoir: Emma Forrest would be writing about how her relationship with her therapist had an incredible impact on her, something she realized especially after his untimely and sudden death. Unfortunately, while I believe that Forrest intended to write her book as a tribute to what seems to have been an amazing individual, I don’t feel that she succeeded in that task. To me, t ...more
Brandy
Your Voice in My Head is a memoir about Emma Forrest. Her depression, her recovery, her therapist, her bad relationships, and Colin Farrell. Colin Farrel is a huge part of this book, whether the author intended him to be or not. And she can say she didn't, but I think she did. She spends a lot of time psychoanalyzing why he ended the relationship so abruptly and the type of personality defects he may have that will ensure he does it again. From other parts of the book, I get the feeling that she ...more
Jessica
Apparently, I am not hip enough to have known that Emma Forrest is somewhat, perhaps vaguely, known as a music journalist and brief love interest of Colin Farrel. I just noticed her memoir, randomly, at a bookstore a while back and thought it sounded like it had a lot of potential to be touching.

This book is essentially a love letter to Emma's therapist, Dr. R, who passed away without revealing to his patients that he had been fighting lung cancer. For Forrest, and almost certainly his other pa
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Honey-Squirrel
This memoir is a navel-gazing train wreck of obsession and self-pity from a middle-class product of a tight-knit family. Lacking sufficient external reasons to suffer, the author chooses to become her own worst enemy. Mired in narcissism and committed to self-destructive behavior, Forrest details her cutting rituals and suicide attempts and her dependence on her therapist before building a monument to pain out of a failed romance with bad boy actor Colin Farrell. Such confessional works only ser ...more
Alexis
Dear Sweet Jesus. This book was a car wreck. I gave it two stars because I literally couldn't stop reading it, even though I wanted to. Emma Forrest is a journalist who writes about celebrity. She's also bipolar, and cuts herself. In this book, she writes about her suicide attempts, numerous boyfriends and the death of her therapist. She also gets into a serious relationship with Colin Farrell, who she calls her Gypsy Husband.

One of the messages that I learned from this book is that I should nev
...more
Nicky
I love crazy chicks. That's my favorite genre. I especially love crazy chicks who own their crazy, who are like, "I am crazy - hear me roar!" Emma Forrest is one of those girls, and she can write like the dickens when she feels like it. Parts of this book made me sigh with such understanding and other parts made me think, "Holy god, you are batshit."

Basically, she's a depressed, bulimic cutter who dated Colin Farrell, and she manages to make that interesting about 50-percent of the time. That's
...more
Clare Herbert
Spoilers ahead (& this book may prove triggering for some.)

I read Emma Forrest’s ‘Your Voice In My Head’ in one sitting, greedily slurping up her raw, precise prose. I first came across it as a podcast (which I can’t find online) and was instantly captured by the vulnerability and honesty in her voice. It turned up again on Sarah’s list of books.

This memoir details the author’s pattern of recovery and relapse from mental illness, spanning her years as an over-achieving teenage journalist in
...more
Erica
Emma Forrest was Colin Farrell's gf for a year. So though this memoir is ostensibly about her relationship with her therapist, there's quite a bit of CF in there too (though she gives him a pseudonym.) She could have called this "Cutting and Colin Farrell" and it would have been apt. And yet. I read it in one day, in two two-hour chunks. There were many moments of true, beautiful, glorious writing. And she did a good job of making falling so hard for CF understandable. So this book was really mo ...more
Brendan
good book. wafty cover image put me off but this is a wrenching book about mental health and the brilliant people who look after it. what happens when you lose the person whose voice is keeping you alive. a shattering, yet hilarious and poignant little book about it all, and laden with many a hip industry in-joke to boot. highly recommended. BBC.
Andrew Shaffer
A sparse but heartfelt memoir detailing the author's relationship with her psychiatrist, "Dr. R," who she credits with saving her life following a suicide attempt. Psychiatrists and therapists end up with treasure-troves of knowledge about their patients' lives, while patients only ever get the briefest glimpses into these men and women who are often credited with saving their lives. Novelist and screenwriter Emma Forrest started the book as a way to cope with Dr. R's early death; somewhere alon ...more
Josefine
After having a somewhat crappy day yesterday, I read this book last night in one go. It's not that long, but by the time I was finished (and I really wanted to read it in one sitting) it was past 1am. Good thing I don't have to be anywhere this morning.

