A beautiful, poignant little story that vividly encapsulates character and setting in a few spare strokes. This is the first I've read fSad and Lovely
A beautiful, poignant little story that vividly encapsulates character and setting in a few spare strokes. This is the first I've read from Fran Wilde, and I definitely liked it enough to seek out more of her books....more
I really liked this book. It was a well-paced, quick read. It definitely resonated with me, because I was a teenager who struggled with suicidal ideatI really liked this book. It was a well-paced, quick read. It definitely resonated with me, because I was a teenager who struggled with suicidal ideation for years.
Reading through other reviews, I am stunned by the number of people commenting and saying Hannah's reasons for committing suicide were "trivial." You are all missing the point.
Hannah, as portrayed, is severely depressed.
She does not see the world the same way mentally healthy people do. Events do not look the same to her or feel the same to her as they do to you. I know, because I was a depressed teenager who almost committed suicide over nothing. Seriously. Nothing. I was homeschooled; I never got bullied. The world just looked huge and overwhelming and terrifying to me because I was not a mentally healthy person. It had very little to do with what was going on in the outside world, and almost everything to do with what was going on inside my head.
Even so, there were triggering events. I overheard my grandmother complaining that I was irresponsible because I'd forgotten to do a chore. To a mentally healthy person's ears, that's "Great, she's annoyed, I'd better remember next time." To my depressed ears, it meant that I was worthless and would never, ever be good enough, and that I had lost the love and respect of everyone that mattered to me. I barely managed to talk myself out of suicide that day.
Now I'm in my 20s. I'm not depressed anymore. I've finished college. I'm happy and well-adjusted. But it still chills me to the bone when I see people talking ignorantly and dismissively about a character with mental illness, and failing to see how mental illnesses change the way you perceive and react to the world.
The fact that people commit suicide for reasons that aren't "good enough" does not for a second make it okay to dismiss the reality of their pain. We should all be looking for warning signs, all the time. Even in people who haven't experienced severe trauma. Because that isn't how mental illness works; it doesn't require severe trauma. We should all remember that we can't really know the mental state of the people we're interacting with, and as much as is in our power, avoid cruel acts--even ones that seem small to us--which might serve as the last straw.
Sometimes, there aren't any reasons at all, just illness and a broken mind. That doesn't make any suicidal person's pain any less real, or their life any less valuable. Just because they don't have "valid reasons" doesn't make them not worth fighting for....more
I was fourteen when I found this book hiding on the shelves of my small-town library. My mother had had a psych*Review also posted at Briar Rose Reads
I was fourteen when I found this book hiding on the shelves of my small-town library. My mother had had a psychotic break when I was six weeks old, was diagnosed with schizophrenia and institutionalized. For as long as I could remember, I had been tiptoeing around the gaping hole in my life. I knew hardly anyone else in the same situation.
This is the book that told me I wasn't alone. In beautiful, wrenching, spare poetry, Sones paints a picture of a child's life, lived in the shadow of a mentally ill loved one. Her anger, confusion, grief, love, and resentment bleed onto the page, as vividly as I remember from my own childhood. This is the book that told me it was okay to feel all those things at once.
I'm not surprised to see that this book has stellar reviews and that it has won multiple awards. This kind of story seems to be wildly popular and toI'm not surprised to see that this book has stellar reviews and that it has won multiple awards. This kind of story seems to be wildly popular and to get great acclaim.
Unfortunately, I did not enjoy the story at all. It was relentlessly dark and depressing (to the point that it sometimes felt contrived), with a side order of confusing. It didn't help that I strongly disagreed with some of the moral and philosophical opinions expressed (especially in the monster's stories). This is one of those unfortunate cases where a book is relatively well-written, but just did not work for me as an individual reader....more