About the book
Everyone has that moment I think, the moment when something so momentous happens that it rips your very being into small pieces. And then you have to stop. For a long time, you gather your pieces. And it takes such a very long time, not to fit them back together, but to assemble them in a new way, not necessarily a better way. More, a way you can live with until you know for certain that this piece should go there, and that one there.
From the beginning of this book it shows how mental health is thought so little in today's society. Charlie, the main character, is struggling and needs help - but because her family doesn't have the money for it, she is removed from the institution that she'd been staying in after her breakdown.
Once she gets out, her mother basically abandons her. So she's struggling to live on her own while maintaining a job, focusing on her art, and trying not to self harm. There's a lot of self destruction seen, because Charlie was really not taught coping skills by her mother, and she doesn't have anyone in her life that she can look to for guidance.
My least favorite character is sadly Riley. I say sadly, because that's my kid's name and the Riley in this story sucks. He's got so many of his own issues, and I think it's bullshit that he allowed himself to get involved with Charlie. Especially toward the beginning of the story when she was still under 18, as he's a decade older.
I related strongly to Charlie when she was fighting herself over whether or not to self-harm. I feel the author did a good job explaining that. It's not a desire to inflict pain on oneself, but it's a way to give oneself control when they feel they have none. I also like how she didn't glorify it, but she showed how people were both uncomfortable and disgusted by it.
There are some pretty fascinating characters in here, and a whole lot of things going on. It's a heavy read, and it deals with self harm, addiction, and other mental illness related issues. Ultimately this is a 3.5 star read, but I'm raising it up because of how often I wasn't able to put it down. Also, I really liked the end, and that totally brought up my opinion of this book.