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A Tragic Kind of Wonderful

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3.89  ·  Rating details ·  2,413 ratings  ·  507 reviews
For sixteen-year-old Mel Hannigan, bipolar disorder makes life unpredictable. Her latest struggle is balancing her growing feelings in a new relationship with her instinct to keep everyone at arm’s length. And when a former friend confronts Mel with the truth about the way their relationship ended, deeply buried secrets threaten to come out and upend her shaky equilibrium. ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published February 7th 2017 by Poppy
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Olivia There is definitely a couple of love stories in here, they don't really detract from the story however, most of them add on to the storyline.
Olivia Not quite sure what you mean, but the author does not have bipolar disorder. I believe it is fairly accurate in terms of the experiences of the…moreNot quite sure what you mean, but the author does not have bipolar disorder. I believe it is fairly accurate in terms of the experiences of the protagonist.(less)

Community Reviews

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3.89  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,413 ratings  ·  507 reviews


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Pouting Always
Nov 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mel Hannigan has a lot on her plate, not only is she still grieving her brother's death but she recently fell out with her three close friends. Mel also lives with bipolar disorder, hiding it from everyone outside of her family. Mel experiences rapid cycling through out the day and tries to cope with it by keeping logs of how different aspects of her are doing. She gives them all different animal names and keeps track of her anxiety and mood. A retired psychiatrist who lives at the nursing home ...more
Lola
Oct 19, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: mental-illness
That’s a really, really cool cover. Even though I didn’t love the book with all my heart, I still don’t think I could separate myself from it – gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous sparkly cover.

I was crazy excited about this story. Are you familiar with the meme for book blogs ‘‘Waiting on Wednesday’’? You feature a book you’re anticipating, once a week, on Wednesdays. I don’t do many of them, because of a lack of time, but I did do one for this book in particular.

It’s not amazing. It’s a good story,
...more
Emma Giordano
Feb 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I LOOOOOOVED this book. I'm giving it 4.5 stars because the majority of the book was a "4" for me, but the ending was such a strong 5 stars that I just HAVE to bump it up.

This was my first read regarding a teenage main character with bipolar disorder. It was strange because this is actually the first mental health fiction novel I've read where I wasn't able to connect in some way, whether it be from my own experiences or my family. Now I cannot speak for the representation, but it was a really i
...more
Larry H
Aug 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
Mental illness is something many people, including teenagers, live with every day. Yet all too often, these people force themselves to deal with their illness in secret, hiding the truth from loved ones and friends for fear they'll be treated differently, that people will expect less (or more) of them, and that they'll always be thought of as a person with a mental illness rather than simply a person. But of course, not letting those they care about see the truth means that they aren't willing t ...more
L A i N E Y
“I wasn’t really sick, at least not in the way where you eventually get better or die”

Fluffier than I imagined.

Certainly a more than decent read: had its moments, for sure, even with the surprising lack of that ‘punch’ I had expected all that time reading, essentially, in one sitting.

“Is that the kind of person you are?”
“Hell if I know. Depends on the day. On the
hour. I can be all kinds of different people”

I feel there were a few potentials that didn’t pan out. Relationships were not explored
...more
Elyse Walters
Sep 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Engaging...compassionate...authentic....
.....Heartbreaking......Beautiful!

Mel Hannigan has recently been diagnosed having bipolar disorder. She is learning about the illness from her doctor and how to manage it....
but at 16 years old you can only imagine how much she'd like to crawl into a hole and not even face 'learning' anything. And talking with her therapist... she'd rather just take the pills and bolt the sessions.
We also know very early into this story that Mel's older brother, Nolan, d
...more
may ❀
~first 1 star of the year~

i've been reading through different reviews on this book and i'm so confused bc i REALLY expected to like this but i really really didnt

i just found the characters and the narrative and the plot and the conflict to be so FLAT. everything felt flat, everything felt purposeless.

the writing was VERY much telling and not showing and if that's not a big deal for you, that's fine, but i just found it really tiring to read. the main character has bipolar disorder and i cant
...more
Sarah
(I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to HarperCollinsChildren’sBooks and NetGalley.)

“Dr Jordan told me everyone with bipolar disorder is different – endless variations of moods, emotions, intensity, frequency, reactions, episodes, delusions, breakdowns – but even so, according to him, I’m unusual.”


This was a YA contemporary story, about a girl with bipolar disorder.

Mel was an okay character, although I found it quite hard to keep up with the way she tracked her moods. Th
...more
Dannii Elle
May 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to the author, Eric Lindstrom, and the publisher, Harper Collins Children's Books, for this opportunity.

Mel Hannigan is harbouring a secret. More than one, in fact. The first is that she's not an only child. The second is that her brother is dead. The third is that they both have bi-polar disorder.

