Book Review: A Tragic Kind of Wonderful by Eric Lindstrom
A Tragic Kind of Wonderful by Eric Lindstrom
To protect herself and everyone else, Mel tries to lock away her heart, to live quietly without pain – but also without hope. Until the plight of an old friend, and meeting someone new, shows her that the risk is worth taking, that opening up to life – and who you really are – is what can make everything glorious… And that maybe Mel can discover a tragic kind of wonderful of her very own. A beautiful, captivating story about living with mental illness, and loving – even with a broken heart.
A Tragic Kind of Wonderful:
I received a copy of A Tragic Kind of Wonderful by Eric Lindstorm from Harper Collins Australia in exchange for an honest review. This has in no way influenced my thoughts and feelings about the book.
This is one of those book that is hard to review. It’s one of those books, where readers are going to have lots of different thoughts. There are lots of different ways that mental illness can present, people experience if differently and people relate to it differently. Overall, I thought this was a pretty good representation of bipolar and the ways it can affect people.
A Tragic Kind of Wonderful follows sixteen-year-old protagonist Mel, whose bipolar disorder makes life unpredictable. But, when old friendships start to come to the surface. New friendships start to come to life and the wall that Mel has built around her life start to crumble.
Mel is the kind of protagonist that you don’t love, but you also don’t hate. I really enjoyed her emotions, her realness. I felt so much for her, that I wanted to hold her tight. A lot has happened in Mel’s life and her bipolar makes it that much harder. Throughout a lot of the novel we don’t exactly know what has happened to Mel, and we are taken on a ride.
The friendships in A Tragic Kind of Wonderful weren’t great – per say. But, they were also real. It’s heartbreaking to see throughout how friendships can tear you apart. But then there are those that build you up.
Mel also had a hard relationship with her family, that really torn her apart at times. But it was also great to see that they were there for her. That they cared for her. Here we have a family that has gone through so much heartbreak. And not only do they have to deal with one family member with mental illness, but nearly the whole family.
The romance in A Tragic Kind of Wonderful wasn’t my favourite. But I also didn’t hate it. I felt that it moved too fast, and I was taken back at time at how their relationship worked. On the other hand it was totally cute at the same time.
I saw a couple of reviews saying that her life took over the book, but I don’t agree with this. Mental illness are about balance, and when that balance is tipped, things change. Outcomes are different. So the book shouldn’t just be about the mental illness, but the balance that they create. And I think this book explores both.
Dr Jordan told me everyone with bipolar disorder is different – endless variations of moods, emotions, intensity, frequency, reactions, episodes, delusions, breakdowns…
I think this is perfect. This is one story of many. And that is why I liked it, it not only shows her story, but shows the outcomes and explores that there isn’t just one possibility with mental illness.
Nevertheless, towards the end of the book I was confused at what was happened. The reader was jumping here and there. And because of the state that Mel was in, it made it hard to really pin point what was happening.
Overall, A Tragic Kind of Wonderful is a difficult read. It explores life, family and friendships. A poignant novel that explores mental health and the influence it has on the person, their families and everyone around them. A Tragic Kind of Wonderful is a beautiful story that evokes all types of emotions.
Have you read A Tragic Kind of Wonderful? What did you think of it? Are you planning of reading it? Have you read other books by Eric Lindstrom.