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Running Like China

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  282 ratings  ·  44 reviews
Most of the time we don't notice the darkness... not until we're in the thick of it. It was like that for Sophie Hardcastle, as the joy she'd always known disappeared. She was constantly tired, with no energy, no motivation and no sense of enjoyment for anything. Her hours became empty. And then, the month before she turned seventeen, that emptiness filled with an intense, ...more
Paperback, 273 pages
Published August 25th 2015 by Hachette Australia
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Showing 1-30
4.20  · 
Rating details
 ·  282 ratings  ·  44 reviews

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Catriona (LittleBookOwl)
Mar 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook, owned
This was a beautifully written memoir that was so brutally honest about Sophie's struggles with Bipolar. It was very insightful and moving, bringing me to tears on more than one occasion. Stories like these are so important. For the people going through the same or similar situations, it lets them know that they are not alone, despite how lonely they feel. And for those that know someone dealing with mental illness, it sheds light on the difficulties that person may face, and helps them understa ...more
Jan 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I'm always drawn to memoirs of people that have experienced a mental illness, as each person has such a unique story to tell. Sophie Hardcastle tells her story of life with Bipolar. I really appreciated her brutal honesty and so much of her story really resonated with me. Her memoir documents her teenage to young adult years with the illness and her initial denial, anger, and eventually acceptance and what she can accomplish in spite of the illness. Sophie has a lovely way with words and some of ...more
Aug 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Running Like China is a memoir of a young woman in Australia, that held my attention all the way through. Her book is a gift of herself - her story to each and every reader. Her hope is that it will help others who are experiencing the depths of mental illness that may lead to suicide. That it will encourage them to hang in there in the down times and to remember all there is to live for.

It is a very moving, articulate, insightful piece of writing and it gave me some understanding of what it ca
Lindy Hardcastle
Oct 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Ok so I am biased and should not be rating or reviewing Running Like China really because it's all about our family, my daughter and four years of very difficult times. However I do love this book.

When Sophie first told me she was writing a memoir I braced myself for the expose of all the ugly and horrible details. The dismembering of everyone and everything around us. When I picked up her first manuscript, I read it in one sitting and went through two boxes of tissues in the process. When I fi
Lili Murphy
Mar 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing

I originally found out about running like China through Sjana Earp, and I couldn't wait to read it after she semi reviewed it. This book follows Sophie Hardcastle's battle with bipolar disorder. Her journey through thick dark clouds and blissful moments of sunshine is incredibly inspirational. I have read this book about 3 times and it has honestly changed my life. Sophie has become my biggest inspiration, her beautiful words and creative imagery is what ma
Allyce Cameron
Sep 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Sophie Hardcastle truly is a gifted writer, from the way she looks at the world to the way the words flow across the pages. This book was as beautiful as it was heartbreaking and written with such intense honesty. An eye and heart opening account of mental illness. I highly recommend this as a must read.
Kerran Olson
Apr 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017-challenge
Such a beautifully written memoir. Although Sophie discusses very dark times in her life, the book is written with hope and encouragement to anyone struggling with mental illness. Sophie's writing is descriptive and poetic, and her pain is translated across the page. Sometimes hard to read but worth it, I devoured this in a few hours and would recomend to anyone struggling with or impacted by mental health issues.
Cass -  Words on Paper

Books are such powerful things: within those pages contain words that form sentences that become paragraphs that tell a story, a story perhaps bold, perhaps devastating, perhaps inspiring, perhaps uplifting.... Few books have I come across that are all these things, and more. Running Like China is a true story. In its quiet and meditative prose, the slowly simmering desire within me glows slightly brighter. One day I will write something, as many readers one day aspire for. I think it is a ma
Selena Hanet-Hutchins
Sep 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
I found this memoir quite moving and it succeeded in changing my thinking about a few things, including (not in any particular order): how families relate, what writing means when you commit to it early as opposed to later in adulthood, sisterly relationships, the implications of social media for teenagers growing up with mental illness (am non-existent when I was a teen), what fighting for someone you love can look like, how good some young-adult men are to the people around them (truly, they o ...more
Els (Tragic Romantic)
I put off reading this book for a long time because I was afraid of seeing my own experiences in the pages and I didn't want to remember them, but I'm glad that I did. There were aspects of Sophie's experience that exactly mirror mine, but there were many more that were alien to me. I want to encourage everyone to read this memoir if they can; whether you have experience of mental illness yourself or not. If you're like me, and you feel like you need to be in a more stable frame of mind to be ab ...more
Debra Tidball
Dec 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Wow! This is an important and beautifully written memoir about one young woman's experience with mental illness.

Not another self help book about 'how I got myself over mental illness' but rather Hardcastle chronicles the process of understanding, of coming to terms with, and of accepting mental illness as a part of her make up, to ultimately take responsibility for what she could control to help stabilise her health and not for what she couldn't control.

Written with insight and honesty, Haardcas
Carmel Demery
Feb 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow. I couldn’t put this down but had to when I had to escape to regather myself. This is unbelievably good writing from a 20 year old - in many ways the best writing I’ve read and Sophie’s passion for writing being discovered at such a young age is a gift to us all. This book is her searingly honest and brutal account of her descent into (misdiagnosed) depression at the age of 15/16. Her mental illness eventually gets correctly diagnosed as bipolar. I cried, I applauded, I felt so so so much fo ...more
This is a moving memoir of what it is like to live with a mental illness and how there is beauty in everything, if you know where to look. Sophie Hardcastle was finally diagnosed with bipolar in her late teens, after several hospital admissions and testing her family to their limits. Her journey is beautifully written - one of the best descriptions of depression and manic episodes that I've come across. And while this is a pretty grim topic to read about, her story always contains hope.
Bert Zee
Nov 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, Brain on Fire by Susan Cahalan, Sybil by Flora Rita Schreiber, all amazing works about mental illness, and now Running Like China by the absolutely brilliant Sophie Hardcastle...