Mel works hard to separate the life lived inside the confines of her mind from the life of school friends and typical teen ang
...more
Brittany
Nov 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book... so much. It was so fantastic and I really feel as though I have a better idea of bipolar disorder now. I’m a psychology student so it’s one of the reasons I even picked up the book, was to better understand. I can’t speak to it’s accuracy, since I don’t personally have this disorder, but I have heard from reliable sources that it’s quite accurate. I love how we learn about it, but even more, I love the friendships in this book. They’re not perfect, but they’re still good. I’ ...more
Sylvie
Jan 12, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mental-health
I think I'll take a break from books that are 'focused' on mental illnesses, because this book delivered an entirely wrong message about mental health. I won't bother writing a long review for this book that I DID NOT LIKE!

There are many books that I read which focus on mental issues: Some of them give a fantastic representation about the topic but with weak characters and some of them vice versa. Well, in this case this had both: Unlikable characters and wrong message about mental health.

I gues
...more
Nadhira Satria
Apr 19, 2018 rated it did not like it
I WANTED A GOOD BIPOLAR REP. BUT NO.
I'm so disappointed I want to scream. I feel 0, zilch, no connection to the character what so ever and it's just super?? boring?? it's a mess??? bye
Buddy read with this person who I hate very much
Kate (GirlReading)
This was a quick, easy read and one I definitely enjoyed. However, I also have a lot of mixed feelings, especially regarding the bipolar, bisexual and lesbian representation, of which I have yet to find any #ownvoices reviews regarding how these character aspects were represented.

In regards to the mental health aspect of this book in general, it definitely had both good and bad points. Although it’s painful to read about a character with so much shame surrounding their mental illness, it also f
...more
K.
3.5 stars.

I absolutely adored Eric Lindstrom's first book, Not If I See You First, so I was pretty excited about reading this one.

And there was a lot to love in this book. The portrayal of bipolar disorder is pretty great. I love that Mel works at a nursing home/retirement community/thing, hanging out with old people for funsies because it's what she's good at. I loved that we have a teenage girl who gets her period and whose period has a significant impact on her mental health.

As with Not If
...more
Drew
Mar 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
3 1/2 stars. The first book I read by Eric Lindstrom was about a blind girl with a traumatic past. It was also one of the best contemporaries I read in 2016. Similarly, this second book by the author follows Mel Hannigan, who has bipolar disorder and is suffering from a traumatic past.

Even though the plot was very similar to Not If I See You First, I still really enjoyed it. I think the author has nailed writing realistic contemporaries - while making them unique and enjoyable, they also inform
...more
Catherine ♡
Actual Rating: 3.5

This was so fluffy - I loved it!

That's the thing about it though; there were so many "rom-com" parts of this I enjoyed reading, and although I loved reading about the interpretation of bipolar disorder, all in all it didn't resonate with me much.

Mel is a sixteen-year-old with bipolar disorder, which she keeps a secret from her friends because she doesn't want to be treated differently. When an old friend she had a falling out with confronts her again, Mel's carefully crafted fa
...more
Karen Whittard
Jan 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Unputdownable. Powerful eyeopener. Into a world lots of people know nothing about. Bipolar. It is heartbreaking and uplifting to see how Mel deals with her new diagnosis. It is eye opening to see how the world treats her, how her relationships with her friends and family and had changed and the struggles that she has to face on a day to day basis.

I think this book was written really well and it was heartening to have a look into someone else's world.

It is a book about empowerment and how yes i
...more
Odette Knappers
Aug 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: inbezit, 2018
Eric Lindstrom heeft weer een supergoed boek geschreven waar we een inkijkje krijgen in een wereld die niet de onze is. Met zijn vorige boek, Wat jij niet ziet, leerden we de wereld van de blinden kennen. Met dit boek leren we wat meer over een bipolaire stoornis. Dat is niet alleen supergoed en leerzaam, maar ook interessant en geeft het boek een diepere laag.

Waar zijn vorige boek voor mij het echte 5* gevoel had omdat alles zo op zijn plek viel, heeft dit boek dat niet. Dat valt me dus wel teg
...more
Figgy
Once again, Eric Lindstrom brings us a story that’s kinda cute and fluffy and is bound to make you laugh, but which has a decent helping of meatiness, too.

At first glance, there are some things that can seem a little shallow, and though it’s true that overall this feels like it has a little less heart than Lindstrom’s previous book, Not If I See You First, and the friendships feel a little less developed, there is still plenty here to love, and his second offering is one that is as easy to get c
...more
Maddie
Dec 31, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs
A great read for bipolar disorder representation, and I felt like I really understood and empathised with the mindset, but I'm tragically disappointed with the lesbian shaming that happened in regards to Zumi, and the conversations about sexualities felt like the written equivalents of nails on a chalkboard that made me want to shove my Kindle under a pillow and never pick it up again.

