Author: Kathleen Glasgow
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Self-Harm, Mental Illness
Publisher: Harper Collins
Charlotte Davis is in pieces. At eighteen she’s already lost more than most people lose in a lifetime. But she’s learned how to forget it. The thick glass of a mason jar cuts deep and the pain washes out the sorrow until there is nothing but calm. You don’t have to think about your father and the bridge. Your best friend who is gone forever. Or your mother who has nothing left to give you.
Every new scar hardens Charlie’s heart just a little more, yet it still hurts so much. It hurts enough to not care anymore, which is sometimes what has to happen to find your way back from the edge.
(Thank you to Harper Collins Australia for sending this book my way in exchange for an honest review! This in no way influences my thoughts or opinions of this book.)
I want to start by stating what’s probably really obvious, but this book definitely needs a trigger warning. This book deals with themes of self-harm, abuse, alcohol and drug use, and suicide, and none of it is sugarcoated. This book is raw and very realistic, so if you don’t think you’re in the right place to read this yet, then don’t force yourself to. If you don’t feel comfortable with some of the themes in this book, then you don’t have to read it. If you are reading it and start feeling unwell, getting upset, or find it triggering, step away from the book and breathe. I can’t tell you how to cope with whatever it may be that you’re dealing with or have dealt with in the past, nor can I tell you not to read this book or that you definitely should read this book because it is completely up to you. Just know that this book deals with some heavy themes and could be triggering.
I knew this book was going to be a difficult read. Of course, it’s a lot more difficult for others who have gone through similar things to Charlie, and I am fortunate enough to not have had to deal with such things. However, I think this made it a little harder for me to connect with her. She had to deal with so much, and I know that so many people have gone through the same/similar issues and would definitely be able to connect and relate to Charlie in more ways than one, but I really struggled to do so. I found the writing style to be a little hard to read at the beginning of the book as well, but I slowly found it easier as I continued to read.
Even though I couldn’t really connect with Charlie, I found this to be such an important book. It was so raw and realistic, and Kathleen Glasgow really showed the gritty, un-sugarcoated truth of self-harm and mental illness that other Young Adult authors tend to steer clear of. I found it to be a really powerful and well-written story about such important issues that are unfortunately so common and stigmatized within our society, and as a person who hasn’t been through such things, I really learned a lot about mental illness, homelessness, and self-harm especially; I didn’t realise that self-harm isn’t always just physical harm, but can be emotional as well.
With everything that she had to deal with, Charlie was such a strong character. I was glad that she had such realistic, strong friendships. Not all of her relationships were healthy, but some of the healthy friendships she managed to create definitely had a positive impact on her.
This book didn’t just show the bad, the raw, and the gritty, but it also showed that you can fight it and that things DO get better. It showed that recovery isn’t easy, but if you keep trying you will get there eventually. Overall, I think this book is a book that everyone should try and read because the story is super important and real for so many teens out there and it should be read. I think more Young Adult books need to do as Kathleen Glasgow has done in this novel, and stop sugarcoating and romanticising mental illness, suicide, and self-harm.
Have you read this book? Did you enjoy it?
Until next time,