Girl in Pieces 

Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow 
☆☆☆☆/5

THE GREAT READING BINGE OF 2017

Genre: YA Fiction

When I say sadness  what I really mean is: black hole inside of me filled with nails and rocks and broken glass and the words I don’t have anymore.'”

Trigger warning: Self Harm, Suicide, Drug usage



I picked this one off of a list. With Thirteen Reasons Why trending, I’m gonna say this was really worth the read and worth all the pain and sadness. It was tragic and sad but had a happy ending. 

Charlie starts off the book in a hospital, recovering from a recent suicide attempt. She has select mutism and is thouroughly broken apart. They release her early due to financial issues and she decides to go to Arizona with a friend who offered her a place to stay. (She was coming off homelessness). Upon arriving, she finds a job and at this job meets washed up Rockstar Riley. Then she makes some choices that go very downhill very fast. 

This book was definitely hard to read with my depression but I’m glad that I did. The author has personal experience with the issues talked about in the book and she provided a resource page for teens in need and suicide awareness. 

I highly recommend this book but I included a trigger warning for a reason.

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The Bell Jar 

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
☆☆☆☆☆/5

THE GREAT READING BINGE OF 2016

Genre: Fiction

I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn’t make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing meant losing all the rest, and as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black…

This was my first venture into Plath. Who both lived and died tragically. I have come to understand why young girls start wearing black, extra thick eyeliner, and flock to graveyards while quoting Plath poems. 

This is a beautifully tragic book. Esther Greenwood has it all. The scholarship. The college. The internship in illustrious New York. The grades. And yet, it isn’t enough. She begins to spiral down into the deepest, darkest hole and loses herself in her madness. It is a perfect replica of depression, anxiety, and hitting rock bottom. 

This one did leave off in a happy moment, with Esther set to leave the asylum. So we’ll leave it at that. It is rumored to be autobiographical as Sylvia refused to have it published in the US for fear of her family. A year after she had it published in England, she commited suicide by sticking her head in an oven. Ending her promising life. 

I do recommend this book but know that it is a hard book filled with hard truths.

I wanted to tell her that if only something were wrong with my body it would be fine, I would rather have anything wrong with my body than something wrong with my head, but the idea seemed so involved and werisome that I didn’t say anything. 

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A Sense of the Infinite 

A Sense of the Infinite by Hilary T. Smith
☆☆☆/5

THE GREAT READING BINGE OF 2016

Genre: YA Fiction 

I wondered what it would be like to be a person who felt strong and even, everyday, who didn’t fall into these craters where everything was too bright.

This is a YA book with some heavy issues. 

Annabeth and Noe are best friends forever. They have their future planned to a T. Annabeth is shy, quiet and depends on Noe to help her drift along though life. Until senior year. When Noe starts dating Steven (who is absolutely fantastic) and drifting away from Annabeth. During a hot and heavy home coming dance, Annabeth does the unthinkable and sleeps with a man on a one night stand.  And finds herself pregnant. At 17, she does what her mother was unable to do at 19 and gets an abortion. She starts battling within herself for not knowing her father, her mother’s depression and her fraying friendship with Noe, which quickly turns ugly. With Steven to lean on, Annabeth learns what life is after Noe. 

For such a heavy handed book (with all sorts of hot button topics) I felt like this book could have better described the heavy topics. (Teen depression/suicide/teen pregnacy/abortion/anorexia/etc). And it was broken up into way too many chapters, from which I was unable to discern what the author hoped to accomplish. It was a quiet book and filled with heavy thoughts which left me thinking. And pondering. 

I suppose it would be a gateway book for parents to talk to their children about the issues presented. 

Overall, it was a good book and it was beautifully written. I recommend this to fans of YA.

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All My Puny Sorrows 

All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews
☆☆☆☆/5

THE GREAT READING BINGE OF 2016

Genre: Fiction

Trigger Warning: Suicide 

…about the days constantly coming around, over and over, the sun rises, the birds begin to sing, there is a moment of possibility, of excruciating hope, and then it is over, things darken, the day is simply another tease. There is no delivery from the torment of the days.

