The heart-rending and inspiring novel from the critically acclaimed author of NOT IF I SEE YOU FIRST.
How can you have a future if you can’t accept your past?
Mel Hannigan doesn’t have it easy. Mourning the death of her firework of a brother, facing the loss of three friendships that used to mean everything to her and struggling to deal with a condition that even her closest friends don’t know about. To protect herself and everyone else, Mel tries to lock away her heart, to live quietly without pain – but also without hope.
Until the plight of an old friend, and meeting someone new, shows her that the risk is worth taking, that opening up to life – and who you really are – is what can make everything glorious… And that maybe Mel can discover a tragic kind of wonderful of her very own.
A beautiful, captivating story about living with mental illness, and loving – even with a broken heart.
‘Enjoyable, clever and honest. Definitely a must for fans of The Perks of Being a Wallflower’ Kimi Wright, Waterstones
‘A heartfelt story, abut the realities of teenage life along with living with bipolar [disorder]’ Verity, 15, Lovereading4kids
‘An intimate and affecting portrait of mental illness helmed by an achingly real protagonist’ Kirkus
PRAISE FOR NOT IF I SEE YOU FIRST:
‘Gorgeous, romantic, heart-rending’ Maximum Pop!
‘Not If I See You First is thoughtful and honest, with characters that made me laugh, cry, and surprised me at every turn. It’s a book I’ll recommend for years to come.’ Kody Keplinger, author of The Duff and co-founder of Disability in KidLit
About the author
Novelist Eric Lindstrom is a veteran of the interactive entertainment industry. His writing has been nominated for a BAFTA award for Best Videogame Screenplay in Tomb Raider: Legend, and a WGA award for Best Writing in a Videogame for Tomb Raider: Underworld. Not If I See You First was his debut novel.
Sixteen-year-old Mel Hannigan attends school, spends time with friends Holly and Declan, and works at Silver Sands Suites, a retirement home, all while doing her best to appear ordinary. Privately, however, Mel is struggling to keep several things under wraps: her bipolar disorder, her late older brother, and the way she betrayed and drove away her best friend. When a new Silver Sands resident and her grandson enter Mel's life, she beings to cycle ever faster through mania and depression, and the things she's tried to hide begin to surface. Lindstrom (Not If I See You First) deftly addresses life with bipolar disorder, as well as the internalized shame often felt by individuals with mental illness. Each chapter begins with a notation of Mel's emotional state, with various internal forces illustrated by animals (a hamster for her head, a hummingbird for her heart, etc.), which offer insight into Mel's thoughts and actions. Details about Mel's deceased brother and estranged best friend are revealed slowly, providing tension and mystery. Emotions run high as Lindstrom's story confronts mental illness, grief, and shame, but the optimistic resolution provides balance. Ages 15 up.