#Review by Lou Things To Do Before The End of The World @emily_barr @The_WriteReads @WriteReadsTours #YA #Fiction

Things To Do Before The End of The World
By Emily Barr

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Olivia is not only shy, she is an anxious teenager, who doesn’t want to do anything much and would rather hide away from the world, until she makes friends with Natasha, who takes her out of herself a bit and she discovers that she can live life to the full. It has intrigue and is thought-provokingly inspiring in part and shows some negativity in others. There is intrigue and twists and turns as family secrets are uncovered.
It is a fictional Young Adult book, with a difference – the chapter headings can be practical for teenagers/young adults, for working out some life plans… Check out the blurb and review to discover more about this latest addition to the YA market.
I thank The Write Reads for inviting me to the blog tour of this book.

Things To Do Before The End Of The World cover

Blurb

1. Live your best life.
2. Uncover family secrets.
3. Trust no one

What would you do when you hear the news that humans have done such damage to the earth that there might only be a limited amount of safe air left – a year’s worth at most?
You’d work through your bucket list, heal rifts, do everything you’ve never been brave enough to do before?

Olivia is struggling to do any of this. What it is she truly wants to do? Who do she wants to be?

Then out of the blue comes contact from a long-lost cousin Olivia didn’t even know existed. Natasha is everything Olivia wants to be and more.
And as the girls meet up for a long, hot last summer, Olivia finds Natasha’s ease and self-confidence having an effect on her.

But Natasha definitely isn’t everything she first appears to be . . .

I walked home. I kept hearing footsteps behind me, but every time I turned around, no one was there.

Review

Things To Do Before The End Of The World coverCurtains up for a production of Romeo and Juliet, echoing the final scenes. It sets the scene for the rest of the book rather well in a temper of melancholy, in a way that makes you want to hug Olivia and then look her directly in the eye to tell her to go on the adventure to discover the family she never knew she had, until now.
It is a weighty book, full of teenage angst and emotion, that her mum tries to assist with and tries to convince her to seek some extra guidance with all her social anxieties.

I kept hoping for something uplifting and hopeful within the book, something that would seem to have Olivia on-track with life, instead of seeing her feel like she is clipped and heaved back with her social anxieties. It takes some time, but seek and you will find some positivity, some of it in the form of Natasha, who befriends Olivia, who eeks her outside of her innerself.

The clever part isn’t so much in the text within the text in each chapter, but the chapter headings themselves. That’s where the “Things To Do Before The End of The World” really are, as they pointedly start to give readers a list that screams to do something and to live life. That’s where the uplifting signs come from (except “Runaway”. I wouldn’t advocate anyone does that and “Don’t Trust Anyone”, although it does all fit well within the story). Some are also sensible and will be thought-provoking to teenagers as it reminds them to think about not wasting their time in education and also to think about their mum (or whoever takes care of them). The chapter headings really excited me, once I clocked onto what they were doing. These are what, more than anything, show teens about how to “live their best life”, in a guidance sort of way.

As for the story itself, teens will be able to relate, but I have to say, I had a bit of a heavy heart to begin with, when reading it as I waded through much negativity about the world, but there is a turning point and my heart somewhat lightened. It is all there and these elements stand out more than most. On the other-hand it shows what living with anxiety can do to a person and their views on the world.
There are some pretty dark elements however, about hoping to be in contact with the dead and “playing” with tarot cards.

The travel between Spain and France provides a bit of light relief and elements of that fun with the shows they see, the fashion and some of things the friends get up to and the plans they want to make. This does help turn a corner in the story and it starts to show some uplifting elements. It also has some realism of how life just isn’t all a straight line and there are ups and downs and some curveballs, but  and in someways this is a positive in a world where people have come to expect life to be either all up or all down and in reality its a whole mixture.

I think it will provide some thought-provoking elements for teenagers to hopefully be careful when they are abroad, but also to have some fun there and at home and to realise the world isn’t all bleak.

