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Piece of Mind

3.43  ·  Rating details ·  999 ratings  ·  140 reviews
A funny, poignant tale for readers of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. At twenty-seven, Lucy knows everything about coffee, comic books, and Gus (the polar bear at the Central Park Zoo), and she possesses a rare gift for drawing. But since she suffered a traumatic brain injury at the age of three, she has had trouble relating to most people. She’s also un ...more
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Published February 8th 2016 by HighBridge Company
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Average rating 3.43  · 
Rating details
 ·  999 ratings  ·  140 reviews

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Oct 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, arc
When Lucy was three years old, she was in a serious car accident that left her brain damaged. Now 27, she is bright, funny, creative, and loving, but she still struggles with her day-to-day functioning. She is horribly messy. She has difficulty following through, planning, or arriving anywhere on time. She can't tell right from left and she can't follow directions, so she can't drive. And the list goes on. To make matters worse, she also suffers regularly from debilitating migraines.

Feb 08, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Largely, I thought the book dealt with living with a brain injury and impaired cognition with sensitivity and honesty. I was really happy to see a heroine who is from a group that is largely underrepresented. And got a little problematic.

I certainly wanted a happy ending for Lucy, who you grow to like and root for in the book. But when things do start to finally turn around for her, it is largely because people have told her (paraphrasing), "Your brain injury isn't holding you back, Y
Nov 08, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Had it not been a debut, I would have given this three stars. Decent effort. Toward the end, it felt like she wasn't quite sure whether to do more, thought better of it and decided just to end it. Wished it had sustained strength of the story throughout. Light read, just on the cusp of "fluff". A good choice if you want to breakup the time between two intense reads. Good enough, however, to put the author on your list for future offerings.
Mar 16, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I don't CARE if you've had a traumatic brain injury - you are still shallow, self-absorbed, and utterly annoying. GOD.
Nov 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

What it's all about...

Lucy has had a brain injury from the time she was three years old. She is now 27. Her mom has died and she and her father live together in their family home. Lucy has many issues but can function...however...she doesn't work, she is messy, she collects scraps of everything and can not bear to throw things away. Her hands are weak, she falls a lot, she went to college and could teach but she isn't great with groups. She is sweet and funny and probably irritating.
Oct 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
i really, really enjoyed this one. lucy is a 27 year old woman who suffered from a traumatic brain injury when she was little and ever since then, has had to deal with feeling a bit "different" from other people.

she shuffles when she walks, she sometimes stumbles and falls, and she loves to tell people about her "loss of executive functioning."

but despite all of her struggles, she's bright and empathetic, very talented with sketching and drawing and an overall genuinely kind human b
Lolly K Dandeneau
Nov 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Beautiful and sad. Finding ones own way in a world that isn't made for those with differences is always a story I will gravitate towards. I have a front row seat with my own son, and find such characters endearing. This tends to be happy, things lining up just so, and would that life was copying art in cases of people who really endure the off beaten path of quirkiness or disabilities. It would be a lot easier!
We are all challenged in
Dec 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel, first-reads
I won this book in a Goodreads First Reads giveaway, and am so glad I did. The story of Lucy, a 27-year old woman who suffered permanent brain damage in an accident when she was 3, is poignant and sweet.

Lucy lives with her widowed father, a man who loves his family but has made all the wrong choices since his wife's death. He tries to encourage Lucy to get out of the house and find a simple job, even part-time, that will challenge her and provide her with a life other than watching T
Roger Brunyate
Lucy and Caren
This book would never have been conceived without my sister Caren, who sketched all the pictures, and whose brain helped inspire Lucy's. I am intrigued, entertained, and awed by you every single day.
This beautiful closing paragraph from the author's acknowledgements is quite moving, and gives me pause before criticizing anything about this book at all. The Lucy of the novel is a bright young woman with a talent for drawing, but with many of her mental, physical and coping skills compromi/>
Chris Blocker
Piece of Mind has its flaws—its weakness of resolution, its underdeveloped secondary characters, its saccharine-sweet storytelling—but at its heart is the extremely captivating mind of Lucy. Lucy is such a perfect blend of sweet and dysfunctional that it's difficult not to feel endearment toward her. Her messy, scattered way of living—the result of a brain injury suffered as a child—ensures difficult relations with everyone in her circle. In some ways, Lucy is a fully-functional adult; in others she ...more
Jun 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
I loved the first chapter of "A Piece of Mind." Then, the doubts started creeping in. Was this going to be just another one of those books? You know, those books that are really popular right now, in the wake of the success of "The Rosie Project" etc.? Books that feature quirky yet endearing protagonists, whose brains simply operate differently, making social interactions, and life in general, challenging and awkward? I'm not saying I didn't love "The Rosie Project." I'm just sick of reading the ...more
Tara Gruwell
The book gives you a glimpse inside a woman with a traumatic brain injury. It started out great and I thought I was going to love it, but I just liked it. I loved this:

"That was something about people. They were willing to provide me with their helping hands when I had fallen on the ground. That was the only plus side of the physical effects. If people couldn't see my mind churning our distraction after distraction, squandering my concentration, they didn't seem to understand why I couldn
Mar 16, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2017
Book club book. Not a fan. Depressing, should've had another chapter or 2. Unlikeable main character.
Alison McBain
Feb 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There are some books that are hard to put down, and Piece of Mind by Michelle Adelman is on that list for me. Written in a conversational style, the prose is simple, yet filled with touches of humor. If I can't go to sleep because I have to turn the page and find out what happens next, I'd call the book a success.

