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In the vein of It's Kind of a Funny Story and All the Bright Places, comes a captivating, immersive exploration of life with mental illness. For sixteen-year-old Mel Hannigan, bipolar disorder makes life unpredictable. Her latest struggle is balancing her growing feelings in a new relationship with her instinct to keep everyone at arm's length. And when a former friend coIn the vein of It's Kind of a Funny Story and All the Bright Places, comes a captivating, immersive exploration of life with mental illness.For sixteen-year-old Mel Hannigan, bipolar disorder makes life unpredictable. Her latest struggle is balancing her growing feelings in a new relationship with her instinct to keep everyone at arm's length. And when a former friend confronts Mel with the truth about the way their relationship ended, deeply buried secrets threaten to come out and upend her shaky equilibrium.As the walls of Mel's compartmentalized world crumble, she fears the worst--that her friends will abandon her if they learn the truth about what she's been hiding. Can Mel bring herself to risk everything to find out?In A Tragic Kind of Wonderful, Eric Lindstrom, author of the critically acclaimed Not If I See You First, examines the fear that keeps us from exposing our true selves, and the courage it takes to be loved for who we really are....

Title : A Tragic Kind of Wonderful
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 30222509
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 288 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

A Tragic Kind of Wonderful Reviews

  • Pouting Always
    2019-01-31 03:30

    Mel Hannigan has a lot on her plate, not only is she still grieving her brother's death but she recently fell out with her three close friends. Mel also lives with bipolar disorder, hiding it from everyone outside of her family. Mel experiences rapid cycling through out the day and tries to cope with it by keeping logs of how different aspects of her are doing. She gives them all different animal names and keeps track of her anxiety and mood. A retired psychiatrist who lives at the nursing home she works at had suggested for her to do so, and also encourages her to open up to her new therapists. Things get out of hand though as one of her old friends leaves town, opening up an opportunity for her to reconnect. She also makes a new friend who she starts to develop feelings for. I really liked the book and the portrayal of mental illness in it. I found it to be pretty consistent with my own experience, and I really appreciated how it showed the difference there can be in other people's manifestation in terms of symptoms. Though I found the animal thing for tracking her cycles to be some what cheesy, I do think the way it's broken down was really cool and consistent with what can happen especially with mixed episodes. Also the break down of thought process was pretty well done also. If anything I just felt uncomfortable reading because it felt too close to home and I prefer some distance from myself. The only thing that made me roll my eyes though was the severity of their illness. I'm not saying it can't be that bad but usually it gets worse with age, and it isn't that bad in adolescents as Mel's seemed to be. Again though, doesn't mean it can't happen.

  • LolaReviewer
    2019-02-08 01:31

    That’s a really, really cool cover. Even though I didn’t love the book with all my heart, I still don’t think I could separate myself from it – gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous sparkly cover.I was crazy excited about this story. Are you familiar with the meme for book blogs ‘‘Waiting on Wednesday’’? You feature a book you’re anticipating, once a week, on Wednesdays. I don’t do many of them, because of a lack of time, but I did do one for this book in particular. It’s not amazing. It’s a good story, but not exactly original. While mental illness is, I believe, supposed to be the main theme, there’s a lot of theme overlap with friendship, family and even romance. Which shouldn’t be a bad thing, but when it becomes more about other things than Mel’s bipolar disorder, then it becomes a problem.And even when the focus is on Mel and her up-and-down emotions, it doesn’t last very long – something else is always going to come and steal the spotlight, like the mystery around Nolan’s death, Mel and Zumi’s relationship (that adds a lot of eye-roll-worthy scenes in the plot) and the cute David. Plus I didn’t ‘‘feel’’ the emotional scenes, especially since the writing is not lyrical.But it does read well. It IS a page-turner, despite the less original parts, such as the friendship drama and romance. And I did enjoy every scene related to Nolan, though I do find unfortunate the fact that we don’t get to know him extremely well. Also, I really wasn’t expecting that turn of events that unleashed Annie’s rage. It… was… great. I'm happy to have learned more about bipolar disorders, though I do remember ‘‘All the Bright Places’’ being more thorough about the subject. By the way, those are two VERY different books, in terms of characterization, writing, atmosphere and even story. Blog | Youtube | Twitter | Instagram | Google+ | Bloglovin’