Anyway. Reading books in one sitting is always more intense than reading bits and pieces over several days with countless breaks inbetween, and it fits the story. I'm not sure if I'd really gone back to it, had I decided to put it down and turn ou
...more
Andreea Daia
******Full Disclosure**** This was an ARC copy, that was received through the GoodReads Advance program. I am grateful for the chance to have read this novel, which I might not have purchased otherwise.
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6/3/11

So far I find this book disturbing to some extent, particularly because I'm not sure if this is really the way the author thinks or just a literary style for describing her fight with severe depression (or whatever was the medical term). If that's what it was intended then it's very
...more
Kate O'Hanlon
When I was 15 I started reading every book about unhinged, self harming and/or eating disordered young women I could find. Once of them was Emma Forrest's second novel Thin Skin. I checked it out of the library a dozen times before buying a copy, which is still, well thumbed, on my bookshelf. All this is by way of saying that it's hard to evaluate Your Voice in My Head objectively.

A lot of the book will seem very familiar to anyone who's read Thin Skin, the main character Ruby was obviously bas
...more
Luara
Emma Forrest (36) é, atualmente, uma roteirista de cinema que mora em Los Angeles. Mas, quando ainda tinha 22 anos, mudou-se da Inglaterra para Nova York depois de ser contratada como jornalista do Guardian. Seu primeiro romance seria lançado no mesmo ano. Era um ano anterior ao 11 de setembro, Emma entrava no sonho intelectual americano sem nenhuma ranhura. Mas sua sanidade se parecia pouco com o sonho.

Automutilação, bulimia e sessões de análise começam a fazer parte da vida da jornalista, que
...more
Friend the Girl
Feb 18, 2011 Friend the Girl rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any woman who needs to know it will be alright
Emma Forrest is my Dr. R.

I first read an excerpt of this book on The Guardian's website in January and became obsessed. I couldn't wait until May for it to come out in the States, so I ordered a copy from Amazon in the UK and didn't bat an eyelash at the fact that shipping cost as much as the book (and for that matter, when was the last time I had paid for a new first edition hardcover book? I always wait for the paperback). I needed to read this.

You see, I have my own GH. He decided to run away
...more
Penny
I devoured this book from beginning to end. Before reading this I knew nothing about Emma Forrest. I didn't know that she wrote a column for The Sunday Times when she was only a teenager or that she had a high profile relationship with a famous actor that left her broken hearted. I knew nothing of these things and yet I was so immersed in reading about her life that I found myself googling things to see if I could figure out who "Gypsy Husband" was, or even "Loom" or "Christopher" or "Simon" (no ...more
Donna
This book surprised me. I was skeptical about a memoir of depression, obsession and attempted suicide but one of my students thought I would appreciate the connections to Hamlet (and Ophelia specifically). After a slow start, I found myself engrossed in the life and emotions of the bright and creative Emma Forrest. The voices of her lost "rock" and then a soulmate/lover remain with readers long after turning the last page.
Elizabeth Emily Browne
This book was so sad. It was about just a few of the problems that people with mental health issues have to face. I liked that Emma is paying tribute to Dr. R. I think he helped her through a lot of things and is something of a hero to the many people who knew him. There was nothing that I didn't particularly like about this book. I love this book because it spreads awareness of mental health illnesses and the fact that there are many not just one. I also liked the way she wrote it with the memo ...more
Tami
I am not sure I would enjoy Ms. Forrest's fiction; I believe I would find it too contrived and clever. I never like when a book reads like the dialog from a trendy movie. And I believe that this author is capable of writing that way - she is, after all, a screen writer as well.

But her personal story. Holy cow. Yes, sometimes her voice sounds like it's been written for the canned laughs. But the story she tells fascinates me. The way she describes her feelings about the events in her life are so
...more
Christine
Rich, vivid, clever and intensely poignant. You will read it fast and find yourself turning back the pages just to reread all the goodness.
Natalie
I read it in one bedtime into late night binge like eating a whole bag of chips or box of chocolates - couldn't stop - thx dear sister for sending - a readable memoir by a youngish person is not that easy a thing to pull off - by a troubled and sometimes troubling woman even twice as hard to make readable or sympathetic - but somehow this story of self discovery by a person who spends a lot of time seeing / knowing/ writing others manages all that and a bit more .

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Emma Forrest is a British-American journalist, novelist and screenwriter. She currently resides in Los Angeles, CA.
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“Time heals all wounds. And if it doesn't, you name them something other than wounds and agree to let them stay.” 88 likes
“When you live with voices in your head, you are drawn inextricably to voices outside your head. Very often the voices work to confirm your worst suspicions. Or think of things you could never have imagined! There are only so many hours of the day to hate yourself.” 45 likes
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