A Tragic Kind of Wonderful
Author: Eric Lindstrom
Release Date: February 7th, 2017
No of Pages: Hardcover, 288 pages
Synopsis and Review:
Life as a teenager is sometimes hard enough and with bipolar disorder added to the pile, one can imagine how difficult Mel’s life is. After an episode which caused her to lose the very few friends she has, she begins to distant herself from peers. Only opening herself to her family and the patients at an elderly home, she was navigating life “perfectly” by holding everyone at arm’s length until everything comes apart suddenly.
This is a well-written book and I cannot applaud Eric Lindstrom enough for writing about mental illness. Obviously I long for the day when having a character with mental illness is no big deal at all but we unfortunately still do not have enough diversity in the Young Adult world. I really appreciate the fact that the book is essentially about Mel’s struggle with bipolar disorder and how it affects her life and relationships with people.
It is important for readers to realize that mental illness is just like another sickness, only more complicated as the people surrounding you may not understand. I believe Lindstrom brought the point across very clearly and effectively. However, I would have liked A Tragic Kind of Wonderful more if it covers more of Mel’s time at therapy and mental hospital. Talking about mental illness helps destigmatize it and we definitely need to keep talking about it.
On another note, while I think Eric Lindstrom did a fantastic job in portraying Mel as she is very vivid, I found her classmates a little bit flat. Perhaps there are too many characters and with only roughly 280 pages, I think each character has more potential to shine a little bit more. Overall, I really appreciate this novel and definitely recommend this to everyone, especially to high schools. This will serve as a wonderful book to have a discussion on.
I will leave you guys with this video, in which YouTuber Alexa Losey talked about her time at a mental hospital.
Disclaimer: ARC provided by Hachette Book Group Canada in exchange for honest review. All opinions are my own.