Anna has always been so level-headed, so easy-going, so talented and funny. How could anyone have guessed she wanted to die?
Anna is not like other people. For one thing, she’s been an accomplished artist since she was a preschooler. For another, she’s always felt like she didn’t belong: not with other kids, not with her family, not in her body. It isn’t until her grandparents are killed in a tragic accident, however, that Anna starts to feel untethered. She begins to wonder what it would be like if she didn’t exist and the thought of escaping the aimless drifting is the only thing that brings her comfort.
When Anna overdoses on prescription pain killers the doctors realize she has been suffering from depression and start looking for a way to help her out of the desperate black hole she never thought she would escape. It’s then that rock bottom comes into sight and the journey back to normal begins.
See the trailer here! https://t.co/ISbsu7CsdN
I received this book from the publisher on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Warnings: Mentions & Attempts of Suicide, Underage Drinking.
This story focuses on Anna, the MC. Her bestfriend, Aliya and her Mom. From the beginning of the book we see that Anna clearly suffers from depression even though she herself doesn’t know it.
We see Anna lead a seemingly perfect life but inside she’s dying. There were signs of course but I think this book shows us that sometimes people just don’t want to see what they know will hurt them.
Anna herself thought that it was insane to want to die knowing that her life was practically perfect. Anna’s lack of feeling during the rise of her depression is what I believe drove her over the edge. She felt nothing at all except that she didn’t want to be alive anymore.
Characters: I really liked Anna as a character and thought that she was strong despite what one would think as a weakness. Her depression didn’t weaken her. It made her more…wilful. She didn’t seem to be too scared about what she was doing and was adamant about finding a way to finish off. I’ve heard recently in a show, ‘the first step in solving a problem is to admit that you have a problem’ only Anna didn’t see her dying as a problem…
I didn’t like Aliya’s POV as much and she made me feel like I was in a 13 year old’s mind. These characters were 16 and acted their age for the most part but I think the fact that Aliya’s mom was so overprotective made her come off as younger.
Anna’s Mom was clearly a caring and loving mother. I wouldn’t say that she or anyone else did anything wrong that in the end aided Anna’s need to not live anymore. The mother was pretty supportive and tried her best to be there for her children. I loved how she had her own POV. It gave us a different angle that I haven’t seen before.
Likes: What I really liked about this book is how different it was. Usually you see the aftermath of what a suicide does and this was the leading up to. It was a fresh view for me and a really interesting one too. This was a fairly quick read once I actually decided to sit down with the book. The characters were pretty good and all of them brought a little something of their own to the table.
Overall Thoughts: This book showed only one of the ugly sides of Depression. It can lead you into such a spiral that everything you knew, everything that made you happy now leaves you feeling nothing at all. I’m glad that Christina wrote the book in this way and that the world gets to see what actually goes through the mind of the victim of this illness before they go off the edge.
Read: 21 August 2016
Publication Date: 13 August 2016
Publisher: Dundurn Press
Link to Author’s Goodreads Page: Christina Kilbourne