Get Well Soon by Julie Halpern | Review

Get Well Soon (Anna Bloom, #1)Get Well Soon (Anna Bloom #1) by Julie Halpern

Genre: YA, Realistic Fiction, Mental Health
Pages: 208
Publisher: Feiwes & Friends
Rating: 3.5 stars

Summary:  Anna Bloom is depressed, so depressed that her parents have committed her to a mental hospital with a bunch of other messed-up teens. Here she meets a roommate with a secret (and a plastic baby), a doctor who focuses way too much on her weight, and a cute, shy boy who just might like her.

But wait! Being trapped in a loony bin isn’t supposed to be about making friends, losing weight, and having a crush, is it?

My opinion on the book:

When i picked up this book i don’t know what i was looking for, but i gotta admit that i found so much more than what i was expecting.

Anna has been committed to a mental hospital because of her depression and now she is living in this different kind of world (figuratively). All she wants is to go back to her normal life and while waiting for it, she writes letters to her best friend.

From the letters she writes, this is an epistolary book, we learn about her life in the hospital, the people she meets there and how is she feeling.

Never before i picked up this book i’d read about a mental hospital and it was such an eyes opener. The things that happened in the ward brought me back to the time i myself was hospitalized because it was so much like it. So many times while reading i wanted to stop Anna and explain to her why the things were like they are… Looking at it from a different point of view and time made me realize a lot of things i didn’t when i was in the hospital myself and it felt sort of cathartic.

I ‘ve to admit i didn’t like much the characters and to be completely honest though i remember some of the plotlines i don’t remember even the names of the different characters.

Personally, i didn’t like the main character, Anna, at all… she was annoying and too self-involved. Maybe i saw traits of myself i don’t like in her and that’s why.

But the thing that after all this time stays with me is how much it reminds me of my times on the psychiatric ward.

The book is written pretty straight forward, it’s just a teenage girl writing everything that happens to her to her best friend, and that’s how it feels, nothing out of the ordinary.

Overall, it was a weird book to read… and by this, i’m talking about the uncanny resemblance to my time on the hospital.. i wonder how many people who read this felt the same as me or if their experience was so different this feels fake to them. If you really want to know my story parallels more than 50%-50% to what happens on the book.

‘Til Next Time 😉

firma

 

 

MHAM: Books Reviewed

Hello everyone! So, I’ve been busier than expected this month, but i  hope to work onfinchandviolet some posts this weekend. Anyway

Anyway, i didn’t want to leave you without some more Mental Health Awareness Month related posts so i decided on sharing with you the book reviews i wrote about books that feature mental illness, these go from slight touches on the topic to being heavily featured on the book.

We Are The Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick

Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley

I’m Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid

Playlist For The Dead by Michelle Falkoff

More Than This by Patrick Ness

All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

The Rest Of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

Homeroom Diaries by James Patterson

 

MHAM: YA Book Recommendations

Hey guys!  This month is running so fast! I cannot believe we are almost half way through and i still haven’t shared with you the posts i wanted and planned to!

Okay, now that i’m here i thought to give you a few recommendations for YA books about mental illness … I hope you find some of them interesting for you! Check them out!!

The Rest of Us Just Live Here The Rest Of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

This book describes perfectly how it is to live with a mental illness. There’s one chapter that just blew my mind in which the main character has a talk with his therapist and it is just uncanny how realistic it is.

Made You Up Made You Up by Francesca Zappia

The narrator of this book suffers from Schizophrenia.  This one is still on my TBR, but the little i read of this looks really promising and truthful.

WintergirlsWintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

This book touches the topics of anorexia, depression, self-harm and the need of so many young people of being perfect.

Highly Illogical Behavior Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley

The main character of this book suffers from social anxiety and hasn’t left home in years. On this great story, a girl decides she wants to help him get better and a beautiful friendship is born.

All the Bright Places All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

A book about depression and bipolar disorder. This book has been really important to me for a very long time. It deals with very difficult topics and in my opinion, does it pretty well.

