Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “This is How I Find Her” as Want to Read:
This is How I Find Her
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

This is How I Find Her

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  442 Ratings  ·  88 Reviews
Sophie has always lived her life in the shadow of her mother's bipolar disorder: monitoring medication, making sure the rent is paid, rushing home after school instead of spending time with friends, and keeping secrets from everyone.

But when a suicide attempt lands Sophie's mother in the hospital, Sophie no longer has to watch over her. She moves in with her aunt, uncle, a
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published September 1st 2013 by Albert Whitman Company (first published January 1st 2013)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about This is How I Find Her, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about This is How I Find Her

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Philomena Callan Cheekypee
Feb 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: loved-it
This is a brilliantly well written debut novel. I read this in one sitting as I couldn't put it down. The author has taken the subject of mental illness and written it into a beautiful and emotional story.

Sixteen year old Sophie comes home to her bipolar mum having overdosed. Sophie has been caring for her mum for years. Now that her mum is in hospital Sophie must stay with her aunt, uncle and cousin. Living with them she realises her life could be so different without the responsibility of her
Jess at Such a Novel Idea
For more information, visit my blog, Such A Novel Idea.

Why You Should Buy It

This is a book that has the potential to change lives. While it deals with the mature topic of mental illness, it does so in a way that a teenage can get a real picture of what it is like to live day in and day out with someone who has bipolar disorder. It also has a girl trying to come to terms with who she is, all while trying to navigate high school.

My Thoughts

*I received this from t
Maggie N.
Oct 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Sara Polsky’s "This Is How I Find Her" is a truly remarkable account of the hardships that families affected by mental disorders face daily. I literally did not want to put the book down, and that doesn’t happen very often with someone like me. I truly believe that what makes it so special is the tender voice you hear from the author with each page turn. She helps us develop the understanding that those with Bipolar disease are much more delicate than one can imagine. In the book’s case, the au ...more
Ximena Iglesias
Feb 21, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: relationships, family
This was a compelling and gripping read. Sophie has been looking after her mother who suffers from bipolar disorder. Each morning she reminds her mother to take her medication and when she comes home from high school takes care of her, cooking meals and making sure they have enough money to pay their bills. Her life for the past five years has revolved around her mother and her fluctuating moods.
At the beginning of her junior year in high school her mother overdoses on her pills and ends up in h
Apr 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: net-galley
This book should be promoted far more than it is.

As a wife of a husband who suffers with this decease and having two grown children now, I see how the effect is on everyone.

This young girl who has a dilemma, live her own life, or care for her Mother. Its a real life situation that happens more than anyone knows.

I've been involved in the Mental Health side for over 30 years and see many children like this, and many Parents who want they're children to lead 'normal' lives.

I absolutely loved this
Logan LeDuc
Apr 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Please visit my full review at:

This book was absolutely gorgeous. I was so pleased with how it turned out and how the characters grew and changed as the story progressed.

I was absolutely floored with how beautiful this story is and am so glad I picked it up and am able to share with you how much I loved it.
Andrew Mattson
Feb 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This was a fantastic debut YA-novel about a teenage girl whose mother suffers from Bipolar Disorder; it was a quick and fairly easy read that was still thought-provoking and honest. The plot moved nicely but not at the expense of developed characters, and the ending managed to be satisfyingly "happy" while still acknowledging the significant difficulties that lie ahead for Sophie and her mom. Frankly, I think this book deserves a far higher average rating here on GoodReads, and I would love to s ...more
Vanessa Fry
Aug 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book grabs your attention right from the start! Polsky writes, "On the fourth day of junior year, sometime between the second bell marking the start of chemistry class and the time I got home from school, my mother tried to kill herself." Once I read that sentence, I could not put the book down.