The main character is Lucy, who describes herself in the opening line of the novel as, "I was brain injured before it was trendy." The victim of a car accident at age three,
Mar 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I loved this so much. I intially read this because Daisy Ridley signed on to play the lead role for the film adaptation, so I read it without knowing too much (except the description in the back). The main character, Lucy, suffers from a brain injury and the book is following her life after her father's death.
What I liked about it it, is that it was honest. Nothing was sugar coated. Like this is what Lucy goes through every day of her life and how she goes about it.
It was a sweet, book. I
Jul 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In my reviews I no longer recap the synopsis, because so many others, including the original posters, have already done it. If you want to know what the book is about, you can just read above. I just review based on my gut reaction.

I was left with so much hope for Lucy's future. I don't know anyone with a brain injury, so I don't have personal experience for the truth of how her injury was portrayed in fiction. I just know that I have ... hope.

Lucy is going to thrive. ...more
Daniel Casey
Feb 23, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Not so much a book about someone disabled attempting to deal with it as of someone disabled having to deal with the abled & how they (the abled) fail time and again to understand how they impact a disabled person. There were some truly touching (and frustrating scenes), which mark this book as a success. However, I was less interested in what I felt was forced romance when a more beautiful & fruitful story could have been told just between the siblings.
Mar 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016, fiction
3.5 rounded up.

Piece of Mind is a very compassionate and thoughtful debut novel. There were times it felt a little aimless, but it worked, as the two main characters, Lucy and Nate, struggle with their own feelings of aimlessness and lack of direction. The reader is with Lucy and Nate as they deal with losing their father and adjust to living together in Nate's small apartment.

I thought this book dealt with the issues with sensitivity and respect, but it never really got into the deeper aspects.
Feb 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

When Lucy was three, she was hit by a car, causing damage to her brain. Now at 27, she struggles with executing decisions. It takes her a long time to even figure out that something needs to be done without her mind taking her to some other place. She lives with her father who makes sure she’s on the right path. When he suddenly dies, she ends up living with her younger brother in his little apartment and this throws her into a strange and new world. She walks to the Central Park Zoo an
Brenda A
Dec 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
This was extremely well done. It's rare to find a book that seems to do mental instability well. I just recently finished Silver Linings Playbook which dealt with anger issues and mental breakdowns, and then followed it with this--one centering on a basically functional adult woman who has trouble with prioritizing. It doesn't sound like much of a problem maybe, but it really is when dealing with day-to-day functions. Having to pack for a move, for example. Getting dressed or washing hair instead of dra ...more
Heather Young
Mar 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a quiet, deeply moving coming-of-age story with an unusual protagonist. Lucy is a 27-year-old victim of traumatic brain injury ("I was brain injured before it was trendy," she wryly notes) who lives a sheltered life with her doting and overprotective father until his sudden death. When it's revealed her father left nothing but debt, she's uprooted from her childhood home to live with her younger brother, a struggling college student, in his cramped Manhattan studio. In Lucy's off-kilter ...more
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Sep 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The haunting and beautiful story of a young woman injured when hit by a truck, and now considered "brain injured". She doesn't have "executive functions" which, among other basic skills, relate to organizing, prioritizing, reasoning, disciplining, goal setting, time managing and impulse control. She is "challenging". Maybe even "challenged". But never disabled.

Having been raised by her father, she is heartbroken and utterly lost when he dies. The death puts an end to her brother's college plans
Linda Quinn
Dec 19, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great debut novel that follows the path of Lucy, a young woman who suffered a traumatic brain injury early in life. After the loss of her father she needs to find a way to make her own way in life, to survive without excuses that have kept her wallowing. This was reminiscent of the Rosie Project and Best Boy, but with an engaging female protagonist.
Jen Knapp
Jul 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this book! The story was sweet, and the protagonist, Lucy, was endearing as all get out. The only weird part was the lack of characterization of her brother, Nate. He seemed "thrown in" a bit, and his character was confusing. All in all, a really good read.
Feb 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Michelle has written a lovely book about a very interesting protagonist. I don't think I've ever read a book from the perspective of a character like Lucy, and Michelle creates a compelling internal dialogue as we see her grapple with the challenges life throws at her.
Alison Smith
Sep 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a beautifully written, captivating story about a young woman living with brain trauma. Her perspective is fresh, honest, and funny. The book reads really quickly, and I am excited to see more from this author.
Shannon Dyer
Dec 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good look at the strengths and struggles of someone with a traumatic brain injury.
Apr 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not a light read, given the subject matter, but the author's deft touch prevented it from being either too maudlin or too formulaic.
Jun 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very heartwarming story but quirky. I really didn't want it to end because I felt so protective of the heroine I wanted to be part of the rest of her story.
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Michelle Adelman received her MFA in writing from Columbia University and her MS and BS in journalism from Northwestern University. She lives in the Bay Area.
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