A tragic kind of wonderful by Eric Lindstrom 

 

Author Eric Lindstrom understands teens struggles are real. Mel’s struggles are bigger than some but none the less normal. Especially for teens.

Mel is trying her best. Trying to pretend things are fine and she is fine. Mel is far from fine but she is loved and has great support. Sometimes that isn’t enough.

Teens are hard on each other partly because they are hard on themselves. Mel and her friends are no different.

Mel needs all the strength she can muster to navigate her reality.  The support is there but will she let them help her?

Realistic look at bipolar life in a family that has more than their share.

Funny, sad and uplifting.

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A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

25334922 A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

Ha!  There is no such thing as a little life. Every life is lived by the minute clocking up experiences, relationships, memories, regret.  Your life is defined by your hopes, dreams and your past.  Your decisions are based on how your memories and experiences shape your view of life and your feelings about yourself.

Guilt, regret and shame are yours to deal with or not, but they guide you whether you like it or not.

Four friends start their life long relationships as  University flatmates. Much water flows under the bridges as they navigate their further study, careers, partners and family lives or lack of.  The story centres around Jude.  Jude does not have a past he is willing to share but from what his flatmates can gather his childhood was brutal and scarring. Malcolm has had a charmed life of wealth and privilege, J.B.’s solo mum and grandmother have worked hard to be successful and dote on the only son.  Willem comes from the midwest, he had a disabled brother and parents who worked from dawn to dusk to provide for the family and had nothing left at the end of the day for him.

They need each other as they go their separate ways in the world, Jude as a lawyer, Malcolm an architect, J.B. a artist and Willem an actor. Coming together often over the years in combinations of the four.

This is a powerful book. Full of life that is real.  Full of success that isn’t taken for granted. Full of self loathing and full of love.

Absolutely FIVE stars.  This is a harrowing read that will invade your thinking when you aren’t thinking about it.  It is dark, challenging and brutally graphic. The ending is understandable in context with the ‘little life’.

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold FryImage

by Rachel Joyce

Five stars for Harold Fry, I loved this book.
Recently retired Harold gets a letter one day from an co-worker he hasn’t seen in years, someone that he feels some regret towards.  She is dying.  Harold decides to reply to her letter in person, but first must walk the length of England to get to her.  He leaves his wife behind and starts on a journey of remembering, maybe not resolving the past but reflecting on it along the way.  He meets many people, and has some surprising experiences, some helpful, some healing.  He learns that everyone has unexpected stories to tell.
This book has a few twists and turns which are unpredictable.  These add depth and integrity to Harold’s story.
Highly recommended, especially to my mature customers.