Finding Audrey Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella

After a bullying incident at school, the main character of this book developed an anxiety disorder. As we follow her life without getting out of her house and how this changes because of something or someone. I don’t personally agree with that idea but it is nicely written and many people liked this book very much.

 

firma

Friday Finds | March – April – May

Friday Finds
Description: Friday Finds showcases the books you ‘found’ and added to your To Be Read (TBR) list… whether you found them online, or in a bookstore, or in the library — wherever! (they aren’t necessarily books you purchased).

It’s been a really long while since the last time i posted this ‘section’ … so long, well, it was mostly because of my book buying ban … it was long and horrible, but it’s over and i’ve got some really interesting books lately.

I’ll talk about March, April and May (or the beginning of May anyway).

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them The Original Screenplay by J.K. Rowling

I read it before watching the movie but i didn’t had a physical edition of the book. Look, i loved the movie and all,  but i’m still so disappointed on the other thing … i shall not say its name, and i wasn’t sure if i should even try entering this new side of Harry’s world or let it be and have a good memory of it a little ruined by that thing… anyway… i ended up purchasing the book because it looks really pretty.

History Is All You Left Me  History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

I read it when it came out, i even wrote a review for it, you can find it here. I had it on a kindle version but i really wanted the physical version. This book is so precious… i just had to own a physical edition of this book. I recommend it t everyone.

 

 

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick

Once again, this is a book i read before i bought the physical version. This was one of the books i enjoyed the most last year. I wrote a review for this book, ou can read it here.

 

 

On April i traveled to Spain (omg!!!) it was the first time in 15 years i visited a country where people speak Spanish, and i gotta admit i was so awed by listening to Spanish everywhere.  It was the dream. Like, there’s this huge store (FNAC) that has so many cool stuff, electronics, movies, series and books and it’s the best thing ever. So i spent about 5 hours while i was there just looking at everything.

Obviously, i came back with some books!

Kafka en la orilla Kafka On The Shore by Haruki Murakami

I have an obsession with his writing since i started reading is books. But this book was one of those that were big enough for me to not want to try it on English but in Spanish and i got it!!

Though now that i think about it, i never read one of his books in Spanish, i wonder if the translation is good…

 

Joyland Joyland by Stephen King

I bought this one mostly because i wanted to buy a Stephen King’s novel for my stepdad even though he told me not to.. so i told him it was for me… So it will come back to me eventually and i’ll read it.

 

 

 

Relatos terroríficos 1Relatos Terrorificos (Horrific Tales) by Junji Ito (9 volumes)

Basically, 9 different horror tales, each book is a standalone.

I was looking so much for something like this, and he is one of the most recognized Horror’s Mangaka.

I haven’t started them, but i’m so looking forward to the moment i do.

Solanin Solanin by Inio Asano

This was recommended by a Spanish Youtuber i follow, and it sounded really interesting, so i decided to give this a chance.

 

 

 

This month, I bought only two books so far and both were for kindle… i’m planning on purchasing The Dark Prophecy by Rick Riordan pretty soon, … i axtually can’t believe i haven’t yet… Anyway the books i did bought were:

A Boy Worth Knowing A Boy Worth Knowing by Jennifer Cosgrove

I remember wanting to read it when i checked on it a few weeks ago but i truly can’t remember what is it about… anyway, why not.. more books never hurt anyone.. right????? I actually don’t know!!

 

 

Least but not last… the book i’m currently reading

The Fangirl Life: A Guide to All the Feels and Learning How to Deal The Fangirl Life: A Guide to All the Feels and Learning How to Deal by Kathleen Smith

This book is getting me on a spiritual level… i’m really enjoying it at the moment… i recommend it to all the Fangirls out there, and i say fangirls, not fanboys… the author makes this remark…

 

 

Well, these are all the books i got since March! I thought they were more…

Anyways, that’s all for now!

Happy Friday 🙂

firma

 

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

I know it’s been a really long time since i wrote something for the blog, and to be completely honest it’s all Skam’s fault.  In case you don’t know what Skam is… well, it’s THE TV SHOW… i’ll be posting about it sometime soon… or at least i hope.

