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Juliet the Maniac

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  138 ratings  ·  56 reviews
It's 1997, and 14-year-old Juliet has it pretty good. But over the course of the next two years, she rapidly begins to unravel, finding herself in a downward trajectory of mental illness and self-destruction. An explosive portrayal of teenage life from the perspective of The Bad Friend, JULIET THE MANIAC is a bold, stylish breakout book from an author already crackling on ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published May 7th 2019 by Melville House
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really liked it 4.00  · 
Rating details
 ·  138 ratings  ·  56 reviews

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Feb 11, 2019 rated it it was ok

"It is hard to tease out the beginning. When I was living it, my disintegration seemed sudden, like I had once been whole but then my reality swiftly slipped apart into sand. Not even sand, but slime, something desperate and oozing and sick. But looking back - I was a slow burn that eventually imploded."

Juliet Escoria has moments of literary brilliance, I mean just read that opening quote.

This book, however, fell really flat for me.

It's a fiction book that re
Scott Mcclanahan
Aug 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Uh huh. Get ready.
Bud Smith
May 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A really great novel. It’s about a teenage girl who loses her mind and goes looking for it in an institution. Reading this reminded me how great art can be when it’s wounded and weird and funny and strange where the heart is. Takes place in the 90s, back blurb compares it to the Bell Jar and Girl, Interrupted. I thought it was its own beast. I thought it was wild and fun, and devastating, and though and cool.
Aga Durka
May 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
4 Haunting Stars!

“ …I truly felt like I had a broken brain. Except it wasn’t even my brain. It was a brain of a homicidal maniac. She was trying to kill me…”

A story told by a 14-year-old Juliet, is a story of drug addition, mental illness, and teenage rebellion. This is an unapologetic, raw, and ruthlessly honest account of a young girl’s struggle to fight the demons of mental illness. It was a heart-wrenching, dark, and horrifying read for me, but I admired Juliet’s ability to distance herself
May 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I couldn't possibly do this book justice by reviewing it. It was SO incredible and so accurate in all of her descriptions from the way that she felt to psychiatric hospitalization to the effects that the different drugs have. I found pieces of myself in Juliet's story, frequently snapping pictures of certain pages or jotting lines down in my notebook. Honestly, I'll have to buy a copy so that I can highlight the crap out of it (I don't think the library would appreciate that much). Beautifully d ...more
Apr 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019, own
Jessica Sullivan
Jan 04, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019-read
“Not once did anyone ever talk about what it was like when the trauma was yourself.”

This stark, unsentimental novel puts readers inside the head of Juliet, a teenager in the late 1990s battling bipolar disorder, drug addiction, and suicidal ideation.

The first-person narrative is cleverly supplemented with reports from therapists and psychiatrists on Juliet’s diagnosis, behavior and condition to juxtapose her internal perspective with the external.

While it’s a raw and candid account of an adolesc
♥ Kym
Mar 15, 2019 rated it it was ok
I hate that I have a weakness for a shade of pink book covers.


I received an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest book review.

It’s very disturbing. Sure, the character is experiencing mental health issues and it's not something light to discuss, it was brave for the author to tell Juliet’s story, how she was able to write what was happening to the character’s mind, and I don’t expect perfection or a good plot because the mi
May 13, 2019 rated it did not like it
DNF - i tried to like this, i wanted to like this, and at first i did. But after part one it got very boring and redundant. It was the same thing over and over and felt more like an edgier YA book with lots of drug use and sex. It just didn’t seem to be going anywhere. I get that it was more so an autobiographical novel and i feel bad giving someone else’s trauma 1 Star but the way it was delivered In diary form just really didn’t keep me invested, i hope anyone who is excited for this book love ...more
Brutal. This book reads far more like fiction than it does a memoir, and I mean that in the best way possible since I tore through it, completely unable to put it down. I haven't come across a book that describes what it's like having bipolar disorder as well as this one does, and there were so many moments where I couldn't breathe because a particular example or story of Juliet's sounded so much like one of my own personal experiences before I was on some damn good medication. Juliet's wild emo ...more
Feb 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of this title

This book reminded me very much of Go Ask Alice . It felt very journalistic but in another way poetic. Each of the 'smaller' sections of the book feels almost like a free verse poem.

