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My Friends Are All Strange

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  44 ratings  ·  29 reviews
My friends are all strange.

Right now I'm living at Brookside, a place for people like me. I've met a kitty girl, a brooding beautiful boy, one who can't be touched, and others. My new friends. Strange people. People like me.

I've always been different, but lately, more so. My hands sometimes don't seem to be attached to the rest of me. I cut up all of my clothes. I'm hot, s
Paperback, 230 pages
Published October 18th 2016 by Publishing
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Average rating 4.09  · 
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Oct 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
With its great striking book cover, and theme focused on teen mental health and wellness: "My Friends Are Strange", by California author Margaret Lesh who specializes in writing YA Fiction. This is the follow-up to Lech's well received "Normalish" (2015) that highlight the ordinary lives of two sisters that live in Southern California with their widowed mother and attend an unnamed high school.

Becca, a senior in high school is determined to get into her first college choice: UCLA. Studying for t
Cranky - The Book Curmudgeon

**** 4 Cranky Stars ****

I found the first few chapters of the book strange and silly and suspected that the author might have been on some kind of mind altering drug, until I realized that she was describing the leading character's mental breakdown...

17 Year old Becca maintains a 4.6 GPA as well as being Chief Editor of her school paper, besides that she still has not fully processed the death of her father two years previously. The pressure becomes too much and she suffers a mental breakdown in
Lynda Dickson
Nov 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Ages 14+
Shelves: young-adult
Becca is a high school senior who crumples under the pressure of school and the weight of her insomnia. She has always been a little off. As she herself says, "It's just one of those things. You don't know you're different for a while." But her father's death two years earlier and the absence of his reassurance has finally sent her over the edge. After an incident at school, Becca is admitted to Brookside, a psychiatric care facility, where she unexpectedly befriends some of her fellow inmates: ...more
Stephanie Jane (Literary Flits)
I was very impressed with My Friends Are All Strange and think that this novel is far more than just Young Adult fiction. Narrated by seventeen year old Becca, it relates her mental breakdown in a school cafeteria and resultant stay in a Californian mental health facility. Reading this novel from Becca's point of view allowed me understand exactly what she was experiencing, her confusion and fear, and her anger. We get to know Becca well and I liked Lesh's rounded depiction of the other characte ...more
Sep 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The hardship of school, plus lack of sleep lead Becca into Brookside, a psychiatric hospital. She learns not only to control herself, but also answers to her questions which guide her into self-discovery.
The beginning of the story gave me the feeling of It's Kind of a Funny Story, and then TFIOS. What happens to Becca is something I can relate to. I cried and laughed with her. I fell in love with Roman. I couldn't help but yell at Troy.
This is a really interesting coming-of-age story with a litt
Feb 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
I received a review copy in exchange with an honest review.

The story begins with Becca, a high school student and our MC, taking her clothes off in her school's cafeteria. All of the school stress, sleep deprivation because of her insomnia, and having a wizard that is always talking to her in her head, lead to that mental breakdown.

She is directly admitted to a psychiatric facility to begin her recovery journey. She meets and befriends other people, Like Kat who had a tragic past that makes hav
T.H. Hernandez
This book is quite different from most young adult novels I've read recently. While there is a bit of a romance that plays out, it's not the primary plot nor even a major subplot. Instead, My Friends Are All Strange is about a teen girl dealing with mental illness. When seventeen-year-old Becca has a mental break in the school cafeteria, she's whisked off to Brookside, a juvenile mental health facility. As she struggles to deal with her own sanity, she meets other kids like her, dealing with the ...more
She Reads
Originally Posted At:

*I received this book through Xpresso Book Tours and the author in exchange for an honest review.*

My Thoughts

This was not my first book involving mental illness but it is definitely one of my favorites on the subject. Becca is such a relatable main character that even though we only get a short time with her I was instantly attached. When I say we don’t get much time with Becca I mean we literally don’t get much time with her due to the entirety of My
AK Mama Reads
Nov 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Wow, what a refreshing and most unique reading experience.  Many books deal with mental illness, but so few really take you into the mind of the person living with it.  I really appreciated the authors use of first person pov in this instance, and the fact that all the chaotic mess was really a great way to show just how difficult your mind can be when it's not working properly or as one might say, normally.  There are some very odd people Becca comes to love, but it all makes the more sense as ...more
Dawn Nicole Costiera
Nov 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
4.25 stars.
My Friends Are All Strange by Margaret Lesh is definitely a gripping read that sucks you in. As soon as I read the synopsis I was intrigued... I am so happy I decided to give this book a chance. I thoroughly enjoyed it from start to finish. It's a perfect book for a YA lover. It's a bit dark but overall inspirational. I loved the endearing yet strange characters and unique plot.