Anyway, this month is Mental Health Awareness Month.

As a person battling mental illness since i was 16 (though i’m pretty sure it started before, but i was diagnosed at 16) i believe it’s part of my ‘job’ to talk about this topic. Obviously relating this to books, since my blog is about books and literature, but not only that.

I was hoping you could give me your opinion on what would you want to read about relating to mental health, i have a lot to say about it, but i don’t wanna just throw all of that to you.

Obviously, this month i have a tbr just consisting of books that feature mentally ill characters, which i hope will make the cut and become reviews.  I’ll be posting the

I’ll be posting the tbr later in the week. I want to talk about mentally ill characters and their representation on books and tv shows. I’ll be giving some book recommendations and i may talk about books that didn’t work out for me. Maybe,  if you want me to also recommend some movies or just talk about own experiences, or if you want to share your on experience with mental illness… i’m open to all ideas right now.

I truly see this month as an opportunity to make a change in how people see and think about mental illness. I think it’s our job to make the difference, to speak up about the issue and not be afraid to say ‘yeah, i suffer from…’ (in my case depression and avoidant personality disorder).

So yes, i’m open to ideas and any recommendations really at the moment.

I hope we can make the best of this month.

‘Til next time!

firma

 

 

Some previous posts i made on the topic of mental illness:

Mental Illness & Literature.

#Life With A Mental Illness

Mental Illness & Literature.

Lately i’ve been trying to find the words to a lot of ideas i have. After a while, i ditched a few posts i was writing and i couldn’t find my way back to the blog. I guess, what i am trying to say is, sorry for being absent this much the last few months. The why is without a doubt related to the topic i want to talk about today.

Yesterday was my birthday World Bipolar Day and i thought it would be good to talk about this topic in general since mental illness and literature go far way back together.

It’s not a secret that many famous authors had a Bipolar Disorder, and many of them either tried to hurt themselves or succeeded in committing suicide.

Authors like Virginia Woolf, Sylvia Plath, Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway are only a few of those who left their mark in literature’s history, authors whose books are still relevant and loved by many.

Personally, i haven’t read many books written by mentally ill authors, mostly because they have a huge impact on my life when i do. I’ll forever remember the time when i read J.D. Salinger, it was about 7 years ago and i was obsessed, but also, i felt more sick than usual while reading his works. For this to make any sense you need to know that i suffer from Depression and have an Avoidant Personality Disorder.

So, his works weren’t the best i could read at the moment i did read them and the fear of falling into a deeper state of depression stayed forever in my mind. Still, i will always love Holden Caufield and all the letters i wrote to him at the time are well preserved.  But we aren’t here to talk about me.

The thing is, these past few weeks i’ve been watching (obsessively so if i say it myself) a tv show where they touch the subject of mental illness. The show is mostly for teenagers (…) but is great. It teaches so much more than all the crap going on most shows these days.

The portrait of the mental illness in the show many be a bit off on timing because it is a show with short seasons, but it really shows not only the way a person suffers from a manic episode and then the fall to the depressive one but also the side of the people around the person in a very real way. (if you want to know the name of the show just tell me).

The thing was, it felt real, very real, because of many things. The fact that a person may not be as comfortable on sharing even with the people they care about that they have a mental illness, how people that don’t understand about it may  find it hard to be around mentally ill people even if they are their family, the lonely feelings of a suffering mind, and the truest fact of them all;  Love may help you get through difficult times, but it will not cure your mental illness.

This was the fact that got me the most. As a person suffering from a mental illness myself, as i said before, i have my share of feelings and emotions i went through while in my worst times. Obviously, each one of us is a world on our own, but many tend to feel the same or pretty close to each other in the kind of feelings and can relate to these stories, this is not a thing that happens. I’ve meet a lot of people with mental illnesses and many kinds of them, and never ever saw that falling in love suddenly saved someone from themselves.

And now to the very point i wanted to make. As you can see from my blog, i mostly read YA books, and this is just fine. You see, there a lots of topics to read about in YA literature as in any other genre. The thing is, for some reason, the tropes in YA literature blook-down down on the readers.