The story (of which I am unsure if it's biographical or not) follows Juliet through her teenage life dealing with mental illness. Representation wise this novel is done well however I think it may strengthen certain stereotypes about Bi-polar disorder
Cari Cole
Feb 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
For all of the Sylvia Plaths living in a Rupi Kaur world, this novel feels like it was sewn from our collective journeys. Not quite a memoir or a true bildungsroman, but something so much more – a companion to whisper, "you're not alone."
Rachel Bridgeman
May 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: may-2019
Many thanks to the publishers, Melville House, for sending me this book to review, it was an absolute pleasure to be able to read it and revel in it. It is so beautifully written which may sound odd considering the content,but it genuinely is.

It takes you inside the mind of fourteen year old Juliet, from the moment that she realises she sees things differently from her contemporaries, to the pupils at the new school she is sent to and then the boarding school which her parents believe will 'cure
May 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a stark, to the point and often very difficult novel to read. Not only is the structure of the story unusual, but the contents are at times horrifying and brutal.
Told, in the main, by fourteen-year-old Juliet; the reader is exposed to her innermost thoughts as she battles the mental illness that almost kills her. For it is a disease and it is the disease that kills, regardless of if the actual killing is carried out by ones own hand.

As the main character's name is the same as that of the
Ace Boggess
May 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow. This book isn't to be read so much as experienced. It vividly depicts the world of a bipolar teenager with depth and understanding. The story is ugly and honest, beautiful and sad, uplifting and overwhelming--pick an adjective, I'm sure it fits here. Just a thoroughly compelling read.

While the author and narrator share the same name, the book bills itself as a novel, yet lacks the usual disclaimer about "any resemblance to actual persons," so of course you as reader will spend much of your
miss.mesmerized mesmerized
When Juliet finally comes to High School, she has high expectations. Since she is assigned to many honours classes, her talents sure will soon be seen by her teachers. However, instead of concentrating on her educational goals, Juliet is completely preoccupied with what others think of her, why she does not fit in and why she even lost the only friend she had in middle school. She struggles more and more and enters a spiral of drugs and self-harm until she, at last, cries for help and is brought ...more
May 20, 2019 added it
Shelves: edelweiss-arcs
No stars - I gave up on this one halfway through. It just doesn’t work as a novel. Maaaaybe as a memoir... Some autofiction manages to sketch out believable characters while skirting the line of memoir, but this book just doesn’t get that far. A girl’s string of mental breakdowns, hospital stays, drug use and general teenage misbehavior doesn’t frame her up as a novel’s main character well enough for me to stay invested. But do read her husband Scott’s book The Sarah Book, which I liked... which ...more
Feb 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have received an ARC from publisher via NetGalley form an honest review.

Thank you Juliet.
Thank you for providing such a detailed and realistic insights into the onset and struggles of mental illnesses. There are a lot of misconceptions about mental illnesses especially when it comes to depression and self-harm. This book allows us to get a glimpse of the inner turmoil of a person who suffers from manic depression and hopefully in turn, more understanding and compassion for people who are strug
Jalia Shelley
Jan 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Heartbreaking story of a young girls journey through mental illness. Content is eye opening and hard to get through, but ultimately uplifting. Thank goodness the medical community recognizes mental illness and takes it more seriously now than it did in the 80’s and 90’s. Bravo to Ms.Escoria for bravely telling her story and hopefully helping many others, you are truly an inspiration. Thank you #NetGalley for this beautiful book.
May 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow. What a way to get into someones head. That head mentally ill. While I guess it ended on a positive note, I was sorry that we didn't get to hear how she turned everything around. I know she did becuase I've met her. I know her parents and they are quite proud of her. A good read for anyone who has compassion.
Chris Haak
Feb 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very daring and honest novel of an adolescent growing up whilst trying to cope with psychological problems such as manic depression, cutting, suicide attempts etc. Luckily, she has got friends and a good relationship with her parents. Very impressive.