This is How I Find Her tells the story of Sophie, a high school junior who, for as long as she can remember, has been taking care of her mother, who suffers from bipolar disorder. After a suicide at
Amanda (Books, Life and Everything Nice)
This Is How I Find Her tells the story of a teen who finds her mother after a suicide attempt. Leila’s mother has bipolar disorder, and Leila has taken care of her for most of her childhood. I like that it’s told from Leila’s perspective; her struggles to balance school, friends, caring for her mother, and trying to have fun like a typical teen. The novel doesn’t shy away from mental illness and suicide, but it also focuses on other impacts the disease can have on a family and child. I really en ...more
Andrea Payne
Oct 03, 2017 rated it it was ok
Most books don't make me cry, but this book was really sad. It's about this girl named Sophie who came home from school one day and her mom had tried to kill herself. She is living in the shadows of her mother's bipolar disorder. This wasn't really my kind of book, I wouldn't recommend it to most people.
Pip van Kan
Jun 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
A good book about someone who has always give herself up for her mother and gets a chance to live her own life. The struggles and feelings are very real and you feel for her.

The reason I don't give it 5 stars. Is that I missed the last special thing, that I closed the book and that I missed the story already.
Oct 17, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was hoping this book would be more about the mother and less about Sophie. It had a lot of potential to delve deeper into their relationship and how bipolar disorder affects it, but instead it was more of a classic YA story. It was fine, but not was I was expecting.
Audrey Graser
Aug 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
Title: This Is How I Find Her
Author: Sara Polsky
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company
Length: 266 pages
Original Publishing Date: September 1st, 2013
Series: Standalone
Where I got it: NetGalley
Links: Goodreads Amazon Author's Website

Synopsis from Goodreads:
"Sophie Canon has just started her junior year when her mother tries to kill herself. Sophie has always lived her life in the shadow of her mother's bipolar disorder, monitoring her medication, rushing home after school t
Marie Linden-Cox
Jul 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Cute story but a little slow in the beginning. Easy read.
Angie Fehl
Aug 27, 2016 rated it liked it
3.5 Stars

In her debut novel, Sara Polsky tells the story of Sophie, a teenage (high school junior) girl living with her mentally ill mother (struggling with a blend of manic depression and bipolar disorder). Over the years, Sophie has become accustomed to being her mother's caretaker, instead of the other way around. She's never had much time for a childhood because it's largely been left up to her to make dinner every night, tend to laundry and other household chores, and to stay on her mom abo
John Clark
Nov 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Sophie's been the caretaker for her mom since she was eleven. Mom, an artist, suffers from bipolar disorder. When she's manic, she's fun and creative, but when she's in a depressed phase, she's barely able to acknowledge Sophie. It's been that way for the past five years. Sophie's lost what friends she had, notably her cousin Leila, who was like a sister when they were younger. Something happened that started a gap between them, one that's now so wide that Sophie can't even talk to her cousin an ...more
Sep 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
I can already tell that This is How I Find Her is one of those books that isn’t going to get the recognition it deserves. This book was really, really good guys! Seriously! This is another one of those books where I need to clarify that while I love love stories, I just generally love stories that make me feel deeply. This Is How I Find Her does have a romantic relationship building, but that relationship is not the focus of this book as a whole. I didn’t quite cry or bawl my way through This Is ...more
This is How I Find Her surprised me in the end. It wasn’t perfect, but it was better than I expected. I remember requesting this, forgetting about it, and then not being able to remember WHY I requested it in the first place because it really didn’t sound like my kind of book. And in the end, it wasn’t, but it was still rather decent.

There were parts of This is How I Find Her that I really liked. Sophie’s dealing with her mother was well done, I think. I’ve never been a caretaker for someone wit
Literary Strawberry
I wasn't sure what to rate this at first. I wasn't completely captured by this book; I didn't feel totally immersed in the story or fall deeply in love with the characters; it was a very good book, really, I just didn't /love/ it. Still, it deals with an important subject that isn't touched on a whole lot, and I think that she did it in a very real, honest way. That, along with the functional writing and believable characters, brings it up to four stars.

The girl's mother in this book has bipolar
Aug 20, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2013, 3-star
Originally posted at Disquietus Reads

When it comes to this book I’ve got some seriously mixed feelings. Having grown up with both a bipolar father & mother, I was looking for, and expecting, a story that I could relate to that would reach me on an emotional level. Unfortunately that was not the case for me. While I could feel sympathy for Sophie, the book failed to pull any emotion out of me until about 2/3 of the way through the story.

