Author: Rachel Eliason
Release date: October 2, 2007
Publisher: Square Fish
Genre: YA, Mental Illness, Humor
Buy on: Amazon | Book Depository | B&N
I got a better look at some of my fellow patients in this freak hole, and they all look pretty close to my age. They come up to the check-in desk to get pills. After they take them, the desk people look in their mouths to make sure they’ve swallowed. It’s like something out of The Twilight Zone. Are they going to do that to me?
Anna Bloom is depressed—so depressed that her parents have committed her to a mental hospital with a bunch of other messed-up teens. Here, she meets a roommate with a secret (and a plastic baby), a doctor who focuses way too much on her weight, and a cute, shy boy who just might like her. But wait! Being trapped in a loony bin isn’t supposed to be about making friends, losing weight, and having a crush, is it?
This book definitely ended better than it started. As someone who has been diagnosed with a mental illness I actually like reading about it and definitely in different ways, so having it as shelved as 'Mental Illness' and 'Humor' on Goodreads grabbed my attention (again, actually. I shelved it when I was 17).
The beginning of the book was somewhat weird. A girl, Anna, gets dumped out of nowhere in a mental hospital where no one listens to her and/or pays real attention to her. Nothing is explained and when she does something wrong she gets punished immediately (but what do you expect when no one tells you the rules?). Anna also keeps telling herself, and her best friend who she writes to the whole book, that there's nothing wrong with her. As the story progresses you see her accepting things more and the problems she actually had started to disappear. Having finished it, it kind of feels like the moment she got admitted she was actually having some sort of 'episode' and that's why everything seemed so messed up. But I am not sure.
The characters in this book are quite out there. You got Satan lovers, a girl who lied two times to her boyfriend she was pregnant just to keep him around, a guy who likes to set things on fire and some more weird people. The only problem with the main character Anna I had was that she didn't truly felt her age. I would have estimated her a bit younger than 16, but as the story progressed she seemed to grow up a bit. The adults in this book are also a bit weird. Not so great parents and horrible staff at the mental hospital. If I was stuck there I sure as hell wouldn't get better. It seems they do pretty much the opposite of what needs to be done (at least in my opinion).
I also liked the humor aspect of the book, though sometimes it seemed the writer was trying to hard. I think that humor is a great way to discuss serious problems.