17 year old Becca is literally losing her mind! Lack of sleep and school pressure has lead her to have a me
Nov 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
The title MY FRIENDS ARE ALL STRANGE grabbed my attention and I just knew this was a book I needed to read.

MY FRIENDS ARE ALL STRANGE captures Becca's experience - one experience and her relationships with the people she meets. Nothing is simply explained - the doctor's aren't quick to diagnose. She can't be categorized and easily understood and this scares Becca more than anything. Her wellness is a process - without a quick fix.

One of the most touching things about this MY FRIENDS ARE ALL ST
Nov 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Much like the main character, this book is quirky and interesting. I haven't read Normalish but I did enjoy this companion novel fully. Becca is struggling to keep up with the demands of senior year and coping with the loss of her father. Add in some anxiety and a wizard and you end up at Brookside.

I didn't know quite what to expect upon reading the first few chapters, but I found myself turning page after page until it was complete. Becca's perspective on her time in an institution is both intr
Oct 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was a wonderful book. I really loved it! What I liked best about was the quirky yet endearing characters of Becca, Kat, and Bobby. Becca is quite a complex character, yet easy to relate to probably to those who are teens or young adults, but also to those like me who remember what it was like to be finding your way and learning who you are during those years. I highly recommend it to the goodreads reading community. I liked Becca as the protagonist, but I particularly liked Bobby and found ...more
Sue Holmes
A realistic and entertaining account of a young girl coping with a mental illness.
An excellent step towards creating awareness and shattering stigmas.
My Friends Are All Strange is another psychological fiction. I have been reading a lot about crazies lately. This is my third book. This talks about a strange girl named Becca. Becca is a senior in high school. Due to lack of sleep and pressure for the SAT and college applications, she had an episode in the school cafeteria. She took of her shirt because she felt too hot. Her mom brought her to Brookside to allow her to sleep and get back her normal sleeping habits. Also to manage her condition ...more
Cheap and Lazy
Not Your Run-of-the-Mill YA. Sure, there’s plenty of angst, but it’s the deep, gritty pain and fear of losing your mind—and actually losing it. I read about Becca’s breakdown in Lesh’s “Normalish” (which is about her sister, and also a great read). Becca’s story takes center stage here. This author has a way of drawing you into a character’s head—kinda scary in this case, as Becca’s suffering is terribly realistic. Yet it’s not a depressing read. Becca’s wit is sharp and incisive, and if you’ve ...more
T.C. Booth
Dec 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
My Friends are all Strange is written from the point of view of seventeen year old Becca. This story gives the reader a first-hand look inside the mind of someone suffering with mental illness. The readers gain an understanding of how difficult it is for those who struggle with these issues to navigate the stresses of every day life.

I immediately felt a connection to Becca and rooted for her throughout the entire story. I liked the voice and personality of her character. Despite the seriousness
Emily Shaw
Jan 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Although this was only a 3-star read for me, I did thoroughly enjoy this book. Becca ends up a mental hospital after stress and hallucinations begin to get to her. There, she meets some strange new friends will trying to get better. The plot to this book was good, but the characters felt very lacking to me. Becca was very flat and boring, and then other characters just lacked development, like Bobby and Roman. I would've appreciated more back story and details. Doing multiple perspectives might ...more
Lisa Bentley
Dec 05, 2018 rated it liked it
There has been a growing trend over the past few years to write stories that have mental health at the heart of it. This is a great thing. Without examples of how people are struggling, how are people to learn when to be compassionate. Sure, people should be raised to show compassion but as someone who works with adolescents I can assure you that it isn’t always the case. Therefore, YA fiction that tackles the issues of mental health awareness really is making a difference.

