Review: Mental by Justice Serai

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.

My Review:
There are books that temporarily change your life and then there are ones that you know will stay with you forever. This is a book that will stay forever with me. Mental illness has always been in my life, whether it was me or those around me.

Lucy has always had schizophrenia. However after a church incident triggers it, it becomes a whole new beast for her. There are days when we was able to try an push it out of her mind then the door of the illness couldn’t be closed. It ruled her every day, whether she realized it or not. Reading this book through Lucy’s eyes was heartbreaking and amazing at the same time. This is one of the few books that actually shows that while it is a mental illness, it isn’t something you can just wish away. It’s easy to say well it’s just in your mind you can stop it at anytime, lies. Yes, Lucy learns how to cope with it day to day but she is able to do that with help from doctors and people who care about her.

The romance was interesting, at first I thought Oh no this could be awful. When Julian is first introduced you aren’t sure why he is there, by all accounts he seems “normal.” The way he is shown normal but actually does have a mental illness is amazing. There are two many times when mental illness is discarded because the person looks normal. Julian seemed really nice, but I was paranoid about him. Is he a predator? Does he think “Oh she’s crazy, easy manipulation”? Or are his intentions actually real? By the end of the book I adore him and wish there were more people who cared about not only themselves but also others with mental illness. It’s not easy and this book shows that, but it can be done.

I would recommend this to everyone.

This book gives light to what it means to have your mind full of fear and darkness.


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