In the vein of It's Kind of a Funny Story and All the Bright Places, comes a captivating, immersive exploration of life with mental illness.
For sixteen-year-old Mel Hannigan, bipolar disorder makes life unpredictable. Her latest struggle is balancing her growing feelings in a new relationship with her instinct to keep everyone at arm's length. And when a former friend confronts Mel with the truth about the way their relationship ended, deeply buried secrets threaten to come out and upend her shaky equilibrium.
As the walls of Mel's compartmentalized world crumble, she fears the worst--that her friends will abandon her if they learn the truth about what she's been hiding. Can Mel bring herself to risk everything to find out?
In A Tragic Kind of Wonderful, Eric Lindstrom, author of the critically acclaimed Not If I See You First, examines the fear that keeps us from exposing our true selves, and the courage it takes to be loved for who we really are.
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.
Read it, with a trigger warning, with a therapeutic feel.
This book, was extraordinary. best book i’ve read in a while. when i first started reading it, i read 340 pages in 2 day period. there’s only 425 total. i just closed it and never returned until today. 2 months later. the author had an amazing way of letting you visualize the words. they spilled out into this beautiful picture of my own perception.
i have bipolar disorder myself. with my depression and adhd. this book opened my eyes to many things i have experienced in different ways. it triggered my thoughts but it also helped me a lot.
I recommend this to anyone who is interested in opening their minds on a mental illness that’s not commonly spoken about.