Monday, January 23, 2017

A Tragic Kind of Wonderful by Eric Lindstrom Book Review

a tragic kind of wonderfulMel Hannigan is 16 years old and is coming to terms with having bipolar disorder. Only her parents, her aunt and a friend of her late grandmother, who lives in the nursing home where Mel works, knows about Mel's condition. Mel is trying to cope with her brother's death, her parents divorcing and Mel and her mother moving to a new town. She spends a lot of time at Silver Sands, the retirement home, where she meets David, a boy she's interested in. Her life can be a bit unpredictable so she tries to compartmentalise her life to help her cope better with everything. When a former friend gets in contact with her, Mel is baffled as to why she's trying to talk to her and afraid of the secrets that might come out and threaten to disrupt Mel's life and mental health.

First off, let's talk about the cover! It's so beautiful! YA books are killing it cover wise these days. The US cover is just as pretty too. I enjoyed Lindstrom's previous book Not If I See You First and so I was really looking forward to this release and in fact I think I enjoyed it more than the previous book. I liked the character of Mel, as well as the other characters in the book. Lindstrom has a way of writing these characters so they feel real and believable and not cliched. I do think there was a lot going on plot wise for Mel to be dealing with (brother's death, parents divorcing, the big issue with the friends, the love story as well as the mental health aspect) and I think one or two of those arcs could have been dropped or trimmed a bit, but what I do like about this book is how the mental health element isn't the BIG problem in the book. It is certainly a central one, don't get me wrong, but I feel like we're reading about a character has all these other issues to deal with and the bipolar disorder doesn't necessarily make everything else harder, these would be issues any teenager would deal with regardless of the mental health diagnosis (just like how in Not If I See You First Parker's blindness is part of the story but it's not the big issue. It's a girl who has problems she's dealing with who just so happens to be blind). What I really liked about this book is how we see Mel managing her condition. Therapy, medication, hospitalisation, keeping track of one's moods and having family and friends for support are all things that crop up, as does the issue of just because one or more of these things work for one person, doesn't mean it will work for the next person, that dealing with mental health issues is personal to the person experiencing them. I thought this was fantastic and something that is well worth pointing out. This book lived up to my expectations and I look forward to Lindstrom's next novel!

I received this e-book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I’m not required to post a review on here and all thoughts are my own

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