First and foremost, this is a book about the suicide of a loved one. When loving them, and asking them to hold on isn’t enough. 
Yolinda loves her sister, Elfridiea, dearly. Yoli and Elf. The train wreck and the anarchist prodigy piano player. Elf has attempted to take her life on several occasions because the depression plauges her and theatens to break the fragile glass piano inside of her. Yoli begs her, pleads, guilts her sister into trying to find the hope to live. And it wasn’t enough. 
This book was hard for me on many many levels. Emotionally draining, I had to take several breaks and did cry during many points of the story. The only issue I had was the lack of conversational quotations. I understand why the author didn’t use them, but it was a bit confunding in parts where everything sounded a bit rambly. But, as you know, art. It was done in first person so it was much like Yoli was having inner turmoil through the whole book.
This book was beautiful and heart wrenching. Which is why I included the trigger warning. I also called my sister to say I loved her.

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Postcards from the Edge

Postcards from the Edge by Carrie Fisher

☆☆☆/5
THE GREAT READING BINGE OF 2016
Genre: Fiction

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I looked at the charred, twisted metal and thought, ‘Finally, my outsides match my insides.’

Suzanne Vale is a Hollywood socialite and actress who finds herself in rehab after overdosing and having her stomach pumped. She calculates the first 30 days, her adventure into sobriety, and finding herself without the drugs. The other part of the story follows after Alex, a screenwriter addicted to cocaine and his rock bottom revelation.

Carrie Fisher is able to deliver a world into depression that makes sense and is relatable. She gives hope to the masses through witty retort and let’s us know it’s not the end of the world.

I guess when you find yourself having overdosed, it’s a good indication your life isn’t working. Still, it wasn’t like I planned it. I’m not suicidal. My behavior might be, but I’m certainly not.

I do not do drugs, but I have the mind of an addict/alcoholic.

I highly recommend everything she’s written.

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Praying Drunk

Praying Drunk by Kyle Minon

☆☆☆☆/5
THE GREAT READING BINGE OF 2016
Genre: Fiction

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Q:What was the purpose of this book?
A: A

catalogue of stories and sadness, beginnings and endings, the stuff of childhood, death. Nothing new can happen here, so all you do is think about the days of life when possibility hadn’t been ripped from you forever, when anything could happen, and wonder why so much was squandered. So much

wasted.

This book was a collection of short stories about the incredibly depressing life of the author. It opens up with the story of how his uncle commited suicide, and continues on to the dark crevices of someone who suffers from manic depression. Preacher turned author Kyle captures the rawness of hurt and solitude in such a way that you will cry while reading and possibly throw up a bit.

This was a terrifyingly good read. I recommend it to those who like books on the morbid side.

If I lose my demons, I lose my angels as well.

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The Cat

The Cat by Edeet Ravel

☆☆☆☆☆/5
Genre: Fiction
THE GREAT READING BINGE OF 2016
Trigger Warning: Grief/Death/Depression/Suicide

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But there are no rewrites in life. No matter how implausible and unlikely an event, there is no rewriting it.

Single mom Elsie takes her son to the shelter to adopt a cat. They pick Pursie (short for Persephone) and take her home. 5 years later, her son is accidently killed in their front yard by a driver under the influence and Elsie is forced to stay alive. For Pursie.

This book was about the madness and depression that comes with the passing of a loved one. Elsie was tormented, broken, suicidal and only managed to hold on because she needed to care for her sons beloved cat  (who was quite the character.) Over the course of the story, you see her begin to pull through and to be ‘okay’.

I did all right. I don’t know what’s worse, feeling deranged or doing all right. For there’s something ruthless about doing all right.

You see her begin to try and to take note and attempt to get better. She faces this journey alone and at the end reaches out to people.

This book struck a chord with me on a deep, emotional level. I have been in that dark and lonely place and the only thing keeping me grounded was my cats and their needs. No matter what, no matter how bad my brain was, they never went hungry or had dirty boxes. They are my rocks, as Pursie was for Elsie. She resented her for awhile because she wanted to join her son on the other side, but she realized having Pursie there saved her.

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(My cats continue to keep me grounded.)

I HIGHLY recommend this book. I thought it summed up depression and grief in a way that is highly relatable. The pain was very real and it shows that animals can be our shining light in the darkest of times.

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