Things I’m Seeing Without You by Peter Bognanni *Review*

I rate this young adult story 2 out of 5 stars.  Thank you so much Penguin Teen for sending this book to me in exchange for an honest review.

I was incredibly excited for this book.  As someone who suffers from severe depression I like to read books that focus on mental illness or have story lines relating to it.  I went into this book expecting something completely different from what it ended up being.  Unfortunately, after some thought, I was mostly just disappointed in a book that had great potential.

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Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher *Review*

“everything affects everything”

This was a quick read, and easy in the sense that it was a fast read but not so easy emotionally. The story resonated and hit home for me many times.  As someone who suffers from severe depression and suicidal thoughts this actually triggered many flash backs and emotions for me.   It brought back so many awful memories from high school. The message in this is good though, that you never know what someone is going through and even the smallest act can spiral into undoing someone, so always watch what you say or do.

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All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven *Review*

Having suffered with Depression my entire life, I was excited to pick up a book that faced this illness head on.  It seems odd to want to read about characters going through the same horrible darkness I do all the time, but sometimes its just nice to know you aren’t alone.  I liked being able to relate and understand the feelings of Finch and Violet.  Depression is an illness many people don’t understand or those who have it find hard to put into words. I am genuinely grateful for books and authors like Jennifer who can explain and help people understand a little bit better.  Not everyones experiences or view points on Depression are the same either and while it was nice to be able to relate to these characters there were also many differences in how the illness effects me as opposed to them.  It’s really valuable to be able to understand different situations though and how an illness can effect everyone differently.  The raw reality of Depression and the innocence of high school love and the beauty of real friendship make All the Bright Places one of my favorite reads this year.

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My Life with Depression

I’ve been sitting here for two hours. Perched in front of my front windows on top of one of my kitchen barstool chairs. The windows are open and the cool breeze from this gloomy day causes me to wrap up in a blanket. It’s one of those days where if it’s not down pouring it’s misting, as if the world is determined to keep everything wet for the entire day. I love it. I love the smell of rain on asphalt, the pitter-patter of raindrops falling from the roof onto the leaves of the bushes.   I love the way everything looks a bit gray and for once I know the world is meant to be gray and it isn’t just my depression fogging my vision. It’s like rainy days were meant for those with depression, to make them feel comfortable and know the world can cry with you and you aren’t alone. One of my favorite quotes is “sometimes you need to cry out all your tears to make room for a heart full of smiles.” Well I think some days the earth just needs to cry too, to let the sunny days be that much more beautiful.

I’m sipping from my favorite mug, painted with leaves and a giant pumpkin depicting my favorite time of year, Fall. And as I type tears are streaking down my face. Slowly but surely they hit the keyboard and for the life of me I can’t understand why I’m crying. What is wrong with me that these tears occur so randomly that half the time I don’t know that I am crying? Why am I not just happy all the time? Well I suppose the answer is simple and yet not simple all at the same time. I’ve been suffering from severe depression since I was in 7th grade. I’ve probably been suffering from it my whole life, but it wasn’t diagnosed until then. For the longest time after I was diagnosed even my parents were unsure of just what depression was. I’d constantly get the “why are you so sad,” “cheer up it’ll be fine,” “you have a great life there is nothing to be upset about,” etc and so forth. Well how do I explain something that is so much deeper than just sadness, something that isn’t a common cold that will pass in a few days, something that affects you every single day even if you’re smiling and seemingly happy? I have read so many pieces on living with depression and it’s explained so well. But now trying to talk about my life with it, how do I explain so others can understand, relate, or learn? I suppose I’ll start from where it got so bad that I almost lost my life.

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