Remarkable… a pitch-perfect, poignant story.
Teller brings to life the heartbreaking realities of a teenager living with a mental illness in this heartfelt and deeply engrossing YA novel. Diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, the stunning yet notoriously moody Candace Wisenhardt has endured a lifetime of social isolation and bullying at school. When the teenage hockey phenom Mitchell Harlow comes into Candace’s life, the things finally start to look for the troubled teen with Mitchell bringing a sense of security and stability that has been missing in her life so far. However, when Candace’s mental health begins to deteriorate and she goes on a downward spiral, the full extent of her illness becomes known to Mitchell. Will Mitchell be there for her as her life turns upside down? Candace is a multifaceted, well-drawn character, and it’s easy to relate to her sense of feeling like an outsider. Candace’s fears—that she is not worthy of achieving anything on her own, that her life will spin out of control if Mitchell decides to part ways with her—are well wrought and relatable, as is her coming to terms with her illness. Her fortitude and resolve despite her vulnerability make her an admirable and sympathetic protagonist, but the real heart of this story lies in her bonding with her parents, the way they try to deal with her mental illness. Teller skillfully tackles the uncomfortable realities of mental health stigma, filling her narrative with tender conversations between Candace and her equally struggling parents, and visceral descriptions of life as someone trying to deal with mental illness. She pulls no punches in her portrait of a girl trapped in a fear-driven spiral. Readers will find it easy to get caught up in Candace’s exhilaration as she tries to adjust to her illness the ebst way she knows. Candace’s sincere voice offers moments of insight and understanding as she becomes empowered to move beyond her own limitations. Teller seamlessly weaves insights about Hockey League’s shifting politics, Tim Horton’s working culture, the taboo topics and crippling stigma of teenage mental health crisis into the timely tale, educating readers while keeping them hooked on a teenager’s heartbreaking and yet heartwarming journey of empowerment. In an age where talk about teenager mental health stigma is gaining momentum, this deeply sympathetic novel about learning to live with one’s own demons and love one’s damaged self is both timely and relevant. Teller is an author to watch for.
Note: this title is available free on Kindle Unlimited.
By Rachel Teller
Pub date August 3, 2018
Price $12.30 (USD) paperback, $3.68 Kindle edition