A Tragic Kind of Wonderful: Arc Review 

I was lucky enough to win the arc of this book in a giveaway this month. Once I recieved it I devoured it in just a few days. This book is its title “A Tragic Kind of Wonderful”

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

Before I even went into the book I was taken by the cover and how much it fits. The glittering mania paired with the sinking blue of depression. A wonderful pairing that perfectly encaptures what this novel is like. 

I fell in love with the characters of this book. I found myself encaptured as much by the minor characters as the main one. Hurricane Joan, an aunt to Mel Hannigan, adds a controlled sort of chaos to the story that makes me smile. Mr. Terrance Knight, an older man who won’t sing unless Mel sings with him. (Mel is a horrible singer) Even Conner, a boy who tends not to make eye contact with anyone. Each character adds their own flavor to the story that makes it feel so tangible and real. 

I love the good moments, the scary moments, the joyous moments, and the sad moments. I love how everything flows into everything else and how warm this book made me feel. 

In the strangest of ways, I truly identified with Mel. Her thoughts as she went through all she went through felt like my own. Her struggles felt like my struggles. What made her smile made me smile. I had never felt so close to a character before. 

This book is so important. Important because it takes bipolar disorder and humanizes it. Makes it real. Makes it understandable. That’s one of the biggest things I love about this story. 

I also love how this book was written chapter by chapter to encompass Mel’s moods: her mixed feelings, ups, and crashes. It was so intriguing to see how she handled different situations differently because of her various cycles. It made me think of how I often am the same…

This book comes out January 17th. Be sure to check it out!

-Till next time!

The Weight of Zero: Review 

Seventeen-year-old Catherine Pulaski knows Zero is coming for her. Zero, the devastating depression born of Catherine’s bipolar disorder, almost triumphed once; that was her first suicide attempt. 

Being bipolar is forever. It never goes away. The med du jour might work right now, but Zero will be back for her. It’s only a matter of time.

And so, in an old ballet-shoe box, Catherine stockpiles medications, preparing to take her own life before Zero can inflict its living death on her again. Before she goes, though, she starts a short bucket list. 

The bucket list, the support of her family, new friends, and a new course of treatment all begin to lessen Catherine’s sense of isolation. The problem is, her plan is already in place, and has been for so long that she might not be able to see a future beyond it. 

This is a story of loss and grief and hope, and how some of the many shapes of love—maternal, romantic, and platonic—affect a young woman’s struggle with mental illness and the stigma of treatment.

I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars! 

From the very first words of this novel I was entranced. The writting was absolutely beautiful and uniquely honest throughout. 

There were so many times when Catherine’s thoughts broke my heart. I wanted so much for her to feel good about herself. Every time she had a moment of happiness it was clouded by her impending plan of suicide. The amount of guilt she felt for things that were not her fault made me want to give her a hug and just speak to her. I wanted to tell Cathrine that everything would be aliright. That her illness would not hinder her from having a wonderful life in the future. 

With every moment of hope there was a thought of darkness tainting the moment, yet, it felt so true to her illness. The stark reality of her disorder being chronic and the talk of zero breathing down her neck telling her that she will never be good enough felt so true to life and so very tragic. Yet this book was so hopeful. It focused on real friendships with real people that felt so authentically formed that I felt I was right there with the characters.  

This novel made me smile and it also broke my heart, but it made me want to go out and be kind, to do good, to act. I don’t remember the last time a novel had inspired me as much as this one has, and the best part was after I finished and read the authors note I felt a true kinship with the author. 

There was a part where Karen writes about ordering a pair of silver snowflake earrings the same as the ones she uses in the novel. She had lost them in her house shortly after, but didn’t oreder new ones because she believed that their reappearance was linked to the publishing of this novel. Two months later she had found them again and within 20 minute she recieved an email on her phone from an agent telling her that she would love to represent her and her story. 

It felt so right to me that this story had a sort of fate to be published. Especially with the weird circumstance in which this book happened to come into my own life. 

This novel was one born out of love and hope and the result is absolutely brilliant. I will be holding this novel close to my heart for years to come. 

-Till Next Time!

Unexpected Book Mail 

I go back into the car as my mom picks me up to see a package. A white envelop holding something I wasn’t expecting to receive. I hold it in my hand inspecting the weight of it. I trace my name across the packages front. 

I wonder what could be held inside, but deep down I already know. It’s a book. A story I know nothing about. I can’t bare the suspense any longer, I tear it open to see that indeed I was right. It is a book. A book I had never seen. 

A book called: The Weight of Zero by Karen Fortunati !!!!!

It feels like a death sentence, bipolar disorder. 

I’ll never be normal.

The mania doesn’t bother me. It’s mania’s flip side, Zero.

I am petrified of him. 

Someone who has never felt it can never understand

what the absence of emotion feels like. 

It is a hopelessness of incomprehensible, unspeakable weight.

Yet I’m supposed to move forward. 

Live, even knowing that sooner or later, it’ll come back.

Solitary confinement in Zero’s black tundra. 

That’s no future. 

So I’ve got a plan. 

The first thought I had was the blurb on the back made me instantly want to read this book. I always love a good perspective on mental illness and it made me really happy to see that bipolar will play a major role in this book. The second was how lucky I was that I recieved such a gift out of the blue. The third was about how stunning the cover was…is. The colors and balance is absolutely perfect. I love everything about it! 

I also wondered how I got the book. I wasn’t notified for winning a giveaway. I don’t remember entering one for this book. Then, the truth came, my mom had entered a giveaway for me without telling me. She never thought I would’ve won, but it was a nice surprise for both of us. 

The nicest surprise of the giveaway was the handwritten note on a cute thank you card from the author. It said, “Dear Tiana, Congrats on winning the giveaway! Thanks so much for entering! I hope you enjoy it!… -Karen” 

It made me feel so happy to get a little card with a note from an author! It made me feel so warm inside. 

On my final note, I want to give a huge thank you to the author. This book looks amazing. I can’t wait to read it!

Check out the author at her site here.

-Till next time!