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Reader Reviewed
A Tragic Kind of Wonderful by Eric Lindstrom
  

A Tragic Kind of Wonderful

NewGen - YA Fiction   Books of the Month   
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May 2017 NewGen Book of the Month.

In a Nutshell: Coping with bipolar disorder | Finding the courage to shed secrets | Intense, insightful exploration of how it feels to live with bipolar disorder, and finding the strength to reveal who we really are.

Sixteen-year-old Mel Hannigan’s life is a precarious balancing act. She’s on a strictly managed cocktail of meds to control her dysphoric mania, a form of bipolar disorder which makes sufferers feel simultaneously manic and depressed. Mel is also mourning the death of her brother, who suffered from the same condition and believed that “everyone has a super power.” Mel identifies hers as “the ability to not think about anything I don't want to think about", which she lives out by keeping her condition secret from everyone but her family. But, while this secrecy is how Mel seeks to maintain equilibrium, along with working in an old people’s home, it’s also what causes a huge falling out with her friends. She’s locked into this cycle of secrecy until her new doctor remarks that in order to enjoy the intimacy she craves, she needs to give people the “chance to know and love the real you”.

Along her turbulent journey, Mel’s vital relationships with the people she meets in the home are stirringly portrayed, especially David, the grandson of a resident, to whom she opens up. Heart-rending, empathy-inducing and uplifting, reading this novel is an immersive, all-consuming experience that really does resonate long after the final page. ~ Joanne Owen

Reader Reviews

Teens/YA's love to read and so in addition to the review by one of the Lovereading4kids editorial experts some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel members were also lucky enough to read and review this title. Click here to read their full reviews.

  • Holly Carver, age 14 - 'A Tragic Kind of Wonderful is an emotional and wonderful book. It lets us into the mind of a stressed young girl in today's society. This book will bring you to tears and make you want to re-read over and over again.'
  • Melanie Chadwick - 'There is lots of humour and hope in the book as well as drama.  It makes you think of what mental health issues might affect people around you.'
  • Clíona, age 18 - 'A beautifully honest story about the sometimes unseen highs and lows that coming with living and dealing with mental illness.'     
  • Kirsty Wray - Thorp Academy - 'The book does a brilliant job of presenting bipolar disorder...while still being relatable to the wider audience with its themes of friendship, love and moving on.'
  • Cesca Anderson - ' This emotional rollercoaster of a book holds a tragically wonderful story.'
  • Megan Chambers, age 15 - 'This book was absolutely amazing! I would recommend for everyone, and the representation in the novel is wonderful.'
  • Verity wild, age 15 - 'A riveting and beautiful tale about a teenager living with a mental disorder and loving despite all the odds.'
  • Susie Holm, age 16 - 'A beautiful novel that teaches you about grief and mental health and how it’s all going to be okay.'
  • Laura Solomon - 'Read this, it will change your perspective of life forever. Eric Lindstorm is an artist of words, abstract in his choices and colourful on the canvas.'
  • Ella - 'There is a complex plot with many interlinking sections, some of these were a little misleading, which adds to the climax and mystery. See what you think...' 

Synopsis

A Tragic Kind of Wonderful by Eric Lindstrom

How can you have a future if you can't accept your past? Mel Hannigan doesn't have it easy. Mourning the death of her firework of a brother, trying to fit back into a school she's been conspicuously absent from and struggling to deal with the loss of three friendships that used to mean everything.

Struggling to deal with a condition that not even her closest friends know about.

So Mel tries to lock away her heart, to numb the highs and lows, to live quietly without hope - but also without pain. Until someone new shows her that it can be worth taking a risk, that opening up to life is what can make it glorious.

The heart-rending and inspiring novel from the critically acclaimed author of Not If I See You First. How can you have a future if you can't accept your past? Mel Hannigan doesn't have it easy. Mourning the death of her firework of a brother, facing the loss of three friendships that used to mean everything to her and struggling to deal with a condition that even her closest friends don't know about. To protect herself and everyone else, Mel tries to lock away her heart, to live quietly without pain - but also without hope. Until the plight of an old friend, and meeting someone new, shows her that the risk is worth taking, that opening up to life - and who you really are - is what can make everything glorious...And that maybe Mel can discover a tragic kind of wonderful of her very own. A beautiful, captivating story about living with mental illness, and loving - even with a broken heart.

Reviews

'Enjoyable, clever and honest. Definitely a must for fans of The Perks of Being a Wallflower' Kimi Wright, Waterstones

'A heartfelt story, abut the realities of teenage life along with living with bipolar [disorder]' Verity, 15, Lovereading4kids

'An intimate and affecting portrait of mental illness helmed by an achingly real protagonist' Kirkus

Praise for Not If I See You First:

'Gorgeous, romantic, heart-rending' Maximum Pop

'Not If I See You First is thoughtful and honest, with characters that made me laugh, cry, and surprised me at every turn. It's a book I'll recommend for years to come. Kody Keplinger, author of The Duff and co-founder of Disability in KidLit



About the Author

Eric Lindstrom

Novelist Eric Lindstrom is a veteran of the interactive entertainment industry. His writing has been nominated for a BAFTA award for Best Videogame Screenplay in Tomb Raider: Underworld. Not if I See You First was his debut novel, and A Tragic Kind of Wonderful his highly anticipated second novel.

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Book Info

Publication date

4th May 2017

Author

Eric Lindstrom

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Author's Website

ericlindstrombooks.com/

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Publisher

HarperCollins Children's Books an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

Format

Paperback
352 pages

Categories

NewGen - YA Fiction
Books of the Month

General fiction (Children's / Teenage)
Personal & social issues: family issues (Children's / Teenage)
Personal & social issues: death & bereavement (Children's / Teenage)

ISBN

9780008147501

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