Friday, December 9, 2016

A Tragic Kind of Wonderful Story to Kick Off 2017 (Review)

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.

A Tragic Kind of Wonderful
Eric Lindstrom
Pub Date: 2/7/17
Publisher: Poppy
Genre: YA
Amazon | B&N

I first came across Eric Lindstrom when he curated the November NOVLbox, then I had the opportunity to review his latest realease A Tragic Kind of Wonderful. Eric Lindstrom has a unique voice that recognizes the struggle of a young girl with a bipolar disorder. Even those who don't suffer from the same condition will be able to understand Mel's coming-of-age tale.

Mel is trying to live a balance life, but the unpredictable turns of her mood make it a bit complicated and even harder to hide from her friends. She keeps track of her mind and body with a clever and detailed chart. Every chapter begins with a legend that describes her mood. It adds another level to her character that helps the reader understand her. Mel is a truly lovable character. She's open about her flaws and issues, but still tries to make other people happy. Her selfless personality makes you root for her to work out her problems and wish that she gets a happy ending, despite the drama brewing in her life.

I wasn't crazy about the little segue into her sexuality and that of her friend Zumi. It seemed like something added to the plot to make it more current and reach a certain audience, but the story would have been just fine with a different lead up to the climax. It kind of disrupted the path the story was taking, though not by much.

A Tragic Kind of Wonderful reminded me of Laura Lascarso's Counting Backwards. There's just something about young women who don't let mental illness stand in the way of living a normal life, even if they have to struggle to get there. Learning to appreciate who they are on top of that and they become a source of inspiration to all young women. The depth of the novel is shown because Lindstrom is adept at painting a picture for readers about this topic. For me this novel is a step to truly understanding what bipolar disorder is and how it can possibly affect those with it.

*ARC won in an Early Reviewer giveaway sponsored by the NOVL*

Previous Review: Trophy Wife by Noelle Adams


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