The writing itself was average. It wasn’t bad but it was
Amy's Book Reviews
Aug 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Sixteen-year-old Sophie has always been more caretaker than daughter to her bipolar mom--making sure she takes her meds, cooking, cleaning, listening to her problems. When her mother is hospitalized after ODing on her meds, she moves in with her aunt, uncle, and cousin, the same cousin who was once her best friend but hasn't talked to her in five years for reasons unknown. At first sullen and withdrawn, Sophie begins to open up, make some old and new friends, and to imagine having her own lif
Sandy Eichelberger
Nov 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Sophie has single-handedly taken care of her mentally ill mother for the past five years. When she was eleven, her cousin’s family abandoned her and her mother Amy. Suddenly, they were on their own and with Sophie taking care of her bi-polar parent, life became very demanding and taxing. Each day Sophie must make sure her mom takes her meds plus she cooks for the two of them and generally manages the household. It’s a lot of responsibility for a young girl. But when Amy attempts suicide and ends ...more
Molly Brosnan
Aug 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
All of Sophie's life has been about her mother. As long as she can remember, she's been taking care of her mother through all of the ups and downs that a bi-polar disorder can bring. Until one day, when Sophie gets home from school to find the house much quieter than usual. She finds her mother barely alive on the bed with a nearly-empty bottle of pills nearby. After 911 has been called and the house cleaned up, Sophie packs her things and heads to her aunt's house. She hasn't seen her aunt's fa ...more
Nov 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a first novel from an author whose voice I hope to continue to hear. This is how I find her is one book in a trend of books about teens who are coping with broken parents. Sixteen-year-old Sophie's world is turned upside down on the fourth day of her junior year when she comes home to her mother sprawled on her bed with far too many pills littering the nightstand. In a short span of time, Sophie's life of isolation and caregiving is changed completely. Not only is Sophie filled with doub ...more
Sep 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Full review on Reader's Dialogue:

I love this book. It made me cry countless times. Much more than a story about living with a family member's bipolar disorder, it's about figuring out when it's ok to give and give and give to someone who really needs help, and when it's time to start taking things for yourself and step back from being the pillar that person leans on. Because it's really heartbreaking that Sophie has had to take charge of someone else's pr
Aug 19, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: 1-ya
As the only child of a single mother with bipolar disorder, Sophie Cannon's life revolves around her mother's moods and medication regimen leaving her no time for friends or a social life. She hasn't always been so alone. At one time Sophie's aunt and uncle helped out and Sophie's best friend was her cousin. Although they still live in the same town, Sophie feels they abandoned Sophie and her mother. She doesn't understand why.

At the beginning of Sophie's junior year of high school, she arrives
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Susan  Dunn
Dec 10, 2013 rated it liked it
Sophie has spent her whole life caring for her mother instead of vice versa. She hurries home after school each day and cooks and cleans and reminds her mom to take her medication - which means that there's no time for socializing or friends her own age. Her mom spends her days either in bed when she isn't feeling well, or painting when she is. At the beginning of the book, Sophie comes home from school to find that her mom has attempted suicide. She calls 911 and her mom survives, but Sophie's ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Characterization 1 4 Jan 04, 2016 11:06AM  
Characterization 1 1 Jan 04, 2016 11:06AM  
Internal/External conflict 1 1 Dec 09, 2015 10:32AM  
  • Promise Me Something
  • A Really Awesome Mess
  • Kindness for Weakness
  • The Art of Flying: A Novel
  • Since You Asked
  • Golden Boy
  • Sure Signs of Crazy
  • Dead Ends
  • Hate is Such a Strong Word
  • Dr. Bird's Advice for Sad Poets
  • Knockout Games
  • OCD Love Story
  • Bruised
  • Praefatio (Praefatio, #1)
  • Northwood
  • Ruby Hill
  • Living with Jackie Chan (Jumping Off Swings, #2)
  • Runt
Sara Polsky’s debut YA novel, THIS IS HOW I FIND HER, will be published by Albert Whitman in fall 2013. Her fiction has appeared in Fictitious Force and Behind the Wainscot. She is represented by Suzie Townsend.

