Mental Illness & Heartbreak

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angie0184 Avatar


Mental illness, grief, bullying, LGBTQ, teenage angst, and a journey to find herself and her deceased father via photography round out this novel about Biz, a young girl who has an ultimately unidentified mental health diagnosis by the end of the novel. The writing is pure poetry, sometimes straightforward prose, just delivered as a normal novel, other times dancing across the page, like clouds of thoughts, with just a word or two per line. The trauma of losing her father causes her mental illness issues, which we never get a true diagnosis for (although I'd hazard a guess that with the photographs speaking to her, and her seeing her father that she either has schizophrenia or Bipolar I with psychotic features) to progressively get worse and she ultimately ends up in a psychiatric ward. It's a powerful read, and the only critique I have is that I wish the illness had been identified. I think that the stigma would be lessened if we talked about these things more openly and specifically. There's a lot of misinformation out there and I think getting more precise would do a world of good when it comes to mental illness issues. I have bipolar II and it's refreshing to have representation in novels, to talk more freely about these things instead of pretending like they don't happen. Either way, the book was really well written and definitely hit some emotional high notes.