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reading YA, graphic novels and the spaces in between

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psychiatric medication

schizophrenia in Made You Up

Spoilers ahead My review mentions some of the problematic aspects without spoilers.

“If nothing’s real, then what does it matter? You live here. Doesn’t that make it real enough?”

There’s so little YA featuring schizophrenia I was excited to read Made You Up by Francesca Zappia (Greenwillow Books, 2015). It’s garnered lots of love since its publication last year including shortlisting for the Inky Award 2016. I found misunderstanding of schizophrenia and psychiatric care and use of the sensational aspects we see so often in books and media. Zappia does a disservice to real people and their real problems and fears caused by their schizophrenia.

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When We Collided

I started reading When We Collided by Emery Lord (Bloomsbury, 2016) thinking, how could I like a book that seems to be the sad little sister of I’ll Give You the Sun, has a protagonist named after my grandma, who’s throwing her meds in the sea instead of her mouth. Vivi and Jonah had much to teach me about making assumptions (will I ever learn??)

Vivi is in Verona Cove for the summer with her artist mother, making the most of the loan of a beach-front, modernist bungalow.

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select all. delete

Cloudwish by Fiona Wood

Note: this is somewhat spoilery. And my keyboard didn’t have quite the right diacritics so apologies for mangling Vân Uóc’s beautiful name.

“If you survived then you were all right; no – lucky. What problems? You’re alive! She wanted more than survival. She wanted beauty; she wanted love; she wanted abundance.”

When abundance falls in your lap in the form of “the heart of one very hot dickhead,” is it true love or something else entirely?

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pausing at the edge

The Pause by John Larkin

I knew what I was getting into when I read The Pause by John Larkin. Ok, I only borrowed it from the library because it was long-listed for the Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year for Older Readers 2016. After reading the blurb, I momentarily considered sending it right back, instead I stepped into the void, knowing full well the consequences of my folly.

If, like me, reading about suicide is triggering, you might want to turn back now and never pick up The Pause. Or you could forge ahead and see if you come out the other side. I did!

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