Six Months Later
by Natalie D Richards
I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the majority of this book. I normally am not one for mysteries, but the premise of Six Months Later excited me; falling asleep and waking up six months later, seemingly a different person. It was something new and different, with a great plot premise, and I was excited to start it.
As someone who has suffered memory loss, I was intrigued by how the main character, Chloe was going to respond to her missing months. And I wasn’t disappointed. I can understand how she may be difficult to relate to, since the book begins right before she loses her memory, but as someone who has had experience with this, her confusion and terror was pleasantly real.
The brief look that we have of Chloe’s life pre memory loss does a nice job of giving us an understanding of how she feels about herself and those around her before her major personality switch. It also introduces us to characters who would later play a large apart of our story.
There are slight logic holes in Six Months Later, however, for the most part, they are easy to over look once you become involved in the story.
One of the things that I really enjoyed about the movement through the book and the character development was that even though Chloe couldn’t remember the last six months her body did. And she listened to it. She may not have understood why she felt uncomfortable around people she should have felt safe with, and why she felt safe with people she thought she didn’t, and never would, have any sort of connection with. But she listened to that. She may not have remembered but her subconscious did. And listening to that voice is one of the only reasons she managed to get to the bottom of her own little mystery.
The only part of Six Months Later that I felt jarred by was the ending. You get to a point where you see it coming, but you hope that either you’re wrong, or they’re going to unmask it in some new or creative way. While you get your resolution, and Chloe seems satisfied with it, for the most part at least, it left me wishing there was something else, something more.
Over all though, I’d recommend this book, and will more than likely end up rereading it some day.
I’d give it a 4 out of 5 stars
Get Well Soon
By Julie Halpern
Get Well Soon is actually something I decided to reread the other day. It was a book that I read in middle or high school and for the life of me I couldn’t remember anything about it other than it was about a mental hospital. I am so glad I picked this book up again.
Get Well Soon is not a particularly difficult read, I finished it in just a few days. But don’t let it’s YA classification, or its tagline “Who said depression has to be depressing?” fool you. This book touches on many complex subjects – from depression to abortion, faked pregnancies to desperation – and openly talks about subjects that many teens and young adults would like to discuss but may be afraid or self conscious to bring up to parents or other adults.
The book begins as Anna, the main character, is being admitted to Lakeland (or Lake Shit), a mental hospital that her parents check her into after she stops going to school because of panic attacks. Anna’s therapist tells her she’s depressed, but she doesn’t feel depressed. She points out that it’s not like she wants to kill herself, she just wouldn’t mind it if she just suddenly, painlessly, stopped being alive.
The novel is told as letters Anna writes to her best friend Tracy. Even though she never sends the letters while at Lake Shit, Anna writes several times every day. She writes about all of the ridiculous rules, including the no touching rule which really seems to eat at a lot of the teens, especially Matt O. who has been in the hospital for 6 months upon Anna’s arrival.
Anna uses her letters to work her way through her own emotions, in a way, they are the best therapy she’s getting while there. She writes about how betrayed she feels by her parents who dumped her off on the hospital when the therapist didn’t work. She also expresses just how scared she is to go back out into the real world once she acclimated to her new ‘home.’ As she slowly starts to see improvements, she becomes terrified that once she get’s home, has to reface all of her fears and the things that triggered her in the real world, she’ll end up right back where she started.
I spent time in an inpatient mental health facility similar to Anna’s and her fears, her reactions, were very similar to my own, which made it easy to connect to this high school girl.
While at Lake Shit, Anna finds herself making more, and better, friends than she had out in the ‘real world.’ She even finds a boy who she has more than she ever thought possible in common with and develops feelings for. She makes fun of this in her letters to Tracy, feeling like only her would have to be checked into a mental hospital to find ‘love.’ Or even people she felt like she could connect with.
In fact, this seems to be the only thing she thinks is different from her normal life. Yes, she acknowledges that the panic attacks have seemed to have stopped, but she doesn’t think that she’s growing, that she’s becoming more confident or healthier. Which is why the news of her discharge surprises, and greatly upsets her.
However, in her last days, as she’s preparing to leave, she may just discover that more things than she had thought had begun to change.
I’d easily give it 3.5/4 out of five stars.
And while doing research for this review I found out there is a sequel! Have a Nice Day. So while you all who are dying to read all of the books I review (hey, a girl can dream right?) look for these two, I’m going to go read the next book, which apparently picks up right where this one ended.
Toodles my lovelies <3