By the Time You Read This I’ll Be Dead – Julie Anne Peters

I don’t know why we read some authors and not others. I don’t know how our minds process the decision to give one book our time and not another equally interesting novel. Sometimes it’s about hype, popularity, genre, subject-matter, length, age group, familiarity with the author, mood—a lot of different factors come into play. But what I’ve learned is that it’s never too late to embark on a journey to discover a new-old author. New to us, old to the literary world.

I’m saying this because Julie Anne Peters is an established, bestselling and award-winning author who has been writing for decades. And yet, I only ‘‘discovered’’ her last month after getting my hands on Define ‘‘Normal.’’ Discovered is probably not the right word to use, just like Christopher Columbus didn’t actually ‘‘discover’’ America. It was already there and known to its populations. Maybe “coming into contact with’’ is a better way to say it. Coming into contact with Julie Anne Peters’ writing has done me a lot of good.

This particular title deals with very heavy issues, such as depression, bullying, suicide, sexual assault and abuse. The main character, Daelyn Rice, was told again and again by the people she encountered that she wasn’t good enough, skinny enough, valuable enough and that she never would be. She began to internalize those thoughts and now she doesn’t know how to cope, how to go on, how to defend herself and speak up about her struggles. So why bother being on this earth longer? In less than a month, she’ll be gone and, for the first time in who knows how long, she’ll be happy.

This is not the kind of story one should read if one feels down. It is a ‘‘low energy’’ type of story and while I’m sure you’re not surprised to hear that, it’s still worth mentioning because if you’re in a bad mood or depressed yourself, this book can be a real trigger. Two months ago, this book would have triggered me for real. But today, I was able to read it and definitely connect with Daelyn, without letting it affect my mood too heavily. If you do not believe you can stomach a book such as this one right now, I recommend picking up Peters’ Define ‘‘Normal’’ instead and leaving this for when the time is right. The right time will come.

Thank you Hachette Book Group Canada for the copy in exchange for a review.

Darius the Great Is Not Okay – Adib Khorram

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Darius the Great Is Not Okay by Adib Khorram

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Penguin Random House Canada
Published: August 2018
Publisher: Dial Books
Pacing: Fast
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Family, Mental Illness, Persian Culture, LGBTQIA+, Friendship, Depression


BLURB:

Darius Kellner speaks better Klingon than Farsi, and he knows more about Hobbit social cues than Persian ones. He’s about to take his first-ever trip to Iran, and it’s pretty overwhelming–especially when he’s also dealing with clinical depression, a disapproving dad, and a chronically anemic social life. In Iran, he gets to know his ailing but still formidable grandfather, his loving grandmother, and the rest of his mom’s family for the first time. And he meets Sohrab, the boy next door who changes everything. Sohrab makes sure people speak English so Darius can understand what’s going on. He gets Darius an Iranian National Football Team jersey that makes him feel like a True Persian for the first time. And he understands that sometimes, best friends don’t have to talk. Darius has never had a true friend before, but now he’s spending his days with Sohrab playing soccer, eating rosewater ice cream, and sitting together for hours in their special place, a rooftop overlooking the Yazdi skyline. Sohrab calls him Darioush–the original Persian version of his name–and Darius has never felt more like himself than he does now that he’s Darioush to Sohrab. When it’s time to go home to America, he’ll have to find a way to be Darioush on his own. Continue reading

The Science of Breakable Things – Tae Keller

The Science of Breakable Things by Tae Keller
The Science of Breakable Things by Tae Keller

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Published: March 6th, 2018
Publisher: Random House BFYR
Recommended Age: 8+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Realistic Fiction, Family, Mental Illness, Friendship


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An emotionally-charged new classic about the science of hope, love, and miracles! Natalie’s uplifting story of using the scientific process to “save” her mother from depression is sure to take root in readers’ hearts! Continue reading

Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta

82434Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Borrowed
Publication Date: March 31st, 2003
Publisher: Penguin BFYR
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, School, Contemporary, Romance, Depression

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide


BLURB:

Francesca is stuck at St. Sebastian’s, a boys’ school that pretends it’s coed by giving the girls their own bathroom. Her only female companions are an ultra-feminist, a rumored slut, and an impossibly dorky accordion player. The boys are no better, from Thomas, who specializes in musical burping, to Will, the perpetually frowning, smug moron that Francesca can’t seem to stop thinking about.

Then there’s Francesca’s mother, who always thinks she knows what’s best for Francesca—until she is suddenly stricken with acute depression, leaving Francesca lost, alone, and without an inkling of who she really is. Simultaneously humorous, poignant, and impossible to put down, this is the story of a girl who must summon the strength to save her family, her social life and—hardest of all—herself.
Continue reading

Review: When We Collided by Emery Lord

25663637When We Collided by Emery Lord

My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Received: ARC
Publication Date: April 5th 2016
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Point of View: 1st Person & Alternative
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres &  Themes: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Mental Illness

Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

BLURB:

We are seventeen and shattered and still dancing. We have messy, throbbing hearts, and we are stronger than anyone could ever know…

Jonah never thought a girl like Vivi would come along.

Vivi didn’t know Jonah would light up her world.

Neither of them expected a summer like this…a summer that would rewrite their futures.

In an unflinching story about new love, old wounds, and forces beyond our control, two teens find that when you collide with the right person at just the right time, it will change you forever. Continue reading