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#BookReview by Lou of One Thousand Days and A Cup of Tea by Vanessa Moore @Scribblingpsych @Kyle_Books @Octopus_Books @RandomTTours #Memoir #NonFiction

One Thousand Days and A Cup of Tea
By Vanessa Moore
Rated: 4 stars ****

Heart-rendering and emotional to the max; truthful with a surge of hope, no matter how hard things get, is depicted with searing honesty that is all affecting to the core.

Grief, it strikes all of us at some point or another, including the people you would least suspect, in this case, a clinical psychologist. This is her Vanessa Moore’s memoir. At the end of my review are a few interesting facts about grief. 

I thank Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me to review. I thank the publishers Octopus Books and Kyle Books for providing me with a copy.

Meander down to find out more about the author, the blurb, my review, some facts and I’ve included a couple of links you may find useful.

About the Author

Vanessa Moore Author pIcVanessa Moore is a clinical psychologist. She studied Psychology at the University of Bristol, gained her PhD in Experimental Psychology from University College London and trained as a clinical psychologist at the Institute of Psychiatry. She has had a long career in the NHS working in clinical, teaching, research and senior management roles. She specialised in working with children and families early in her career and she has published extensively in academic journals, mainly in the field of child psychology. She is a specialist magistrate in the family courts and she lives in Hampshire.

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Blurb

Vanessa’s husband Paul dies suddenly and tragically on their regular Sunday morning swim.
How will she cope with her dilapidated house, her teenage children, the patients who depend on her? Will therapy help? Why do mysterious white feathers start appearing in unexpected places?

As a clinical psychologist, Vanessa Moore is used to providing therapy and guidance for her patients. But as she tries to work out how to survive the trauma that has derailed her life, she begins to understand her profession from the other side. Like her, many of her patients were faced with life events they hadn’t been expecting – a child born with a disability or life-limiting illness, a sudden bereavement, divorce, failure – and it is their struggles and stories of resilience and bravery that begin to help her process her own
personal loss.

Taking us through her journey towards recovery as she navigates the world of dating and tries to seek the right therapy, Vanessa uses her professional skills to explore the many questions posed by unanticipated death and find a way forwards. Beautifully written and honestly relayed, One Thousand Days and One Cup of
Tea is a heartbreaking grief memoir of the process of healing experienced as both a bereaved wife and clinical psychologist.

“This book is about a period of great loss in my life, a time when the tables were completely turned on me. I was a qualified therapist who suddenly found myself needing psychological therapy. I was a trained researcher who became my own research subject, as I tried to make sense of what was happening to me. I was an experienced manager who now struggled to manage the events taking place in my own life. Yet, throughout all this turmoil, my patients were always there, in the background, reminding me that there
are many different ways to deal with loss and trauma and search for a way forwards.”
Vanessa Moore

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Review

Grief, it’s always around people. We live, we die and most people know someone who has died and most have experienced grief. The book is an honest account from Vannessa Moore who is a clinical psychologist, who needed assistance from psychological therapy herself to move past her own grief and turning her research onto herself as she became her own research subject. It’s a brave move to have made and even more so to write about in such a judgemental world. I will say, grief is experienced differently by everyone and that’s okay. This is very much Vanessa Moore’s account of it, but she has been through a huge gambit of emotions that somewhere, people will be able to relate to some part or all of it. It’s a searing look at each stage of grief as it is lived through.

The book starts off sedately with just how normal life can be trundling along, until the next moment, it isn’t like that anymore and it changes because of a sudden and most unexpected death. It has emotion and the racing thoughts of who you need to instantly call and what to tell the children and the lead-up to the funeral. She talks of desires of unburdening onto complete strangers. People may find this relatable, if they’ve unburdened onto someone else or someone has onto them. She talks candidly about how she feels when she sees Jennifer – a Psychotherapist, who listens and sometimes shows some concern. This is certainly her accuracy and account. I cannot say if this is true for everyone, but it is for Vanessa Moore and her experiences are very interesting.

