TW: Self-harm, Depression and Suicide
A compelling novel that focuses on suicide, self-harming, depression and so much more. Written by Kathleen Glasgow, from the perspective of a teenage girl with continuous family troubles and what her life is like as a ‘cutter’.
First published in 2016, this book has become more relevant now than ever before, as people struggle constantly with day-to-day life. Self-harm isn’t a ‘try before you buy’ technique of dealing with depression or life issues. It’s constant, and repetitive. And for some, an escape from reality.
Have you ever thought of what it’s like to be a teenager going through all that life throws at you and having no way of dealing with it? Or maybe you have been this person at some point in your life. Maybe these have been your thoughts or maybe you want to learn more about what life is like as someone who doesn’t have it all together. If so, then this is definitely the book for you.
As we follow Charlie’s life through the psychiatric ward and into the big unknown, we gain a small understanding of what it’s like to be vulnerable. It’s to be expected that Charlie will meet people along the way, but are they your stereotypical book character or will they resonate and have a deeper meaning?
There were a few characters that I didn’t really care for as they held no meaning to the story and almost felt ‘shoved’ in to create a busier book. It just made reading that little more confusing as there were so many people to remember.
The writing style was definitely different, and the book is split in countless small chapters, as if to be more impactful. The book begins with ‘One’ and towards the middle, we are introduced to ‘Two’. Think of it as a ‘Pre Charlie’ and ‘Post Charlie’. Take from that what you will, but you’ll not really notice any significant changes to the main protagonist between these sections.
With all of that being said, I really connected with Charlie and felt her emotions as she felt them. It made an impact on me as it’s easy to judge those who self-harm and label them as weak. When in reality, they’re some of the strongest people out there. Imagine, constantly hurting emotionally and physically but still have the power to stay alive.
Overall, I have rated this book 3.5/5. As much as the book was easy to read and hard to put down, I kept on thinking why it wasn’t as hard hitting as it should have been. You should absolutely go out and buy it but remember that there’s probably someone out there with a similar story. And so, if you’re looking for a fun, quirky book that has a ‘sort of sad’ sadness to it, then you should probably skip this one.