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A Divided Mind

(The Divided Series #1)

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  154 ratings  ·  112 reviews
Sometimes that little voice in your head isn’t always yours.

What if the only friend you have isn’t real? When the voices in his head begin to make sense, high school senior Branson Kovac turns to the one friend he’s still got… only to discover he’s not really there.
Paperback, 322 pages
Published July 27th 2019 by Tangled Tree Publishing
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Two Nerds With Words There is a NA character in this book, but this is most definitely not a coming-of-age book. We dual points of view, one of them being a middle-age wom…moreThere is a NA character in this book, but this is most definitely not a coming-of-age book. We dual points of view, one of them being a middle-age woman's. (less)
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Average rating 4.16  · 
Rating details
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Julie (JuJu)
A well-written, emotional journey through a young man’s diagnosis of mental illness and the struggles his family faces. Psychological thrillers with mental illness are usually a big hit with me, but this one doesn’t classify. If you’re looking for a real “thriller”, this isn’t it.

Tara is a twice-divorced mother, with four children from two different fathers. Although her personal life is somewhat of a wreck, she’s successful in her career at Wyoming State University as the Director of Admission
Paula  Phillips
May 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wasn't 100% sure what this novel would be about, but as soon as I started reading it. I found myself in my element as a topic that has been massively popular in my reading interests is those edgy books that feature issues with mental health and illnesses. In A Divided Mind by M. Billiter, we have the point of views of Tara, Branson, and Aaron. Tara is a single mother of four children and working at the local college in the admissions office. She has two sons in high school Branson and Aaron an ...more
Rating: 3.5/5.0

Contemporary + Mental illness

The story is about Tara & her son Branson who is suffering from a form of schizophrenia that is called Schizoaffective disorder. The whole story is about how the family will be affected and cope with Branson's illness.

Book Structure:
According to Goodreads, this book is 322 pages, with 39 chapters. The chapters are in decent length. The story is told from two perspectives, Tara's & Branson's.

- Tara's perspective chapters show what a
Kristin Scearce
Dec 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book made me so emotional. I laughed, I cried... and I cried... and I cried. It's so raw and real and just sucks you in right from the start. Such a true testament to what people in this situation go through, not just the individual affected but also their family, friends, and other relationships. I just can't recommend this book enough! ...more
Apr 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Divided Mind is an interesting read about a boy who is schizophrenic. I'm glad to read a book that doesn't shy away from mental illness. It's an important topic that needs to be addressed much more often than it actually is. The story is riveting and heart wrenching but also hopeful. I felt sympathetic toward the characters. It's a book to read with an open mind and an understanding that mental illness is very real. Families suffer and adjust as shown in the story. I hope this book speaks to y ...more
Getting a phone call from my child letting me know they're hearing voices would rock my world! That's what happened in this book and I sympathized with these parents. As well as the 17 year old, Brandon that everything was happening to. How do you react? I really felt connected to the families pain. Great book.

Thank you Netgalley for providing an ARC for me to read and review.
Morgan Schulman
I received an advanced reader’s copy in exchange for an honest review

This book is not really a thriller – it’s a wire novel about a boy dealing with schizophrenia and his family’s adjustment. It’s not a bad book, but by no means a thriller
Aug 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 Stars

A Divided Mind by M. Billiter was a lot different to what I had expected- not really in a bad way but definitely not what I thought I’d be reading. I snapped this book up thinking I was getting a thrilling mystery with perhaps a psychological aspect to the story, but instead found a contemporary fiction story focusing on mental illness and how the individual, his family, and friends come to terms with it all. I may have been a little disappointed to begin with, but after reading the story
Mar 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As I am writing this, I JUST finished reading A Divided Mind by M. Billiter.

Description: " What if the only friend you have isn't real?

When the voices in his head begin to make sense, high school senior Branson Kovac turns to the one friend he's still got... only to discover he's not really there."

Okay, so this book is being called a psychological thriller. I do not know why. It is not a thriller. It is about a high school senior with schizoaffective disorder (more on that in a sec), and his mo
catherine ♡
Hm. I really thought this book would be thriller/suspense, but it's really more of a contemporary book on mental illness (which I can still appreciate). It definitely wasn't what I expected, though, and the "friend" mentioned in the blurb doesn't show up until halfway through the book, and by then we already knew that the friend wasn't real. I also wasn't a huge fan of the mom's perspective, and while I liked that it showed the point of view of someone else, reading about her job and things like ...more
A Divided Mind by M. Billiter was a unique read that was a completely different then I thought it would be.