It’s a surprisingly pacy book. I half expected to be trudging through it and was glad that this isn’t the case at all. It is however a book that can be dipped in and out of and is perhaps wise in some ways to do this, depending on how you’re feeling yourself, but it is a worthwhile read as it isn’t a “poor me” story, it goes beyond that. Something terribly sad happened, but it has a truth of warts and all about it, but is just about matter-of-fact too, with some of the pragmatic.
It also seems not to hide anything that she experienced in her grief, from being so low that she found solace and comfort in talking about it, to being enraged to finding a psychosymatic calmness in white feathers and imagining they are a symbol. She seems to have experienced it all. The book does move on from her counselling sessions and onto some of her work and clients and more into her own personal life, such as the quandry as to whether to date or not and into some pretty dark corners, but also, for her, and maybe for others reading this, brings some hope for a brighter future.

There is also an interesting snapshot into how things are changing in the NHS and her views on this. It also gives interesting illumination into psychotherapists. The attitudes and more…It comes to a great and very truthful conclusion, that many readers, I’m sure will find agreeable, she also manages to give a bit of hope for everyone now as she ends on a hopeful note about the pandemic, which everyone can relate to, no matter how you’ve lived through it.

What I do think would be perhaps wonderfully helpful in books that tackle such emotive and universal subjects such as these, is a list of just a few websites and contact numbers to charities who specialise in the book’s topic, in case there is anyone who would like to reach out. That aside, this is such a worthwhile book to read. I of course, also wish 

Facts:

  • Some 800,000 women lose their spouses each year in the UK. Statistically, women are far more likely to be widowed and far less likely to remarry than men.
  • A study done by Amerispeak found that 57% of Americans are grieving the loss of
    someone close to them over the last three years.
  • According to Child Bereavement UK, a parent of children under 18 dies every 22
    minutes in the UK; around 23,600 a year. This equates to around 111 children being
    bereaved of a parent every day.
  • 1 in 29 5-16 year olds has been bereaved of a parent or sibling – that’s a child in every
    average class.

Useful, Confidential Links

ChildBereavementUK                    Samaritans

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#BookReview by Lou – The Existence of Amy by Lana Grace Riva @LanaGraceRiva #MentalHealth #Fiction

The Existence of Amy
By Lana Grace Riva
Rated: 3 stars ***

The Existence of Amy is a book that shows a character with O.C.D. dominating much of her life and also balancing the key aspects and milestones of life.
Thanks to Lana Grace Riva for sending me a copy of her book. Find out more below as to what it’s all about and my review.

Amy cover

Blurb

Amy has a normal life. That is, if you were to go by a definition of no obvious indicators of peculiarity, and you didn’t know her very well. She has good friends, a good job, a nice enough home. This normality, however, is precariously plastered on top of a different life. A life that is Amy’s real life. The only one her brain will let her lead.

Review

The book is presented in first person and in a such a way that the writer perhaps wants you to be right there with Amy as she tells her story of her life. Her life is pretty normal if you look at it as a tick list of her having a home, a job etc. Amy, however has a mental health issue which dominates her life. It tells the story of her O.C.D and how excruciating it seems to her in many situations.
The book is written in a way that it is clear that its purpose, or at least one of them is to show what O.C.D. can be like for someone who has it.
Does it make for an interesting story? Well, on the level of it presenting how O.C.D can affect someone’s life, then yes, as it does allow the reader to really get into the character of Amy’s head. She seems quite a fragile character at times, especially around the likes of Ed. This does add a little more dimension to Amy. The fact that there are other characters who she wants to remain friends with etc, adds to the plot.
On another level, some chapters flow better than others, it is somewhat mixed and it is an interesting cover choice, as, although it is a pretty colour, it has no imagery, which in someways is a shame as there is imagery in the descriptive writing on the inside; in another way, it is clean cut and uncluttered as perhaps, in someways, in a deeper way, showing someone with OCD and how this character in-particular likes something that is not cluttered or busy.