My Friends Are All Str
Nov 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
5/5 Stars!!

Every once in awhile, I find a book that just knocks my socks off. My Friends Are All Strange did just that.

Let me quickly summarize. Becca is struggling with a serious mental illness that lands her in a mental health facility after a stunning meltdown in her school cafeteria.

I come from a healthcare background and have some experience in the care of people with mental illness and I have to say, this book was a shockingly accurate portrayal of mental disease. Becca is a complex charac
Sep 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Seventeen year old Becca has lost touch with reality, and is sent to a mental hospital. We follow her journey as she struggles with the medication that has been given to her to help her sleep, the wizard who appears in her dreams and also when she is awake, and her feelings of disconnect from reality. I like that she makes friends with the other teens in the facility with her and seeing her gradually get better while realizing that some of her friends there may never get better. I think this is ...more
Nov 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I really liked this book. The characters are full of life and quite believable. I especially like Becca the main character, but I also found that I drawn to her "strange" meaning in a different in the most positive way. Whether you are a young person or even if you're not, I'm sure you can relate to Becca's feelings of never quite fitting in. I know I can. Check it out, I highly recommend it.
Edmund Davis-Quinn
Jun 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle
Good read. I very much wonder if she knows someone that has been hospitalized. It seems like an awfully long stay to me. The wizard in her head is very odd too. Extremely readable though.
Tonja Drecker
Dec 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
YA contemporary, especially such which deals with more serious topics, usually isn't my first choice. But there was something about the blurb which made me want to take a chance on this one. I'm glad I did.

Becca is a high school girl with tons of potential, but something flicks the switch. Before she knows what's happening, her life has spun out of control, and she finds herself living with a group of kids who no longer fit into any normal social drawer. Now, she needs to figure out if she's stu
Whoo Gives A Hoot
Dec 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
* Read more of my reviews at Whoo Gives A Hoot *
I generously received an ARC from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review...

My Friends Are All Strange by Margaret Lesh was certainly different from any of the other young adult books on the market today. This book is about Becca, a high school senior who’s life is suddenly spinning out of control. Mental health is something that receives very little recognition. I think that this author does an extraordinary job writing this book
Jan 11, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
I felt it a little soft, if that makes sense. If I'm honest, I had high expectations with this book. All the reviews are positive and the blurb was interesting. But, the secondary characters (Kat, Bobby and Roman) were more intriguing than Becca, I wanted to know more about them, about their lives.

I understood Becca. And I loved the style: how the beginning is a great confusion that perfectly reflects Becca's fragile mental state and how she tries to get better in Brookside.

The chapters are sho
Melanie Thompson
Jan 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Becca is a high-achieving, goal-oriented, focused high school senior. She seems to have it all going on. Until, that is, she cracks up. In the middle of the school cafeteria. During lunch. She is taken to a residential care facility to recover. While there she makes friends with a girl who can't form short-term memories, a boy with anger issues, and other teens with a variety of problems. Becca must learn to control her thoughts and adjust to her mental illness while navigating her relationship ...more
Jan 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Having read the precursor to this volume, I can definitely say I liked "All My Friends Are Strange" better than "Normalish."

If you ever want to know what's going on in the head of someone suffering through a mental breakdown, here ya go.

It's a rollercoaster of a ride, with richly imagined, realistic characters and some serious food for thought about intelligent kids who may be saddled with too much (Honors classes, family drama, significant other).

I'm not a big YA reader, but I do love Margare
A. Musquiz
Nov 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Review coming soon
Carrie Allard-levinson
rated it really liked it
Mar 23, 2020
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Margaret Lesh is the author of her memoirs Let Me Get This Off My Chest: A Breast Cancer Survivor Over-Shares, and My Terrible Book of Happiness: Love, Anxiety and Everything; the Young Adult novels Normalish and My Friends Are All Strange, and other books. Her short stories have appeared in The Brasilia Review, and Dust Jacket Literary Journal.

Like Bill and Ted, she believes we should be excelle

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