I went into this book thinking it was a thriller but, it was more like a life contemporary, about metal illness, and how this family had to face that life challenge. So it was a little off putting for me that this wasn't the thriller I was hoping for, but overall I did like this story. You can tell a lot of care and research went into making the read as emotional and realistic as possible.
Jul 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thrillers are often one of my guilty pleasures. So when I saw the gripping cover for A Divided Mind I sort of went in blind. I have not read M. Billiter before so I was also new to her writing. I think I was quite pleasantly surprised by what this book turned into being. I will say right now, this book doesn’t really belong in the thriller category, to me at least. It doesn’t mean this book wasn’t great it is just miscategorized for what the story truly does tell.

What do we get then if not a thr
Review based on ARC (Advanced Readers Copy received for free in exchange for an honest review).

I am always drawn to novels covering psychological issues. In this one, what we know from the start is that the main kid (late-high school twin boy) hears voices in his head. That was enough for me to request the book.

When I received it, contrary to my normal way of proceeding, I read what is called a dedication, but amounts to a sort of mini-introduction. I was pulled in by the pictures, I must confes
Eileen Richards
Jun 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This book is a MUST READ for anyone in, or wanting to know more about mental health in the world today. An engrossing story from start to finish INSPIRED by real life. I laughed, cried and cheered for this family and their struggles with fear, misdiagnoses and the often negative stigmatizing of people afflicted with-and affected by mental health/illness today. I finished this read about 10 days ago and it is still in the forefront of my mind. You will not be sorry that you picked up this
I was nervous picking up this book. Mental illness is a tough subject to tackle and is often dramatized to the point of being inaccurate. That was not the case with A Divided Mind.

As someone who actually suffers with the illness written about in A Divided Mind, Billiter did a great job of crafting a realistic portrayal of the illness. The symptoms exhibited by Branson sometimes made the reader question what was real, but I loved that in doing so it helps the reader get further into the mind of s
May 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
ARC received in exchange for a honest review.

I have a lot of time for authors that write the book they want (need) to write and it’s clear that’s what’s happened here.

Tara is a mother of four and at the top of her profession when one of her children tells her something she didn’t see coming.

This book is a journey through mental health. The symptoms, the diagnosis, the treatment and the living with it. It depicts how it affects everyone not just the person diagnosed.

This book is told mostly fr
Rachael Tamayo
May 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: suspence, thrillers
If you have read my book, Crazy Love, then you might already know that I advocate for mental illness. I am pulled in my own reading towards books with a psychological twist, and in my new thrillers I weave it into the threads of the stories. I was eager to get my hands on this one, knowing the history behind it. I picked it up, not sure what to expect, but found myself drawn in and totally fascinated. This book is a page turner. A realistic account of one family’s struggles as a young man descen ...more
Dean Petersen
Sep 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What I love about Billiter's book is there isn't any down time. It's an emotional roller coaster with no brakes. I normally don't read this genre, but I was hooked by the story of a very motivated woman realizing her teenage son might not have the life she had worked hard to help him prepare for. The book seethes with the emotions of a family dealing with mental illness and I loved the heart felt moments between the siblings as well as the mother and son. I also really like the scares it offers ...more
Allyson Preble
I was attracted to this novel first by the cover, then by the description. I don't know much about schizophrenia but I was interested enough to pick up the book. M. Billiter's writing style is honest and raw, and I found Tara's character a little unbelievable. She seemed more protective and loving towards Branson than her other children. That being said, I am not a mom, so. The contrast between Branson's character and Tara's character helped elevate the novel and made it more captivating. The sc ...more
Kade Gulluscio
May 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
Thanks NetGalley!

"What if the only friend you have isn't real?"