Is it still worth a read? Yes, and the reason I say this is because it will show someone who doesn’t have O.C.D. how it can dominate and really affect many areas of life and, those who do have this condition may relate to either it all or in part.

The Art of Creativity by Susie Pearl #BookReview by Lou @susie_pearl @orionspring @RandomTTours #NonFiction

The Art of Creativity
By Susie Pearl
Rated: 5 stars ****

About the Author

The Art of Creativity Susi_Pearl_press_shots-19-1024x684Susie Pearl is a writer, podcaster and a host of workshops on creative writing, visioning and meditation. She is a mentor and holistic coach for companies such as MTV, Huffington Post, Google and Sony. She is the author of Instructions for Happiness and Success (2012) and has been involved in writing and collaborating on international bestselling titles including The Art of Eating Well with Hemsley & Hemsley and contributed to research for Paul McKenna’s I Can Make You Rich. She is the founder of a celebrity PR agency in London, and lives between London and Ibiza. She hosts the Conversations with Susie Pearl podcast and is a cancer survivor.
You can follow Susie at:
Twitter: @susiepearl 
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/susiepearlwriter                                             
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/susiepearlx     
Website: susiepearl.com

 

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Blurb

Discover the daily habits of highly creative people.
What do most highly creative people have in common? What are the habits they cultivate? What is
‘the flow’ and how do you get into it? THE ART OF CREATIVITY is a practical guide to help you unlock
your creative potential and find fulfilment and happiness in the process.
After 20 years working with some of the most creative people on the planet, writer and business
coach Susie Pearl has unearthed the habits of highly creative people and takes you on a journey to
unlock your own inner stream of creativity.
Over the course of this easy-to-follow guide, you will learn to take risks with your inner artist, ignore
critics, release blocks and get into daily creative habits in order to build better projects, ideas and
artistic collaborations, and unearth creative solutions and innovations.
Containing practical tools and exercises, and a step-by-step to help you along the way, THE ART OF
CREATIVITY will reveal a more fulfilled, passionate and creative you.

The Art of Creativity Front Cover

Review

This erudite book is well set out into 7 steps, or habits as she likes to call them, which have some of the hallmarks within them of perhaps being inspired by Paul McKenna and Richard Bandler, in that she is channeling creativity and showing how you can create the headspace to expand your creativeness in ways you may not realise. In saying that, it is also very much her own work. It is a reassuring book and reassuring that she clearly has learnt from the masters of this.

She cleverly and thoughtfully sets out what creativity is and also a bit about herself, so people can relate to her and the book from the beginning. It’s almost a gentle way of introducing herself and setting out the goals of the book.

It’s not just about the reading of the book, this is about getting yourself involved as there are easy to follow instructions, so you can interact and be on a path to a positive change in whatever that means to you. It’s a bit more involved than a simple positive thought. It is something that is thought-provoking and really gets you thinking about that postive change you want to make.

The explanations of each habit, such as overthinking etc, are short but useful. It’s clearly a book where the emphasis is on the doing, as it then takes readers by the hand to the exercise and a step-by-step guide of what to do and each is surprisingly acheivable. It feels like she really does want readers to have success in either small or large things and whatever your goal is, it’s important.

She talks through some common blocks to creativity and includes some real life examples, that may get readers looking into their own blocks and then she starts to break them down.

I find the book is matter of fact and she is very knowlegeable. The book feels safe and there is nothing complex about it. You can do it at your own pace and gradually inspiration may well come to readers. It has a good feeling about it. You don’t need to be super-rich either, just the cost of the book and paper or a journal and a pen or pencil is all the equipment you need.