Where do I even start with this book? Let's start with the writing, the way the words are structured and sentences flow is like pure poetry, everything is changed from a generic description into a beautiful elegy, from describing her friends to the way she feels at her lowest points, Sophie
Jan 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Running Like China is a stunning memoir of Sophie Hardcastle's fight with bi-polar. It starts for her at 16, and as it begins, she has no idea what is happening to her. Nothing feels good, darkness is rolling in, and it feels like her skin in shrinking. She doesn't know how to explain it to others because she doesn't know how to explain it to herself. Depression takes hold and Sophie uses drugs, alcohol and self-harm to make herself feel better.

Sophie has opened herself right up and laid hersel
Nicole Field
Aug 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Running Like China is about a teenaged girl who loves surfing and writing about equally before she is suddenly struck down by some kind of mental health disorder that scraps two years out of her young life. This is her memoir where she tells all in the hope of actually giving hope to other people similarly afflicted.

As someone who is ten years older than her, I still found this memoir incredibly accessible and honest, very well written. I found myself in a bit of a trap of staying up and reading
Jan 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
A confronting and distressing story that is told with a poise that makes the writing so readable and remarkable for such a young writer. Brilliant awareness raising of mental health issues and such a raw and honest account of her battle, one I will always remember.
Rania T
Jan 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
An in depth insight into what it means to be struck down by mental illness during adolescence on the shores of Sydney's Northern Beaches. Sophie Hardcastle's memoir gives hope to those who may, or who have already struggled in life in this way.
Apr 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Honest and raw, but overall the writing was not to my taste as she repetitively used particular metaphors and phrases. 3.5 stars rounded down to 3. In terms of a similar read, I much preferred Madness: A Bipolar Life by Marya Hornbacher.
Dec 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A book I have read and fallen in love with before and was able to do all over again.
Sophie has not just simply put pen to paper but she has created art with her words. The book is so beautifully written and is an incredible insight into a life lived and fought for.
Dec 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Oh my. I am glad I read this.
Taryn Bashford
Aug 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
A frank yet surprisingly poetic account of bipolar disorder/depression/self harm in a teen. Very sad, but also a good read.
Maddy Smith

well that was heavy.
Germ Magazine
"The only way to resolve something is to get to the bottom of it, and this incredible book depicts that exactly — zooming in on every nook and cranny of her not-so-perfect life, never just breaching the surface. She addresses everything, no matter how broken, and this allows hope, a quality Sophie carries through her words of wisdom and inspiration throughout"
Mar 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This memoir was so beautifully written and raw. Sophie writes about the highs and lows of battling mental illness. I found myself relating to her own thoughts and feelings on some of the things she was experiencing daily.

I would recommend this book for everyone, for the people who are battling mental illness to know they are not alone and for people who know of someone with mental illness to give them an understanding of what that person may be feeling
Bridget Conway
Nov 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Sophie Hardcastle’s memoir Running Like China is not just about shattering the stigmas of mental illness or about providing a safe place for those to turn to who may be going through similar issues.Running Like China is also about an artist who finds their true self through the good and the bad times, and who emerges victorious and ready for whatever will be thrown her way next. When I spoke with Sophie about her novel for Lipmag, I was immediately struck with a sense that I was talking to someo ...more
Charlotte Dabb
May 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Sophie's story is a potent and valuable one that offers insight into what it's like living with a mental illness, specifically as a young, apparently middle-class Australian woman with Bipolar. As someone who also experiences mental illness, it was comforting to read another's story and know that I was not alone. I hadn't really heard anyone else's struggle in such detail before and so despite the fact that her story was at times heartbreaking, it was also really encouraging.

Sophie carries some
Nov 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: aussie-author
Sophie Hardcastle could have hidden away from the world, within the safe, warm embrace of her family. Taken refuge within the comforting presence of the boy with the icy blue eyes. She did not have to leave at all.

But, no, Sophie Hardcastle wrote a book.

She opened up her life and generously shared it with the world.

Why? So that the silence can be shattered - the taboos around mental illness can be smashed. And, most importantly, to give hope to anyone struggling to find their way through. Tha
Jul 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
I think anyone with a mental illness needs to read Running like China; it is poignant and really hits deep. I have been personally diagnosed with BPD, depression, anxiety and derealisation, and man, that shit's hard to deal with! Sophie's voice really comes through well and her story is inspirational. Although I haven't experienced bipolar disorder, I do know what depression and other co-morbid symptoms of mental illness are like and this memior hits right home. The honest truth is brutal and I ...more
Mara Shantia
Oct 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Although this book talks about depression , it's about more then that alone , it's not all depressing , it's encouraging and full of hope , as someone who doesn't suffer from depression this book helped me understand what depression can really do to someone. But it also made me so great full for what I have . Running like China is written in a really understandable and engaging manner that pulls you in, in the best possible way .
If your going through a hard time .. Read this book it will show y
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Mental Health Boo...: Dec - Running Like China 6 18 Dec 22, 2017 02:23AM  
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Sophie Hardcastle is a twenty-two year old author and artist currently living and creating on the Northern Beaches in Sydney, Australia.
Sophie is studying a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Sydney College of the Arts. She is majoring in painting.
Sophie's memoir Running like China is published by Hachette and was released in September 2015. Hachette will publish her debut novel, Breathing Under Water on th