Tag Archives: mental health

Alice and the Fly

Alice and the Fly Book Cover Alice and the Fly
James Rice
Juvenile Fiction
April 4, 2017

Greg is cripplingly shy, afraid of spiders, and obsessed with Breakfast at Tiffany's. He's not exactly the most popular kid at his high school. In fact, he pretty much goes out of his way to avoid talking to anybody he doesn't have to. And it doesn't help that he has a severe lisp. But Greg's English teacher, Miss Hayes, can see that there's something different about him. He's insightful and sensitive beyond his years, and maybe--just maybe--he'll use these strengths to break out of his shell someday. Miss Hayes urges Greg to keep a journal. "This isn't an assignment," she tells him, "just write down your thoughts." Greg begins to write about everything from his mother's ill-conceived interior decorating ideas to his job at the local butcher's shop. When Greg begins to take an interest in a girl at his school named Alice, he realizes that he will have to face his most paralyzing anxieties if he wants to befriend Alice and help her escape from her violent family life.



I’m not really sure how to review “Alice and the Fly.”  It wasn’t a bad characterization of mental illness, though it did lack any real answers for the reader.  I feel like I just didn’t connect to the main character the way I wish I could.  Overall, I can neither recommend nor not recommend it.

This unbiased review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher.

10 Things I Can See From Here

10 Things I Can See from Here Book Cover 10 Things I Can See from Here
Carrie Mac
Young Adult Fiction
Knopf Books for Young Readers
February 28, 2017

Maeve, a sufferer of severe anxiety, moves in with her recovering alcoholic father and her very pregnant stepmother and falls for a girl who's not afraid of anything.



“10 Things I Can See From Here” is one of the best books that I have read about anxiety disorder.

The way the story is written does an excellent job of showing the stream of consciousness that happens when something triggers anxiety.  At times I was feeling the anxiety creeping in to my own head.  The novel is by no means a one-trick pony, either.  The issues of coming out, gay bashing, familial drug abuse, divorce, step-family dynamics, and first love are tackled head-on.  All of the characters are developed, and for the most part, likable.

I can’t stress this enough: My favorite part is that it did not follow the false trope of mental health issues being solved by meeting the right person.  Salix helps Maeve, but she is not a miracle cure.  Only Maeve’s dad can kick his drug habit, no matter how hard his family tries to help.  Good lessons, in my opinion.

I recommend “10 Things I Can See From Here” for anyone looking for books about anxiety or a wonderful lgbt romance.  Yay for diverse books!

This unbiased review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher.


Content Warning:

Language, Sexual Situations, Hate Words, Drug Abuse




OCDaniel Book Cover OCDaniel
Wesley King
Juvenile Fiction
Simon and Schuster
April 12, 2016

A thirteen-year-old boy's life revolves around hiding his obsessive compulsive disorder until a girl at school, who is unkindly nicknamed Psycho Sara, notices him for the first time and he gets a mysterious note that changes everything.



I wish there were more stars to give to “OCDaniel.”  It’s a wonderful and emotional read that I think any middle or high schooler (or adult) will enjoy.

Daniel is 13 years old and has OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), but he doesn’t know what it is.  Written in the first person, he tells how his rituals affect his life and when the first symptoms began.  While OCD is the main subject, Daniel also describes feeling like an inferior sibling and being bullied for other reasons, making it a good look inside the overall hell we know as middle school.  There is a bonus mystery to be solved to add even more reason to keep turning the pages.

I’m going to get personal for a moment.  I have OCD, but it is the result of a bad accident that left me with a traumatic brain injury.  This book had me absolutely sobbing during many of the chapters.  The descriptions of the torment were almost too realistic.  OCD is bad enough as an adult, but to go through it as a kid must be horrible.  I hope those who have it, whether or not they know what it is, are able to find this book.  It has the potential to help many people.

“OCDaniel” is a book I recommend to anyone, even younger children who are able to read at a middle grade level.  It’s a fast read, making it a good choice for reluctant readers.  There are many opportunities for discussion for parents or teachers who wish to read it with their children or class.

This review is based upon a complimentary copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


Content Warning:

Brief Mention of Suicide, Bullying