Sara also blogs for Curbed, and her articles and essays have appeared in The Christian Science Monitor, The Forward, Poets & Writers, and other publications. She lives in New York City.
More about Sara Polsky

Young Adult Deals

  • Bright Smoke, Cold Fire (Bright Smoke, Cold Fire, #1)
    $3.99 $0.99
  • The Gold-Son
    $3.99 $1.99
  • How to Say I Love You Out Loud
    $7.09 $2.99
  • The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Scat
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Chomp
    $6.99 $1.99
  • Nyxia (The Nyxia Triad, #1)
    $10.99 $1.99
  • I See London, I See France
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Fifth of March: A Story of the Boston Massacre (Great Episodes)
    $8.99 $2.99
  • Starfish
    $10.99 $1.99
  • Olive's Ocean
    $6.99 $1.99
  • Rebel Wing (Rebel Wing #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes, #1)
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Little Monsters
    $10.99 $1.99
  • The Thickety: A Path Begins
    $6.24 $1.99
  • Lost Voices
    $5.99 $2.99
  • This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity, #1)
    $9.99 $1.99
  • 13 Little Blue Envelopes (Little Blue Envelope, #1)
    $5.99 $1.99
  • Isle of Blood and Stone
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Loved (House of Night Other World #1)
    $11.00 $0.99
  • Train I Ride
    $6.99 $1.99
  • Haven (War of the Princes, #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Mysterious Benedict Society
    $7.99 $2.99
  • The Immortal Circus (Cirque des Immortels, #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Howl's Moving Castle (Howl's Moving Castle, #1)
    $3.99 $0.99
  • Greyhound
    $3.99 $0.99
  • Annie on My Mind
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Secret of the Sirens (The Companions Quartet, #1)
    $3.99 $0.99
  • I Am Number Four (Lorien Legacies, #1)
    $6.99 $1.99
  • The Miseducation of Cameron Post
    $9.74 $1.99
  • I Am Not a Serial Killer (John Cleaver, #1)
    $8.51 $2.99
  • I Capture the Castle
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Impulse (Jumper, #3)
    $8.99 $2.99
  • Saving Zoë
    $7.80 $2.99
  • Beautiful Darkness (Caster Chronicles, #2)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Now I Rise (The Conqueror's Saga #2)
    $10.99 $1.99
  • Into the Dim
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Curse (Blur Trilogy #3)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Fury (Blur Trilogy #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Crash (Crash, #1)
    $4.24 $1.99
  • Blur  (Blur Trilogy #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Taken (Taken, #1)
    $2.99 $0.99
  • The Fighting Ground
    $6.49 $1.99
  • Vengeance Road
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Ungifted
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Julie of the Wolves
    $6.99 $1.99
  • Storm (Elemental, #1)
    $6.99 $1.99
  • Dreamfall (Dreamfall #1)
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Things We Know by Heart
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Imitation (Clone Chronicles #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Space Between Heartbeats (Betwixt #1)
    $3.99 $0.99
  • The Secret of a Heart Note
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Internet Famous
    $7.80 $2.99
  • Kissing in America
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Every Ugly Word
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, Ship's Boy (Bloody Jack, #1)
    $8.99 $2.99
  • Genesis
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Old Yeller
    $6.99 $1.99
  • After the Game (The Field Party, #3)
    $10.99 $1.99
  • And I Darken (The Conqueror's Saga, #1)
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Ticker
    $3.99 $0.99
  • How To Keep Rolling After a Fall
    $7.09 $2.99
  • No Love Allowed
    $7.09 $2.99
  • The Concealed (Lakewood, #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
“Your mother is going to be fine," the nurse says. I breathe more easily but the word settles into my stomach. Fine. Was she fine before?” 3 likes
More quotes…