I felt a little confused with the introduction of David, and the ending was so close to being the romance-as-par
...more
Lis  Carcamo (The Reader L)
I have no words to tell you how much I loved this book. Literally, no words. There’s just too much I’d like to say, but I’d probably end up saying “I loved it” again and again and again.
I think the only way to “review” this book is listing the 10 things I loved the most about A Tragic Kind of Wonderful.
So, here you are.
1. The main character. Mel Freaking Hannigan is one of the best main characters I’ve ever read. And… Seriously, Mel is so “me”. I don’t have bipolar disorder, but I’m very (very!)
...more
Susan
Apr 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I want to give A Tragic Kind of Wonderful ten stars! This story is told from the point of view of seventeen year old Mel who suffers from bi-polar disorder - but somehow manages to keep her condition secret from her schoolmates and teachers. Mel does not want her friends and co-workers to know about her condition, to have them look at her or treat her differently.
I don't want to go into details of the plot because there are a few interesting revelations and twists in this story which will only
...more
Ryan Buckby
Apr 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
actual rating: 4.5


How can you have a future if you can't accept your past?

I enjoyed this second book by Eric Lindstorm more then i did his first book i feel like this one had more fleshed out characters and i could distinctly hear the different characters voices while i was reading it more then i did in his debut novel.

This story follows Mel Hannigan a 16 year old girl who is living with bipolar disorder and reeling from the death of her brother, she not also dealing with the loss of her br
...more
Mridu  aka Storypals
It's a pretty small book for the topic it talks about. I loved the story so much, the characters were real, raw and relatable.
Taking one star away only because the flow of the story is not what I liked, a lot of the story progresses towards the end of the book. It could have been easily one of my favourite reads of 2018.
Priss
4/5. Super interesting, I liked having a look into Mel's thoughts and being able to understand her more, living with bipolar disorder. Quite recommend this!
Lexxie (un)Conventional Bookworms
This review was originally posted on (un)Conventional Bookviews
A Tragic Kind of Wonderful had my whole body in knots. Mel made my heart break so badly, and at the same time I'm so happy to have met her - to get a glimpse into how life might be for someone who suffers from bipolar disorder.

Review - (un)Conventional Bookviews
Story:
After a horrible shock, Mel became so sick she couldn't go to school for several months. Afterwards, though, she never shared with her friends the actual reasons for not coming to school. She didn't w
...more
Yip Jung Hon
Dec 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is an utterly rare and compelling read that leaves the reader thinking long after the last page. Eric Lindstrom takes us through the life of Mel, a girl suffering from bipolar disorder since her brother committed suicide. Mel's personality is particularly striking: beneath her cheerful and somewhat sarcastic nature, she is fundamentally damaged. To me, she is a reminder of how much of ourselves we keep hidden under the surface. Yet, her story is filled with hope, the desire for meaning, and ...more
Marianna

You can find this and many more reviews on my blog Marianna's Corner!

A Tragic Kind of Wonderful is a book about mental health; it specifically deals with bipolar disorder. Don’t expect it to be heavy on the romance side, because it’ll disappoint. Do expect it though to be informative and educative, without being triggering (at least for me), which is a fear I have with all books dealing with mental health; I find them extremely triggering so I try to stay away from them.

Looking at my notes, I se
...more
Laurie • The Baking Bookworm
I feel so torn about this book. I enjoyed some aspects and others I struggled with so much that I almost gave up on the whole thing. Unfortunately, I found the bulk of the story slow-going with the focus being on teenage angst, friendship and relationships vying for top billing instead of mental illness. It isn't until two-thirds of the way through the book (when I had almost given up) that I finally could sink my teeth into the story. It's at this point that Lindstrom gets to the heart of Mel's ...more
Casey
Feb 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mel is dealing with the loss of her brother, the loss of her 3 bestfriends, and being diagnosed with Bipolar disorder.

A Tragic Kind of Wonderful is exactly what the title states. A story where Mel's character gripped me from the first chapter, her family sucked me in, the mysterious slow reveals of her old friendship days, her personality and genuine care of other people.

All the characters in this story are so important to Mel's journey and there are done so well, every character introduced felt
...more
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In addition to writing Young Adult novels, Eric Lindstrom has worked in the interactive entertainment industry for years as a creative director, game designer, writer, and usually combinations of all three. As Editor and Co-Writer for Tomb Raider: Legend he received a 2006 BAFTA nomination for Best Video Game Screenplay, and then as the Creative Director for Tomb Raider: Underworld he received a 2 ...more
“Being in love with someone who doesn't love you back is a tragedy. A fantasy is having someone understand the real you and love you anyway.” 3 likes
“I don't feel like I'm winning anything.""Battles are never won. Only survived.” 3 likes
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