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The Existence Of Amy

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  573 ratings  ·  218 reviews
Amy has a normal life. That is, if you were to go by a definition of 'no immediate obvious indicators of peculiarity', and you didn't know her very well. She has good friends, a good job, a nice enough home. This normality, however, is precariously plastered on top of a different life. A life that is Amy's real life. The only one her brain will let her lead. ...more
Paperback, 283 pages
Published August 2nd 2019 by Independently published
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Average rating 3.92  · 
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Brenda ~Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
Lana Grace Riva joined us for a Q & A in the Behind the Pages group and gave us some great insight into The Existence Of Amy. You can find the Q & A here.

My review
Amy seems like she functions on the outside, but she is good at hiding the daily struggles going on in her head. I instantly connected with our main character Amy and was completely drawn into her life. In some ways, many of us can relate to some of Amy's life and thoughts; however, Amy battles w
Lindsay - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
4 stars!

Insightful. Heartbreaking. Informative. Eye-opening. Hopeful.

This novel offers an intimate look into OCD, social anxiety and depression. Amy, the main character who narrates this unforgettable novel, suffers with all of these. Amy holds down a full time job, has a home and maintains friendships. However, those around her don’t know the dark depths of her personal issues. They don’t understand the constant, mentally exhausting thoughts and concerns she struggles with every minute of every
Sep 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What I particularly liked about this book is how author Lana Grace Riva has explored the topic about OCD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Many people suffer from OCD in different ways, that takes over the suffering persons life.

The challenge for Amy is every day tasks like traveling to work by bus, like she can't even press the bell to stop the bus or hold onto the pole to steady herself from the bus jolts. It's clear to Amy Do NOT TOUCH ANYTHING ON THIS BUS.

Amy has a job, which made me wonder
Jayne Anderson
Sep 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was thrilled when this author contacted me to see if I would be interested in a copy of her book to review. Of course, I accepted and then the fear set in. What if I didn't like the book and I had to leave a review that was a bit sugar coated. I've always prided myself in being totally honest when providing my feedback. Thankfully, I can honestly say I truly enjoyed this book.

It was written in the first person, which is not a style I have read a lot of, but for this story it worked perfectly a
Sep 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a really good mental health book, which follows Amy and her experiences with OCD and depression.

I didn't know much going into this one as it was kindly sent over by the author, free, for review.

I have to admit that adult contemporary books aren't usually my thing but I quite enjoyed this one probably because there was a large focus on mental health.

I really saw myself in Amy. As someone who has lived with OCD and depression, I really felt for Amy and I definitely got a bit choked up at
Jan 16, 2021 rated it really liked it
This book was so deeply insightful and hopeful. The story is told by Amy, a seemingly normal girl who suffers desperately with OCD and depression, though disguises it well… until she doesn’t, because she can’t anymore. This was an easy read that felt real and intimate. It tackled the stigma against mental health wonderfully, I felt so sorry for Amy and her struggles. It really highlighted the importance of support and friendship, even when isolating yourself seems like the easiest option. I woul ...more
Feb 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Existence of Amy by Lana Grace Riva is a book that gives a fabulous insight to what living with OCD and depression is like. 

Told from Amy's point of view, we really get inside her head and understand how her own brain is ruining her life. 

Amy struggles to leave the house, use public transport and attend social events with work friends, even just going to the pub after work is a huge battle. It's not that she doesn't want to do these things. It's that her brain tells her it's not safe. 

I have
Jan 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Amy seems like a normal woman. She has a good job, loyal friends and a nice home. As you probably think, it’s everything that wants to achieve in life. However, the real life of Amy looks completely different. She lives how her brain allows her to and it’s making everything harder. She can’t fight it, even if she wants. It controls her life, relationships and moods. It’s hard for her to leave her apartments because it’s her safe place and outside waits for her a lot of hazards.

She’s good in hid
Anika  | Chapters of May
Oct 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
TW: mental health disorders

This book is hauntingly realistic. From the first two paragraphs I could identify with Amy and it struck a chord straight away. All she wants to feel is “normal”, but instead she feels she’s anything but. Her brain has complete control over her, it’s almost like she can’t think independently of her anxieties.

While reading this book, I really felt like I was transported into Amy’s head. Halfway through, I could almost predict what her next thought of action would be be
I am a sucker for books that tackle mental health issues, so I was so excited when the author reached out and asked if I’d like a copy of her book, which is all about a woman suffering with obsessive compulsive disorder.