She talks about the purpose and outcomes from the science of techniques such as meditation and the benefits in easy to follow language. It’s a good technique, so people can have a greater understanding of the reason why she is suggesting something, such as meditiation, before going into the guide as to how to do it effectively. There’s nothing scary about it, even when it comes to mind-mapping, which is possible some people could be a bit more unfamiliar with because it’s all explained in a way that treats readers like intelligent adults and yet almost holding their hands to guide them through.

The book nicely builds in self-care as well as looking forwards to the future. It appears to give readers validation and encouragement.

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#BookReview by Lou of The Fear Talking – The True Story of a Young Man And Anxiety by Chris Westoby @ChrisWestoby @BarbicanPress #RandomThingsTours #health #wellbeing #mentalhealth #nonfiction

The Fear Talking – The True Story of a Young Man And Anxiety
By Chris Westoby
Rated: 4 stars ****

A day late due to technical issues outwith my control. Apologies…Today I’m delighted to close the blog tour of The Fear Talking. It is one that perhaps will resonate with people and for those of us who don’t have this anxiety within us, it is a good study and will people will be able to empathise.

About the Author

christopher Westoby

Author information: Chris Westoby has a PhD in Creative Writing at the
University of Hull, where he is now Programme Director of the Hull Online Creative
Writing MA. He guest lectures in subjects of mental health, teaches reflective writing
to Mental Health Nursing Students, and runs cross-faculty writing workshops. Chris
was born and raised in Barton, on the Lincolnshire side of the Humber, where he still
lives.

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Blurb

Chris knows he will never get over his anxiety. He didn’t
want a ‘How to get better’ book. He wanted to understand his
condition. So he wrote this book.
• An honest heart-breaking account of how generalized anxiety disorder affected Chris, his family and everyone around him, yet went undiagnosed.
‘Westoby’s memoir succeeds brilliantly. The reader comes away with a new and profound understanding of what mental illness feels like from within.’ Jonathan Taylor, Associate
Professor of Creative Writing, University of Leicester
‘This book offers young people an insight into the range of unique ways the world can be experienced and the chance to reflect on their own struggles and know they are not alone in
these. I have recommended this book to my academic colleagues, my students and my
children.’
Dr Judith Dyson, Reader Healthcare Research, Birmingham City University
‘Chris Westoby shows us what it is to make use of the resonant power of words to offer a
portal into what it is really like. A vital touchstone for public and health professionals alike,
to understand deeply, to see and to learn from first person experience.’
Kathleen T. Galvin, Professor of Nursing Practice, University of Brighton

Review

The book begins with Chris and his parents in Orlando looking at a space shuttle. It should have been exciting, and all that adrenaline should have been pumping and endorphins going round, but instead it is quite the opposite. Chris tells how he feels, this includes what he feels when anxious. It is graphic, real symptoms. I don’t mean anything gory or anything like that, I just mean, he tells it how it actually is for him and instead of enjoyment of life and this experience, it is more than a deep uncomfortableness. Anyone who experiences or has ever experienced anxiety will relate and it will also assist those who want to find out more what it can be like, which can be useful if you have a partner or friend etc who suffers from this or maybe in the future you might.

Chris then takes readers to his home in England and he meets a girl, Emma and attends college. The magnitude of anxiety and all that comes with it like self-doubt and talking yourself out of something really shows. The words etch into you, they become absorbing and immersive.

There are conversations in college around his learning, which is interesting, but so is the mindset of both tutors and Chris in many ways around this and the fact he needs to see a nurse and then a counsellor. It goes into detail of what actually goes through Chris’s mind when he needs to get this type of support and has an appointment.

The book progresses somewhat in that it shows more about the next stages and whether he stays at college or not and the decisions made, but all the while, showing his anxiety. The book shows the juxtopositions of Chris’s life of what he desires and wants to have the possibility to acheive and what his fear and anxiety is doing, that is curtailing this and ultimately gives a vision of what it is like to be okay until a certain age and later develop anxiety.

