Title: A Tragic Kind of Wonderful (2016)
Author: Eric Lindstrom
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Health and Mental Health
Publisher: Harper Collins UK
Release Date: 29th December 2016
Reviewed by: Lois
“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?”
Mel Hannigan is hiding a few things about herself. Her friends think she is an only child, she isn’t. Her brother is dead. Both Mel and her brother have bipolar disorder.
This book is a powerful look into a world not many people are familiar with. Bipolar disorder. Mel hides her bipolar disorder from a lot of important people in her life, specifically her friends. She is scared people are going to look at her differently.
Mel is the kind of main character you never grow completely fond of. She is one of the most real main characters I have ever read a story about though. I feel as though I needed to help her throughout the entirety of the book. So much has happened to Mel throughout her life and her bipolar disorder isn’t making it any easier. A lot of the novel is spent finding out what has happened throughout her life and it certainly is a rollercoaster of emotions.
The friendships in this story aren’t the best I have ever read about. That doesn’t mean to say that the friendships didn’t feel real. This book shows how friendships can really tear you apart and build you back up again.
I was a fan of the family relationship in this book. Despite the trouble that Mel and her family have to deal with they get through it all. Mel’s family have had to deal with a lot of heartbreak as well as dealing with a lot of the family having a mental illness.
Having never experienced bipolar disorder myself I can’t really say how true-to-life this story feels. It certainly taught me a lot about bipolar disorder though.
Eric Lindstrom has certainly written a heart-breaking, heart-warming and poignant story. I look forward to reading more of his work.
Overall, A Tragic Kind of Wonderful is a poignant read that explores mental health and the effects it has on the person, their family and those around them. I recommend this novel highly.
Thank you to Harper Collins, Netgalley and Eric Lindstorm for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Until next time,