Skip to main content

Get Well Soon by Julie Halpern

I came across Julie Halpern's first novel while browsing the offerings over at Feiwel & Friends. I was so grateful they were publishing Long May She Reign that I grabbed Carpe Diem and Get Well Soon as well because if they're publishing Ellen Emerson White books they not only have superb taste, they deserve my undying loyalty. Plus, both books just looked good. Get Well Soon tells the story of Anna Bloom, a depressed teenager whose parents commit her to a mental institution when her panic attacks get in the way of her going to school. Alone, overweight, and braless, Anna starts writing a series of letters to her best friend Tracy as a way of staying sane despite being surrounded by drug dealers, Satanists, pregnant cheerleaders, oh my! Anna's voice is at times bitter, amused, desperate, and uncertain. But it is always matter-of-fact. And it is this quality that is most appealing. I never got the feeling she was sugar-coating the way things were or trying to put something over on her reader. She writes all of these letters describing her experience in minute detail yet she doesn't send a single one. They stay in her room with her, her roommate Sandy, and Sandy's plastic baby Morgan. They seem to be a way of processing the unimaginable thing that has happened to her. By keeping them she can continue to review and add on to the narrative so that when it is time to go home there will be a record of how she survived. In an ironic twist of fate, life in the mental hospital turns out to be more interesting and "healthy" for Anna than it was outside. She makes friends who understand her and who do not send her "Get Well Soon" cards as though she had chicken pox or mono. Despite the absurd hospital workers and a few admittedly crazy fellow patients Anna is able to be herself. Paradoxically, the confining walls give her the space she needs to figure out not only what happened to her, but what she will do with this new-found self knowledge. I laughed repeatedly while reading about Anna and Sandy, Justin and Matt O. I felt about like Anna did when the time came to leave the hospital. I wasn't ready. A little more time in the loony bin, please. The real world can wait. But Anna had to go back home and the book had to end and I'm happy I got to spend this time with her.

Links:
The Ya Ya Yas Review
The Ya Ya Yas Interview
Bildungsroman Interview
How I Met My Husband: A Zine Love Story
Luv and Fish Eyes

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Review | All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater

I thought today would be the perfect day to review this unicorn of a book. It is All Saints' Day—a fitting day to revisit all the crooked ones, no? It is also the first day of November and so, today, . . . well, you know the rest. What I'm saying is, today is kind of the perfect day to do all the Maggie Stiefvater-related things! Which is, of course, why I'll be attending her signing event later this evening at my local indie, key in hand. I know. I win today. I do. What I do not do is take it for granted. My good fortune or this book. This beautiful, beautiful book. But before we get into my reaction, I want to make a brief request. If you haven't yet had a chance to read Maggie's post on how this book came about and what it was originally going to be and what it actually became, I straight up implore you to do so. It is one of my favorite things I've read this year and it is something I needed to read this year. My favorite line? "I discovered that I wa…

Angie's 2018 Must Be Mine List

It's time for a clean slate and a brand new list of titles I can't wait to get my hands on. Behold, my most anticipated titles of 2018:




 And no covers on these yet, but I can hardly wait, all the same:
The Comfort Zoneby Sally Thorne
A Court of Frost and Starlightby Sarah J. Maas
Making Upby Lucy Parker
There Will Be Other Summersby Benjamin Alire Saenz
Off the Airby L.H. Cosway
Fall Boys & Dizzy in Paradiseby Jandy Nelson

Which ones are on your list?

Forget You by Jennifer Echols

I am having difficulty believing it was almost a year ago that I read Going Too Far. It was a solid swallow-in-a-single-gulp read and, I have often thought of Meg's "I am full of fear" mantra and smiled. I'm happy it's received the welcome attention it has in the blogosphere and I knew her next romantic drama would meet with a host of eager readers. When I first read the synopsis for Jennifer Echols' Forget You, I admit I was completely sucked in by the amnesia angle and the whole waking up to find you have a different boyfriend from the boyfriend you thought you had bit. I mean, who's not up for that? So many great possibilities when the protagonist herself doesn't know exactly what's going on. Plus, I enjoyed Ms. Echols' writing quite a bit in Going Too Far. And nearing the end of July as we are, this book was fast starting to sound like the perfect summer read to me and I looked forward to it with a high degree of anticipation.

Zoey works a…