This happens with most tropes but the mental illness card or the illnesses at all in YA literature uses love as a magical weapon that can save you from everything. Ridiculous. There is a terrible amount of books I’ve read about mentally ill characters where the love interest somehow manages to get them to feel all better and then life is amazing again, like these characters weren’t ill at all, ever.

Are you seriously trying to sell me the idea that finding love can cure me of my depression? Well, i’ll be damn, i need to get me a boyfriend ASAP then.

No, really. For some reason, as the internet became a place where people look for validation from others and for them to be the most special person ever, mental illness becomes a way for them to stand out(and i do realise this may sound ironic, because i just said that i’m mentally ill myself and i could be looking for the same validation, but i don’t) and so the YA literature gives them, even more ideas and reasons for them to pretend to be ill.

Obviously, there are mentally ill people, young people and older ones and they are all valid and real, but also there are some people looking to sound ‘cool’.

Well, mental illness is not a ‘cool’ thing to have and that is exactly why i think the way YA literature uses many times the topic in a very loosely way and that feels just wrong.

Sure, mental illness is a topic that needs to be talked about, it’s important because many may not even know they should get themselves some medical help and such and these books create awareness on the topic. But they need to take themselves seriously enough and be more real with the people so they don’t create false expectations on the readers, especially on those who suffer from these illnesses.

Well, i wish i could go on and on on the topic right now but i have some other stuff to work on right now.

I hope this didn’t feel disrespectful or anything like that, obviously this was written only because i felt the need to bring this issue to my blog somehow. I’ll be writing more on the topic as the Mental Health Month Awareness get closer.

Have a good day!

firma

Things I Should Have Known by Claire LaZebnik | Review

Things I Should Have Known Things I Should Have Known by Claire LaZebnik

Genre: YA
Pages: 320
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Rating: 3.5 stars

Synopsis: From the author of Epic Fail comes the story of Chloe Mitchell, a Los Angeles girl on a quest to find love for her autistic sister, Ivy. Ethan, from Ivy’s class, seems like the perfect match. It’s unfortunate that his older brother, David, is one of Chloe’s least favorite people, but Chloe can deal, especially when she realizes that David is just as devoted to Ethan as she is to Ivy.

Uncommonly honest and refreshingly funny, this is a story about sisterhood, autism, and first love. Chloe, Ivy, David, and Ethan, who form a quirky and lovable circle, will steal readers’ hearts and remind us all that it’s okay to be a different kind of normal.  

My opinion on the book:

*First of all, i received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange of my honest opinion*

When Chloe’s big sister Ivy, an autistic young woman starts to ask about love interests Chloe realises her sister is feeling lonely and she decides to find Ivy a boyfriend.

The story was very different than what i expected, in a good way. Truly it talks a lot about how society sees people with autism, about the families and the autistic persons themselves.

Also, luckily enough the book wasn’t all about the main character love life, but about her sister.

I enjoyed learning about autism and appreciated the fact that it was written by someone who knows about the topic from her own life (one of the author’s sons is autistic).

The story doesn’t have many twists or surprises though it had one i wasn’t expecting at all. At moments it was really fun but it also knew when to take the story more seriously.

I didn’t like the main character much. I think her journey could have been more explicit that it was, but she did change the way she saw the world. I liked many of the other characters, though.

One of the main problems i had with the book was that the main character was so perfect at first, she had everything, she was smart and pretty and everyone liked her in school, she also was dating the hottest guy in school. It felt a little too much.

There’s romance for both the sisters in the book. I wasn’t really expecting any of it to be honest. I think the romance for Chloe was rushed and unnecessary. Why can’t people just be friends?

Anyway, i enjoyed the way the book was written. It was a ‘friendly written’ book. It never felt like the author was looking down on you but saw you eye to eye.

It was a fun reading, i read it pretty fast and i found it to be easy and sweet.

I would recommend it to people looking to read about young autistic people more than people looking for a romance, though.

The book will be released March 28th, i hope you give it a chance!

Happy reading,

firma