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A Note of Madness

(Flynn Laukonen #1)

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  910 ratings  ·  120 reviews
Why is this happening to me? he asked himself desperately. What is wrong with me?

Life as a student should be good for Flynn. He's one of the top pianists at the Royal College of Music, he has been put forward for an opportunity-of-a-lifetime concert, and he's got great friends. But beneath the surface, he's falling apart.

On a good day he feels full of energy and life, but
Paperback, 305 pages
Published February 15th 2007 by Definitions (Young Adult)
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Average rating 3.93  · 
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 ·  910 ratings  ·  120 reviews

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May 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: medical, ya, udate
A few months ago, I read Ms. Suzuma's book, Forbidden - which was the first book I've ever read that made me cry (not just a bit of moisture, full on tears!). Immediately I went to see what other work she had published, and picked up A Note of Madness, her debut novel.

I knew from the beginning this book would be another tough read, but it was so worthwhile. Ms. Suzuma writes with an intensity that is impossible to walk away from - I was incredibly emotionally invested in this book right from the
Dear Tabitha, thank you for sending me such a fabulous book!

A Note of Madness is a compelling story, very moving, heart-breaking, emotional and a gripping read!

For someone who works with young people in education I found this story very helpful and informative on the subject of mental illness.

Tabitha loves to chalenge herself with taboo themes. Her style of writing totally draws you in to Flynn's world and makes you really understand how he is feeling. Honestly and beautifully written.

Annie Brewer
Dec 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fans of Forbidden and Tabitha Suzuma
WOW! WOW! WOW!!!! This was awesome awesome awesome!!!! I read this in 24 hours and I was sucked in from the start. It's amazing and emotional and shows you firsthand what people with depression and bipolar go through. Their lives are so difficult and hard to imagine. I went through the highs and lows that Flynn went through. Me heart broke for him over and over again. I cried and stared wide-eyed at my kindle, my heart raced so fast at certain parts at his thoughts or when he was at his lowest. ...more
Cassandra {semi-hiatus}
"I would give anything to escape myself, Flynn thought, just for a day, just for a minute even. Just to know what it was like to think differently, to feel differently, and to not be me.”

The wonders of Tabitha Suzuma’s writing have been sung by the choir of Goodreads for years. It was only natural that when I found this for a dollar at a used bookstore, I simply had to buy it. And all of her other books off of Thriftbooks. It was the only natural progression.

It took over a year for me to
Noha Badawi
Oct 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This book...




Oh my god I'm utterly in awe with this book. Tabitha Suzuma really doesn't mess around. She knows how to make you F E E L something; and oh boy this book made me feel EVERYTHING.

I really, really, really don't know how to express my opinion on this one.

But I can tell you something : Please read it. Please. Flynn's story deserves to be heard and acknowledged. Yes, it's dark at times and it will make you feel like something is
Jan 11, 2009 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I read Tabitha Suzuma’s ‘Forbidden’ last year. I liked it so much that I wanted to explore other works of hers. Whenever I discover a new writer and like one of her/his works, I try to read the first book of that writer. So I thought I will get Tabitha Suzuma’s first book, ‘A Note of Madness’. I finished reading it yesterday. Here is what I think.

‘A Note of Madness’ is about a classical music student, Flynn. Flynn discovers one day that his emotional state moves to sudden extremes. One day he
Joy (joyous reads)
Jan 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Have you ever wondered how madness begin? Is it really just a chemical imbalance that a mere prescribed pill can stave off? Since he was four years old, Flynn had always known music is in his future. Some could consider him as a virtuoso - but that's not how he sees himself. His days are a cycle of crippling depression and brilliant music composition. When he was chosen to play at the prestigious Royal Albert Hall, pressure builds to an explosive point as he struggles to keep his insanity away.

Jul 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This book.....I LOVE IT.I LOVE IT.I.LOVE.IT.
It's a beautiful madness,crazy,energetic and dramatic.
I love everything about this book,the story,the characters,the challenge,the trauma,EVERYTHING.
At first,when Flynn was going all loco because of the concert before I knew
about "Bi Polar Disorder" he reminded me of the movie Black Swan,I thought
he was just seeking for the non-existent perfection like Natalie Portman.
Then,I thought with all the mood swings,that he's schizophrenic.
Harry,is just the
Lucy Qhuay

*4.5 stars*

A beautiful, albeit exhausting portrait of mental illness.

Jumping faster and faster from the exciting sparks of energy, inspiration and will to live to the pitch black bottom of despair to the cold numbness, just to start it all again and again isn't easy.

I will be wishing for the best, while expecting the worst.
Ringo The Cat
Mar 09, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya, contemporary
The cat had Tabitha Suzuma’s Forbidden in her Amazon basket for a while before she finally ordered it (much of this was due to Joanna Kenrick who suggested reading some of Suzuma’s writings). Anyways, the cat’s a bit autistic, so instead of reading the current cult hit Forbidden first, she decided to start with Suzuma’s debut A Note of Madness.
Flynn is talented pianist at the Royal College of Music in London, he’s got a small circle of good friends, a loving family, but when he starts to
Brigid ✩
May 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
A Note of Madness is a gripping look into what it's like to struggle with mental illness, particularly as a creative person.

