Monday, 30 March 2015


TITLE:  Mental
AUTHOR: Justice Serai
RELEASE DATE: April 7th 2015
PUBLISHER: Self published

Hope is an illusion meant to convince the broken to keep on living. That’s me. Broken. 

My father pays heaps of money for doctors at the Norfolk Psychiatric Center to fix me. I’ve spent six months of my prime teenage years at this residential facility – a place for teenagers who’ve gone mental. 

That’s me. Mental. 

Just when I begin to feel myself fade away, a boy with a wolfish smile and mischievous eyes reels me in. Julian is broken too, but he believes in me enough for the both of us. Through him, I begin to experience this thing called hope. Doctors can’t fix me, my parents can’t either, but maybe it’s not me who needs fixing. 

After all, mental is only a state of mind. It all depends on who’s doing the thinking. 

Mental caught my eye because it is told from the POV of a girl with schizophrenia, which isn't something I'd ever read about before but knew would interest me. I love books that give me some kind of insight into other people's lives, especially books that teach me about different illnesses, and I love books where you can't always quite trust what the narrator is saying. 

On that front, Mental was brilliant. Lucy's POV was fascinating to read from and it really did give me some insight into what it could be like to live with schizophrenia. I thought the author did really well at showing that perspective and I'm sure she must have done a lot of research to make it seem so realistic. 

It was short but sweet, and it only took me an hour or two to read. If you need to get your goodreads count up, or you just want to read something that you can get through really quickly, this would be a great book for that. Because it's so short, however, I did feel like some parts of the story felt a little bit rushed and the relationships and characters could have done with more development.

This book does definitely have a case of the dreaded insta-love, and that was one of the things that I didn't like about it. There just didn't seem to be any build up to the romance it all and I didn't really understand why Lucy and Julian seemed to love each other so much when they'd only had a few short conversations. 

The setting of the mental hospital was very interesting to read about (although if you do want to read about that setting, I massively suggest you read It's kind of a funny story by Ned Vizzini), even though it did creep me out a lot. I have an irrational fear of any kind of medical facility and yet I'm fascinated by books set in mental hospitals, it doesn't make sense.

I really liked the writing style in mental. Aside from portraying the mind of a schizophrenic girl it was easy to read, fast paced and flowed well. No complaints there! I thought Lucy and Julian were both complex characters and interesting to read about individually even though I didn't enjoy their relationship because it was so sudden. 

The one big problem I had with this book was that I just didn't think it was very memorable. Unfortunately, the story line was very simple and predictable and it was exactly how you'd expect a love story between two teenagers in a mental hospital would go. It was still enjoyable and entertaining over all, but apart from the interesting POV I didn't think there was anything to set the story apart from similar books. 

This is a totally random thing, but I really liked that there were epigraphs at the start of each chapter (epigraph = a quotation at the beginning of a book or chapter used to suggest it's theme). I love epigraphs in any book, but the fact that there were so many of them just made my little nerdy heart happy.

Mental was a quick and very intriguing read which gave an interesting insight into life with schizophrenia, however the romance was far too sudden and it didn't really stand out above other books I've read pertaining to the topic of mental illness.

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