I have mental health issues myself, which is probably why I find the subject so incredibly fascinating, but I know very little about OCD. Obviously, I know what it is and what it drives people to do, but I don’t know how a person suffering with OCD really feels, or the full exte
Nov 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"I can't hide the crazy so well when I'm in plain visible sight of all my colleagues."

The Existence of Amy is a story about a woman who to the outside world looks like a normal working woman going about her day to day life. Yes, she may come across as anti-social when she refuses countless invites to after work drinks nights. But, how many of us shy away from socialising with our work mates.

But, as we delve deeper into the story we see that Amy isn't as grounded as we first thought. There's a p
Jan 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Amy should be happy. She has a great job that she loves, where people care about her. She has friends. She has a great place to live in England. She has her freedom to do whatever she wants with her life.

But Amy has a secret. It’s a secret that keeps her from spending time with friends. It keeps her alone and isolated, exhausted and unhappy. Amy struggles with her mental health. Her anxiety and depression sometimes conspire to wreck her life, or that’s how it feels to her anyway.

As she goes th
Steph Edmeads
Feb 23, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed reading this book, it’s definitely a book that raises awareness. It’s an eye opener, that although we sometimes check things like turning the straighteners off; turning the oven off, checking the doors are locked... These are things I openly admit to doing, but reading about Amy and her day to day life struggles with OCD and Depression was just wow. It really did put a stop to her life to the point she would not attend social events and wouldn’t leave her home. It was sad to read about ...more
Feb 05, 2021 rated it really liked it
From the outside it looks like Amy lives a pretty normal life, she is surrounded by good friends and has a successful job. However, on the inside, Amy is constantly fighting a battle inside her head.

I'm always hesitant about reading books surrounding mental health after suffering with my own for years, but I did not need to be in this case.

This was such a touching story about dealing with depression, anxiety and OCD and how it not only impacts big decisions but the little ones too. This portraye
Feb 24, 2021 rated it really liked it
I was kindly gifted this book by the author and I really enjoyed it. It was so insightful into the experiences of dealing with OCD and depression. Amy was such a lovely character and I really felt for her. I loved her friendships with Sally, Ed and Nathan. Nathan was such a special person and helped her so much. It was a beautiful book and I highly recommend.
Georgie Minter-Brown
DNF, AD - PR Product
I really tried to get through this, but in the end I had to close it up. I wanted to enjoy this, especially with the theme of mental health and OCD which is a topic I think should be talked more about, but I just found the writing style really lacked personality.

It may have been going from reading The Midnight Library not that long ago, which has similar themes but is written so beautifully that it comes to life on the page...but I found that the tone remained the same throu
Aug 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
The language/writing was a bit simple for my taste, but that also made it easy to get into and a quick read. I really loved the OCD/depression rep in this book. Didn't love the step-by-step discussion of the character's day, as it's just not to my personal taste, but it also really helps us see the effects of mental illness on her day-to-day life! ...more
Mar 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: march-2020
Thank you to Lana Grace Riva for sending me a copy of The Existence Of Amy for an honest review.

Amy suffers from OCD and depression. The Existence Of Amy is from the viewpoint inside her mind and life struggling to control it herself. The story was very interesting as it highlights regular things that might not be a problem for most but were insurmountable for the main character. It was an easy and fast read, and the only thing I can say I didn’t love was maybe it was too easy a read considering
I won a free Kindle copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway, for which I'd like to thank the publisher and the author.

I have to rate this book as "okay." Reading it, you quickly realize that there's something different about the main character, Amy. The story moved along (sometimes painfully slowly, but it did move), but at times I wondered what the point of the story was and in about the last 10% of the story, when the story then really moves, everything aligns and the point is, kinda sorta,
Róisin (somethingarosie)
Apr 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing
TW: mental illness, depression, anxiety, OCD, suicidal ideation.

~The Existence of Amy - Lana Grace Riva~
✨TEOA is reminiscent of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. But, it’s a tad more intense due to the stream-of-consciousness style narration. This narration, which allows the reader to hear all of Amy’s innermost thoughts and feelings, is very quirky. It results in a deeply affecting and impactful reading experience. Despite the heavy topics discussed within the book, it somehow remains quite
Deedi Brown (DeediReads)
All my reviews live at


The Existence of Amy is an empathetic, inside look into the way severe mental health disorders can affect a person’s life. It taught me a lot.