High school senior Branson hears voices in his head and soon begins to realize that the one friend he has isn't real afterall.

the book has lots of twists and turns. it's told through the POV of Tara, [ bransons mom ] and Branson. This book portrays mental illness.... from the symptoms to the diagnosis to the treatment.. and i think that's extremely important.
May 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed the majority of this book.
It's a heart wrenching tale of not only having mental illness but coping with that alongside adolescence, spousal abuse, and the stigmatised ideas of medication and treatment.
I must say though, I found Tara rather irritating. I understand to some degree her guilt but also, a lot of the time I just wanted to throat punch her. Her attitude towards some of the issues was just plain unmotherly. I really didn't take to her as a character.
And the epilogue..
May 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“Please. We have to fix him. There’s got to be something.”
An account of one family’s struggles as a high schooler descends into mental illness. It is told in dual POV – the son’s perspective and the mother’s perspective. Not only does the son have to come to grips with what is happening to him, but also the entire family and friends. Not only does he want his dreams and goals back, his family wants their son and brother back. A difficult subject that It is written very well with emotional honest
May 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having always been interested in mental health and mental illness I was really looking forward to reading this book. It was fascinating to hear the mother’s perspective as well as her son’s (the patient). And I definitely did not expect that ending! I will definitely read the sequel. I gave this book 3.5 stars rounded to 4. Many thanks to Tangled Tree Publishing and Netgalley for the opportunity to read an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
May 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-books, arc
I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

I greatly appreciated the chance to read this book. It dives headfirst into the effects of mental illness not only to the person experiencing the disease, but looking at how the family adjusts as well.
While not quite as mysterious as anticipated from the initial teaser/synopsis, there are certainly a few surprising twists in the story that were unexpected despite expecting the anticipated imaginary friend.
Apr 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2019
Wow! This look inside a family and their struggle with mental health gets you right in the feels. As a mom, I couldn't put this down, thinking about how my family would react.

18 year old Branson hears voices. His friend Trevor seems to get him in trouble all the time. In this psychological novel, it is hard to tell what is real and what isn't.

Definitely worth a read!
InD'tale Magazine
"A Divided Mind” by M. Billiter is a remarkable first-person journey, from the perspectives of a mother and her troubled 17-year-old son.

Read full review in the 2019 June issue of InD'tale Magazine.
Ryan Hixson
Jul 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
A Divided Mind by M. Billiter is a good emotional piece about the struggles of a family dealing with one of it's children being a schizophrenic. It's being marked as a thriller and I don't feel it fits that category, general fiction fits it better. The book does have one or two thrilling moments, but it is more of a think piece that show how an individual and his mother deal with the illness. The novel is mainly told through Branson who has schizophrenia and his mother as she deals with the diag ...more
Vivian Stevenson
Thank you to Tangled Tree Publishing / Netgalley for allowing me to read this in exchange for an honest review!

This novel was not really what I was expecting. It sounded really good based on the synopsis, but the writing almost felt like young adult (minus all of the curse words).

You follow a few perspectives in this one.

Tara is a mom of four children, two of them are twin boys, Aaron and Branson. She works as a director of college admissions in Wyoming State University. You follow her and he
Jennifer Pierson
Jul 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Divided Mind is one of those books that is really hard to review, yet, stays in your head long after you finish it. It's the story of a boy named Branson, who started displaying symptoms of mental illness that manifested itself into an imaginary friend. It's told from his, and his mother Tara's POV. Tara is a single mom who would do anything for her kids, and she does her very best with Branson, but they were put through the ringer for real. And that's all that I really want to say about the d ...more
Jenni Bishop
Jul 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Divided Mind by M. Billiter is a fictional story but written from experience. It is well  written and absolutely nothing like I expected. It is a realistic look at a mental disorder  and the struggles that each one affected by it goes through. It is both sad and  frustrating and I went through so many emotions reading it. How do you help someone  with a mental illness? Having experienced a mental health problem myself, and  watching a work friend go through this exact same situation with her s ...more
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M. Billiter is the alter ego of contemporary, award-winning romance author, Mary Billliter.

After writing more than a dozen love stories, she is exploring the other side. Best known for her emotional honesty, Mary doesn’t write about well-adjusted people, but rather the wounds in life.

M. Billiter writes with clarity and raw emotion to explore difficult subjects and issues close to her heart.

Other books in the series

The Divided Series (2 books)
  • The Divided Twin

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