So, I decided to bulk buy Juno Dawson’s books after seeing a good review from someone, and finally getting the push to actually follow up on my urge of doing exactly this after Edinburgh Book Festival’s YA event, where I was introduced to them. I’m not usually this slow on book-buying, but at least it’s been rectified.
I will get to the fiction, but I had to read this one. Maybe it’s because of a recent bad spell that’s slowly going away, maybe it’s because I’m always interested in seeing how the topic is handled, but either way, it’s a super book.
It’s a Reasons to Stay Alive for younger people, though it’s not just one story, but many. It has that frank but optimistic vibe as you read it. It has doctor’s advice, Juno’s own life and tips, and stories from people worldwide about how they dealt with the bajillion topics dealt with in these pages. It’s not so much preachy as informative; it doesn’t sugarcoat things and tries to bring a lightness an humour to, basically, the shittiest feelings and experiences in the world.
God, could you imagine how different many teen lives would be if they’d had something so frank (and funny at times) readily available? Mental health is important, but it’s also seen as a taboo of sorts; here it is what it is – it’s outlined in black and white, given some experience-based context, and then it offers the advice.
I took a picture of a line that stood out as something everyone kind of knows but, when you’re feeling down about life or yourself won’t really see broadcast across what you’re passing time with: “Like a lot of things, reality just doesn’t make for very good entertainment.”
Accessible, frank, funny and important. This really should be spread far and wide for teens and younger.
4th February 2016 | Hot Key Books