Thanks Melville House and Edelweiss for the Arc.
Dec 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
Admittedly, I started reading this book and thinking "uh..I'm not so sure about this." I was expecting a standard type of fiction/romance novel centered around a girl with mental illnesses because it was in the YA section of NetGalley. I guess I should have looked a little closer because then I would have realized it's more of a memoir. I ALMOST, ALMOST put it down and now I'm really glad I didn't.

This is not a light-hearted read. This is intense, dark, and truthful to the point of discomfort.
Apr 18, 2019 rated it did not like it
I received an advanced digital copy of this book from the author, and Melville House Publishing. Thanks to all for the opportunity to read and review.

Juliet the Maniac is a fictionalized account of the author's journey to recovery and mental health. As intriguing as the premise was, the author is too busy glamorizing the very thing that she was trying to overcome. Her treatment is trivialized, an inconvenience to the story of drugs and unbelievable accounts of sex acts. Spontaneous
Sep 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
this is a very good book
Lolly K Dandeneau
Apr 10, 2019 rated it liked it
via my blog:
'I prayed for the opposite of salvation. I prayed for abandonment. I prayed for God to forget me.'

Juliet the Maniac takes the period in our lives that is one of the hardest, adolescence but explores more than your typical, familiar teenage angst by sinking into the depths of mental illness. Medicines that cause dizziness, that maybe tune out the ‘many noises or shadows’ and yet doesn’t work enough. The fog that enters the brain, when most kids a
Jan 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Wow so many feelings for this book. I don't even really know where to start...

I'll start with part of the book's description that totally made me mad: "An explosive portrayal of teenage life from the perspective of The Bad Friend..." what?! This is a terrible description for the book I read. There are few things that make me angrier than reading blurb copy that was written to raise curiosity/to sensationalize and then book ends up being something completely different and now you're disappointed
Suz Jay
Mar 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
“I was alone on that roof, no people, just me, everything empty and black. I wanted to jump into it, to become it, give in, forget my name. Not die. A desire to be a void, not a person.”*

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

JULIET THE MANIAC is a tale of teenage pain viewed through the lens of an adult looking back on her experiences with mental illness, attempted suicide, drug abuse, and self-harm. Objects such as illustrations, han
Carla  (happiestwhenreading)
May 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019, 2019-4
{#partner @melvillehouse) This is a semi-autobiographical novel about mental health issues, anxiety, and depression. It's a tough read at times; my heart hurt so bad reading about Escoria's experiences and knowing there's nothing I could do to help her. I was frustrated by her parents and their seemingly obliviousness to their daughter's cries for help. Once they did get her the help she needed, she ended up in a boarding school that was later shut down for inappropriate practices.

There were par
Jan 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
[ARC from publisher via NetGalley. Book comes out in May 2019. Potential triggers for addiction, self-harm, suicide]

Juliet the Maniac is written to read like the fictionalized retelling of the author's first onslaught of mental health issues, when she was a teenager. It's a very realistic rendition of a young mind dealing with the emergence of bipolar disorder, her self-medication attempts (with drugs, alcohol, self-harm, and reckless behavior), her attempted suicide, and the medical treatment s
Jan 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
I'm a bit biased on this review because I love Juliet Escoria's writing. I read "Black Cloud" a few years ago, loved it immensely, and knew that I had to have more of whatever she writes. This book was no exception. I got an advance digital copy on Edelweiss and read it in a few days.

"Juliet the Maniac" is a fictionalized account of the author's struggles with mental health issues as a teenager. The story begins when her bipolar disorder emerges around age 14 and continues for two years, chronic
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JULIET ESCORIA is the author of the novel JULIET THE MANIAC, forthcoming from Melville House in May 2019. She also wrote the poetry collection WITCH HUNT (Lazy Fascist Press 2016) and the story collection BLACK CLOUD (CCM/Emily Books 2014), which were both listed in various best of the year roundups. Her writing can be found in places like Lenny, Catapult, VICE, Prelude, Dazed, and Hobart and has ...more