For you if: You want to learn more about what it’s like to suffer from OCD and depression.


3.5 rounded up to 4

A few months ago, the author, Lana Grace Riva, reached out to me via email to see if I’d be interested in receiving a copy of The Existence of Amy for review. It is inde
Lynn Brown
Sep 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I began the book I wasn't sure it was going to be for me as Chapter 1 was a first hand experience of Amy's bus journey. I had empathy with her issues on the journey, but I worried it was going to be a little depressive to read. Chapter 2 came and I was hooked!

Over the years I have met and worked with many people who others have considered not "normal". I've been laughed at for giving them the time of day or even being friends with them. When Chapter 2 begins Amy is at the office and I could
Dini - dinipandareads
So, I wanted to firstly thank the author for gifting me a physical copy of this book earlier in 2020. I’m a little embarrassed that I’ve only got around to reading this at the end of 2020, but I felt that I had to prepare myself to read it and I definitely wasn’t wrong in that respect. While I wouldn’t necessarily say this book is “heavy”, it deals with mental health issues that, if you have experienced them yourself, could potentially be triggering.

CW/TW: Severe OCD, Anxiety, Depression, Suicid
Oriana Blyth (_head_in_a_book)

⚠️Trigger warnings⚠️
Mental health, depression and thoughts of suicide

Thank you so much Lana for sending me a copy of your book to read and review. It’s imperative that my review does it justice because this book is so incredibly powerful and poignant and it deals with some very important and very real subjects.

This book follows Amy who, on the outside is trying to create an image of “holding it together” but internally it’s a very different story. She is constantly in a battle with a higher for
Alex Clement
Feb 27, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to the author who kindly gifted me this book in exchange for an honest review.

I honestly loved this book. When I read the synopsis I instantly knew this was for me. I didn’t quite know what to expect but I realise when you can’t put the book down, it’s a good sign. I’m a huge fan of short chapters which this book definitely delivers as it helps me to read for longer (even though I didn’t have a problem with that). I would point out a few potential trigger warnings ⚠️ such as suicidal
Kirsty Procter
Jun 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was lucky enough to be sent a copy of this book in exchange for a review.
This book was a very important and informative read highlighting the difficulties of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, anxiety and crippling depression.
From the very first page of this book I knew it was going to be a very hard-hitting read. I found it difficult to read through Amy's life, seeing how something that would be the smallest deal to me is something that would cause her serious issues and discomfort. Being written
Liza | The Inharmonious Heroine
My rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 stars)

“Not the jokey kind of OCD where someone might occasionally double check they’ve locked the door and say ‘I’m so OCD about that door!’. There’s nothing remotely jokey about the kind I have.”

The Existence of Amy – simply put – is a lovely book.

I think Riva manages to capture the daily struggles of someone suffering from untreated OCD and depression really well. Not only does what Amy deal with seem realistic, but it’s told in a way that feels immediately relatable
Emmie Rose
Nov 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book was heart-breaking but beautiful at the same time. Amy's story tugged at my heartstrings and has permanently attached itself their and won't ever let go. I ended up devouring this book in a few hours because it was such a realistic and relatable book. This book focuses on Amy and her mental health, so please be aware of this before you read it in case this is a trigger for you.

It was easy for me to relate to Amy in this book because of my own mental health struggles. I suffer from dep
Jenny W
Feb 13, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’m so grateful for the gift of The Existence of Amy written by @lanagraceriva from the author herself in exchange for an honest review.

This book really is such a gift. I devoured it in a day and could quite simply, not put it down.

At face value, you wouldn’t look at Amy and think she was any different to you or I. She holds down a good job, has lovely friends and lives in a nice enough house. But what we don’t know, is that Amy suffers with chronic OCD. And this isn’t just a desire for cleanlin
Brooke Garratt
Sep 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
"Am I ever going to be able to properly function as a human being?"

In this story we follow our protagonist Amy through her journey suffering with OCD and depression. As someone with OCD, I was delighted to read a book with such accurate and amazing representation, I had no idea that OCD was involved in the story before reading it and was so happy upon my discovery.

This book is so raw and does not hold anything back to keep the reader comfortable and that is so important to educate people on the
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