Tag: #young adult fiction

“A Bitter Pill to Swallow” by Tiffany Gholar


Genre: Young Adult Fiction

Publisher: Pronoun

This is the story of two teenagers who are misdiagnosed and misunderstood by friends and family, and the adults who seek to help them. Devante has lost his best friend and falls into a deep depression. After barely being rescued from a suicide attempt he finds himself at the Harrison School, a facility for children with mental illness for instead of being medicated they are coached and mentored to understand themselves and their individual challenges. At Harrison, he meets Janina, a young lady who has been there a long time. Janina is shy and insecure but she stretches herself as she gives Devante a tour and they become friends. The book tells their story as they work through their issues and face the future.

I found the characters in this book to be very believable and real. The author has done a great job of developing their personalities and also their backstory. The book is very honest about the ways that their support networks let them down, but is also very hopeful as the family and friends start to realize how they can do better. These characters are African-American but that was not the main theme of the book. The struggles Devante and Janina face could be true of anybody of any race and for that I think this book would appeal to a broad range of young adults. Overall, I applaud the author for the creativity of the storyline, which kept me engaged, and the depth of the characters, which made them feel real. This would be appropriate for older teens but younger ages may have difficulty understanding the mental health aspects of the story.

Alinefromabook’s rating: 4-star-rating

Happy Reading!

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Book Review: “All These Perfect Strangers” by Aoife Clifford

Book Review: “All These Perfect Strangers” by Aoife Clifford

A powerful debut from a bright new voice in fiction! Penelope Sheppard leaves her small hometown in Australia to attend University. She sees this as an opportunity to escape her past and start a new life. Six months later three of her new friends are dead and her past is coming back to haunt her. Forced to return home, she must now recount her story to a therapist and the police. Will Pen be able to move forward with a new life or will the series of tragic life events continue?

This is a thoroughly enjoyable book. A little dark at times, but compelling nonetheless. In Pen, the author has created a character that is engaging and likeable. There were moments when I felt sorry for her and all the tragedy she had experienced, and there were times when I just wanted to shake some sense into her. It was this love/hate that kept me involved in the story. The narrative moves back and forth between what is happening at college and what happened while she was in high school so you have to get to the end to know the whole story. I think this book will be especially appealing to young adults but if you like psychological stories you will also find this book enjoyable. The only thing I didn’t like about this book is that it ended. I can’t wait to read more from this author.

Alinefromabook’s rating: THUMBS-UP!

Happy Reading!

Available on Amazon

Thank you to NetGalley and Alibi for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.