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#Bookreview by Lou of The Boy Between by Amanda Prowse and Josiah Hartley @mrsamandaprowse #JosiahHartley @lovebooksgroup #lovebookstours #NonFiction #NonFictionNovember #MentalHealth #BlogTour

The Boy Between
By Amanda Prowse and Josiah Hartley
Rated: 5 stars ***** 

Today I have the priviledge of closing the blog tour for The Boy Between with a review
Tender, authentic, profound, honest and incredibly emotionally insightful – The Boy Between, you can tell, is written from the heart and covers so much ground in what became a family crisis, that I am sure will connect with so many people on some level or another and what makes it unique is, this crisis in mental health is told from a mother and son’s perspective. It makes it a rounded read and one I think will perhaps benefit so many people, whether you are the person directly suffering or someone more indirectly, caring or just perhaps know someone or want to find out more.

Thank you to Kelly at Love Books Tours for inviting me to review this book.
Find out about both authors below, then the blurb and review.

About the Authors

The Boy Between Josh ProwseJosiah (Josh) Hartley lives in an isolated farmhouse in the West Country, but close enough to Bristol to enjoy its music scene. He is an animal lover and servant to two French Bulldogs. Equally happy at a music festival or watching rugby with his mates, he likes the outdoor life and with Devon only a short drive away often heads to the sea to surf and sit on the beach watching the sun go down. After a stint at the University of Southampton and another at the University of Bristol and one unsuccessful suicide attempt, Josh decided to write about his descent into mental illness and the depression that has held him in its grip for the past few years. The Boy Between carries the overriding message that things can and often do get better. It’s a book of reflection, raw, honest and full of hope: the proof being that Josh is still here and now excited about what comes next. He is ready to catch any opportunities that life throws his way, quite a thing for someone who only three years ago was living in a world gone grey, ready to disappear from the face of the earth…

The Boy Between Amanda ProwseAmanda Prowse likens her own life story to those she writes about in her books. After self-publishing her debut novel, Poppy Day, in 2011, she has gone on to author twenty-five novels and six novellas. Her books have been translated into a dozen languages and she regularly tops bestseller charts all over the world. Remaining true to her ethos, Amanda writes stories of ordinary women and their families who find their strength, courage and love tested in ways they never imagined. The most prolific female contemporary fiction writer in the UK, with a legion of loyal readers, she goes from strength to strength. Being crowned ‘queen of domestic drama’ by the Daily Mail was one of her finest moments. Amanda is a regular contributor on TV and radio but her first love is, and will always be, writing. This is her first work of non-fiction.

You can find her online at www.amandaprowse.com, on Twitter or Instagram @MrsAmandaProwse, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/amandaprowsenogreaterlove.

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Blurb

Bestselling novelist Amanda Prowse knew how to resolve a fictional family crisis. But then her son came to her with a real one… 

Josiah was nineteen with the world at his feet when things changed. Without warning, the new university student’s mental health deteriorated to the point that he planned his own death. His mother, bestselling author Amanda Prowse, found herself grappling for ways to help him, with no clear sense of where that could be found. This is the book they wish had been there for them during those dark times.

Josiah’s situation is not unusual: the statistics on student mental health are terrifying. And he was not the only one suffering; his family was also hijacked by his illness, watching him struggle and fearing the day he might succeed in taking his life.

In this book, Josiah and Amanda hope to give a voice to those who suffer, and to show them that help can be found. It is Josiah’s raw, at times bleak, sometimes humorous, but always honest account of what it is like to live with depression. It is Amanda’s heart-rending account of her pain at watching him suffer, speaking from the heart about a mother’s love for her child.

For anyone with depression and anyone who loves someone with depression, Amanda and Josiah have a clear message—you are not alone, and there is hope.

