Title: A Tragic Kind of Wonderful
Author: Eric Lindstrom
Publication Date: February 7, 2017
Summary by Goodreads:
For sixteen-year-old Mel Hannigan, bipolar disorder makes life unpredictable. Her latest struggle is balancing her growing feelings in a new relationship with her instinct to keep everyone at arm’s length. And when a former friend confronts Mel with the truth about the way their relationship ended, deeply buried secrets threaten to come out and upend her shaky equilibrium.
As the walls of Mel’s compartmentalized world crumble, she fears the worst—that her friends will abandon her if they learn the truth about what she’s been hiding. Can Mel bring herself to risk everything to find out?
I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. At first glance, I fell in love with the cover and I haven’t read a story about a teen with bipolar disorder since All the Bright Places so I requested it. Mel’s story was a hard one for me to follow in the beginning. The story moved between present time with Mel dealing with her mental illness and flashbacks with her friends and with her dead brother. I was confused trying to keep up with the characters and why each one was angry with Mel. The plot did pick up when Mel met David at the senior center where she worked and the ending made the book worthwhile.
I believe that books can be both mirrors and windows for children – it gives them an opportunity to see someone else experience what they are going through or it can open up a world for them that they may be unfamiliar with. My hope is always that books can be used to teach empathy and help children see the world beyond the four walls of their lives. While I didn’t love this story, it did open my eyes to the struggles that teens face daily as they live with bipolar disorder.