I really sympathized with Flynn, the protagonist, as he deals with the pressure of being a piano prodigy and the ensuing spiral of depression he goes through when he feels like he's not good enough. A lot of things in this book really struck a chord with me (no pun intended ... okay maybe intended a little). I'm not really a musician, but as a writer/artist I understand
Feb 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book is by the author of Forbidden and the main reason that I fell in love with that book, and Tabitha Suzuma, was the ability to really see in Lochan's head and feel the mental illness from a first hand perspective. I remember saying something in my review of Forbidden about the first half of that book really focusing on Lochan and I could have read an entire book of just that. Well A Note of Madness is that book I was hoping for! So why did I give it 4 stars when I gave Forbidden 5 stars? ...more
This book gave such a sobering portrayal of bipolar disorder and mental illness in general. I'm so glad it exists.
*.Amaia.* BlackMagicRose
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The writing is amazing. It starts with the musings about madness in the prologue, and it just doesn’t end. I devoured the book, submerged myself in its emotions and felt every one of them. Suzuma writes amazingly about both the ups and the downs – the fevered excitement just exudes from the page, and the lonely despair grabs you and doesn’t let go.

Another thing I really enjoyed about the writing was that every description was laced with memories. I’ve said before that I’m not a very visual
Aug 21, 2010 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tasneem Jamal
3 stars (I don`t know how to rate this novel at all )

so this is the second novel that I read by Tabitha Suzuma Tabitha Suzuma

First this author is really good writer and storyteller like she knows exactly what being bipolar patient like ... and her descriptions of all the emotions that Flyn felt was so good

I really felt boring after reading the half of this novel everything kept going from bad to worst and good thing happened only at the end (thanks God this novel is
This was a very nice book, I enjoyed reading it. But at some point I got a bit bored with it, it was too much of the same. I know that with bipolar disorder that is often the case, then a high, then a low, then a high again, but for a book I would definitely like some more stuff happening.
But despite that I really loved this book, it was very honest and very heart breaking and I also really loved the music part about this.
The writing was very good and easy to read.

So in short, it was a good,
Nov 20, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: england
I thought it was ok, if lightweight. I enjoyed Forbidden a bit more, that has to be said, and even though I did feel sorry for Flynn, and I'm sure that he was in dreadful pain, he really grated my nerves at times.

I have to say, maybe my disappointment was my own fault. When I was told that this book was about a classical pianist, I decided to read it without looking at the synopsis, so I only found out after starting to read it that the author was going to focus a lot more on his bipolar
Oct 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
The question now is whether or not I go on to read A Voice in the Distance. I like where this one ended. Why ruin my illusion that Flynn managed to beat his beast of a disease with Jennah by his side? Why subject myself to another Forbidden-esque breakdown? Whyyyyy?

Because I'm an incorrigible masochist, that's why. And as long as Flynn and Jennah don't end up like Lochan and Maya, I'm inclined to give the sequel a go...eventually.
Sep 09, 2013 rated it liked it
If I were simply rating this book on how well it was written, I'd give it five stars. Tabitha Suzuma REALLY knows how to write, and it seems like she excels at writing people who feel are truly miserable, and she makes it real, without crossing over the line into melodrama.

So why the three stars? I guess I wanted more of a story, more than just a study of a man's struggle with being bipolar...
Aug 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
He just looked at her and smiled...

That is so creepy.

But it's funny too actually. I really like Flynn. Though I must say he's not exactly the book-boyfriend type, nonetheless I find him quite adorable especially when he's crying or becomes too shy and ocassionally when he's manic.

Ah so this is what it's like to be bipolar.
Jun 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
what a book, a must read for everyone who wants to see inside bipolar disorder

Check Review here.. Of series.

book review on blog
Visit and read.. Thanks
Apr 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
3.5 good but not as good as the book forbidden written by the same author. Though I really liked this book and I am eager to read the rest of Tabitha's work!
Aug 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Suchevane by: Liz
Shelves: to-buy
Wow!!! Awesome, awesome, awesome!!!! Wasn't sure i'd like it, honestly, but my friend raved about it, and i'm glad i read it! Gotta add it to my collection!
May 13, 2014 rated it did not like it
Not grabbing me. Moving on
Feb 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This book deals with the topic of bipolar disorder. The protagonist in this book doesn’t start experiencing it until he is an eighteen year-old in college. It’s a rather scary and sudden thing for him to deal with, and an important thing this book displays is that when something like that affects one person, it tends to affect those closest to him as well.

I like how in many of Suzuma’s books, the protagonist has an important hobby or skill that they spend time improving on. In this book, it’s
Eleanor Luhar
Aug 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
Tabitha Suzuma is quickly becoming one of my favourite authors.

I didn't realise this was the first of two books, but it reads fine as a standalone novel anyway. I hadn't intended to read on, but I just love Suzuma's writing too much. I've reserved the next novel at the library.

I found this quite similar toHurtin a couple of ways; firstly, the protagonist is a young male who is experiencing something very unpleasant but important to talk about. Instead of rape, as inHurt, this time the topic is
Sophie Shine
Feb 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
This novel was the authors debut, for a debut novel it's well written and flows fairly well. The portrayal of bipolar disorder / manic depression is realistically unsettling. It really shows how damaging a misdiagnosis could be and the serious effect of being dismissed. To avoid spoilers I'm not going to say if this story ends with a happy or an unfortunate end. I will advise you NOT to read this if you suffer from a mental illness and are triggered easily, this could be a serious trigger.
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Shut Up & Read: A Note of Madness by Tabitha Suzuma 19 114 Jun 13, 2013 07:59PM  

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Tabitha Suzuma was born in London, the eldest of five children. She attended a French school in the UK and grew up bilingual. However, she hated school and would sit at the back of the class and write stories, which she got away with because her teachers thought she was taking notes.

Other books in the series

Flynn Laukonen (2 books)
  • A Voice in the Distance (Flynn Laukonen, #2)
“I would give anything to escape myself, Flynn thought, just for a day, just for a minute even. Just to know what it was like to think differently, to feel differently, and to not be me.” 32 likes
“But whichever form it took it brought with it, in those moments of bitter anguish, such a desperate surge of hope that it was almost untouchable, and flitted away like a golden butterfly into the bright blue sky - beautiful, unreachable and completely transistent.” 31 likes
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