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Review

No one wants to find themselves in a situation where their child becomes depressed or indeed has a mental health issue, but there is a heartfelt reminder at the start of the book that you are not alone. What Josiah and Amanda have done is bravely spoken out about how it is and how it came to be that a 19 year old boy became depressed. Hopefully one day it won’t be a brave thing to do, it just will float into natural conversation, but I use, that sometimes overrated word because mental health is still judged and still needs to be part of this type of conversation to get it even more into the public domain and in the hope that people will seek help.

It starts with a prologue as to the state in which Josh became so depressed he could have committed suicide, followed by an introduction by Amanda that shows what a hard predicament to find a household having to deal with and write it down. It’s such an honest account that they deserve kudos as they each write alternating chapters, so you as a reader can see 2 perspectives, one from Josiah who is deeply depressed and the other from Amanda who wants to save her son.
This book may resonate with some people, whether they are that person or caring for a person in similar circumstances and it also brings it more out into the public domain for a wider conversation, understanding and empathy.

The writing is absorbing because of the language that is used and you can almost feel what is being written. There is such honesty and a rawness that comes with that. It is incredibly moving and emotional and at the same time informative in a way and may well leave you just wanting to hug them.

There are some lovely tender moments when Amanda recollects when, Joshy, as she likes to call him, is very young and has the ambition of cutting grass and comes up with a rather emotionally intelligent answer as to why this and not something else. There is also, almost a bittersweetness to it. The importance of happiness also comes across.

The innermost thoughts are incredibly interesting from both Josiah and Amanda. What is fascinating and thought-provoking is some of the back-tracking Amanda does, from how her son was when he was very young to the present, in terms of his health and his personality traits and the correlations between how he was then and now, similarly as Josiah talks about his own life from the past and present. There are some uplifiting moments that just capture a different, more positive, lighter side of life that spike through times when life was quite the opposite.

It is highly responsible too that they have highlighted high profile mental health campaigns such as ‘Campaign Against Living Miserably’ and ‘Britain Get Talking’ amongst others, including Mental Health Month and then there is also MIND and The Samaritans. At the bottom of my review, I will add some contact links to people who can assist. Never find yourself alone. Within the book there is also a list of symptoms to depression. It’s all incredibly well thought out, it is about the authors lives, which I’m certain many readers will be able to relate to and also has helpful information throughout it as well, that builds for a greater understanding. It is more than lists, it is from the point of view of how it actually feels for Josiah as well. There are the challenges of school, homelife and university life. There is the mother trying to do the best she can for her son and wishing for a better outcome and then there is the offspring, going through depression and in reality they are both, in different ways, having to deal with it and live with it. It really shows how mental health issues can affect the whole family, just in different ways.

The book takes a very interesting look into universities, it could actually provide some use for people within them, for students, but a greater insight for those who are staffing them. It also shows up what is lacking within society that needs fixing, whether that was intentional or not, I do not know, but it’s certainly there, which could be very thought-provoking as a society as a whole, in how behaviours affect others. It is startling how much pressure is there, when it is actually all written down, from work/study/life balance to barely being seen as a whole human-being in places like universities and more and how it all made, in this instance, Josh feel and the impact it had.

The book also goes into an interesting look into anti-depressants, Josh’s take on them and also some of the effects he had and being in the psychiatrist’s office and also the lack of understanding from friends. This really is such an honest look into his life.

It concludes with very helpful advice for those who have depression and those who are carers/guardians/friends of those with depression that could really benefit someone in someway and are really easy to do. There is also a list of people, really famous people, who readers perhaps wouldn’t have thought, could possibly have depression because of being in the spotlight so much for their achievements. It also shows some hope and positivity for the authors futures.

Useful Links – You Are Not Alone.
The links below are of places you can go confidentiality to seek any confidential assistance you may need. I’ve added them here but please know, I would not know if you have clicked on them or not.

Mind               Samaritans