  • Emma Giordano
    2019-02-09 03:53

    I LOOOOOOVED this book. I'm giving it 4.5 stars because the majority of the book was a "4" for me, but the ending was such a strong 5 stars that I just HAVE to bump it up.This was my first read regarding a teenage main character with bipolar disorder. It was strange because this is actually the first mental health fiction novel I've read where I wasn't able to connect in some way, whether it be from my own experiences or my family. Now I cannot speak for the representation, but it was a really interesting element of the story for me. Until about halfway through the story, I didn't feel like Mel's condition played a big role. I was a bit nervous at first concerning how the rep would be played out, but I realized that with many of the people with bipolar disorder who are on medication in my life, their symptoms are not always the most obvious to me. Mel's illness definitely plays more of a forefront role about halfway through the book and from my studies in psychology, it seemed very accurate. I really really loved the portrayal as I feel it highlighted a lot of important possibilities and circumstances one might go through when dealing with bipolar disorder. The ending was so heart-wrenching, so flawlessly constructed that I just want to shout from the heavens how much it made mefeel.A really significant quote that will definitely stick with me was "You are not bipolar, Mel. You have bipolar disorder." I can't tell you how heart-warming it was to see this idea explained so clearly in a novel about mental illness. Again, I can't speak for the specific representation and would love to see reviews from more individuals in Mel's situation, but it was suuuper interesting to me.On the same topic, I LOOOOOOVE how we have an individual who is on medication to treat her disorder, but she does not resent taking them! She admits she does not like how she is when off her medication when another character states their opinion on the topic, and I really loved that. There is so much demonification of medication and professional help in mental health YA so this was so wonderful.I also was unaware of the LGBT+ elements of the story! Another point where I can't speak for the rep, but this was not something I went into the story knowing prior to reading, so it was a pleasant surprise to see additional diverse elements! There is one conversation nearing the end of the story where a character is discussing discovering their sexuality and from speaking with the LGBT community, I believe it highlighted an important piece of knowledge related to bisexuality. I don't want to say too much because the way these characters introduce their sexual orientation is relevant to the storytelling, but it was super nice to see more inclusion!We also have a love interest of color! If I am correct, he is Chinese as there are a few scenes regarding speaking mandarin with his grandmother and it was another lovely addition to the story.There were also a lot of insignificant things I loved about this story.-Mel works at an elderly-folks home. We get a lot of scenes of her spending time with the residents and it was so nice to see a YA character who A. had a job in high school B. got enjoyment out of her work and C. did something in her spare time that actually gave back to the community. It was such a unique component to the story and an absolute pleasure to read.-This book is one of the very few that contains a main character who went through different friend groups in high school. SOOOOO many YA titles incorporate one "squad" the main character has been best friends with since childhood, which in my experience, is rarely the case. I went through SO many friend groups in high school, so it was absolutely awesome to see a book character who had similar experiences of losing friends and gaining new ones.-Ok I do not promote underage drinking (*especially* if you are on medication!!!!! [thankfully, this is also addressed in the story!!!!!!!!!]) but I was happy to see more normal high school experiences. Whether you do/did or not, teenagers consume alcohol and I felt this topic was handled realistically and did display some of the repercussions of those actions.All in all, this book was absolutely Great with a capital "G". I would HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend it. I'm so grateful to have experienced Mel's story because it truly left an impact on my heart.

  • Larry H
    2019-02-03 02:45

    Mental illness is something many people, including teenagers, live with every day. Yet all too often, these people force themselves to deal with their illness in secret, hiding the truth from loved ones and friends for fear they'll be treated differently, that people will expect less (or more) of them, and that they'll always be thought of as a person with a mental illness rather than simply a person. But of course, not letting those they care about see the truth means that they aren't willing to let themselves be truly known."I can't let anyone know what really happened, or what's wrong with me. I can't bear the thought of how they'd look at me, and treat me, if they knew how many pills I take every morning just to act more or less like everybody else."For 16-year-old Mel Hannigan, life with bipolar disorder is a daily struggle, yet only her parents and her aunt, as well as one friend of her grandmother's, know what she is dealing with. During one particularly bleak period she stayed out of school and isolated herself from her closest friends, so they believed the lies of another friend, and ended their relationship with her. And although she's found new friends, she keeps them at arm's length, never letting them truly see the real Mel.As Mel tries dealing with the re-emergence of emotions around her old friends, she meets someone new, someone she'd like to pursue a relationship with. But how can she let him in when she knows he won't like the real her, when if he knows the truth he'll treat her differently and always want to hover over her and wonder when her next cycle will be? As she tries to keep her emotions in check around relationships new and old, she also must come to terms with a tragedy from her past, and figure out exactly how she can live in its shadow.A Tragic Kind of Wonderful is beautiful, heartbreaking, and so accurate in its portrayal of the many shades of bipolar disorder. Eric Lindstrom so perfectly captured Mel's voice through her ups and downs (the downs, which manifest them as ups, are eerie and so candidly portrayed), and how each person in her family deals with her condition. The book also captured the teenage attitude and dialogue without being overly precocious—you can hear these characters saying the things they do in the book without wondering if there really are 25-year-olds inside of them.This is a book about realizing your problems are too big for only you to handle them, and the importance of trusting people and letting them in, but at the same time recognizes the value and necessity of self-protection. It's a book about letting ourselves feel, and not being afraid to admit how and when we're hurting. And this is an important book for those struggling to understand just what mental illness can do to a person.I'm always loath to compare books to others, but I'll admit that this reminded me a bit of Jennifer Niven's fantastic All the Bright Places, but more for its honesty and its heart than anything else. They're two wholly different and equally superlative books. Read them both, because they're both tremendously exquisite.NetGalley and Little, Brown Books for Young Readers provided me an advance copy of the book in exchange for an unbiased review. Thanks for making this available!See all of my reviews at http://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blo....

  • l a i n e y
    2019-02-18 23:52

    “I wasn’t really sick, at least not in the way where you eventually get better or die”Fluffier than I imagined.Certainly a more than decent read: had its moments, for sure, even with the surprising lack of that ‘punch’ I had expected all that time reading, essentially, in one sitting.“Is that the kind of person you are?”“Hell if I know. Depends on the day. On the hour. I can be all kinds of different people”I feel there were a few potentials that didn’t pan out. Relationships were not explored enough to make the unraveling of them felt that intense to me. A pity really. We hardly got to know Nolan at all. Or anyone else for that matter, other than the lead of course. I did like Mel but she was sorely in need of supporting cast with much more presence than she had to work with here.Where this book did shine was how Mel’s handling of her condition. When she got a diagnosis, just right away, she felt this isolation from everyone around her, her first thought was to keep people out of her messed up shit/life and to not be the cause of anyone’s worries.... She was a teenager but an intelligent one and as someone who also has longterm shit to deal with, I say ‘Right on!’. Seriously I appreciate that so much. So for that, Thank You, Mr. Lindstrom. ”You are doing very well, way above average for someone with your symptoms. That’s a lot of the battle right there”“I don’t feel like I’m winning anything”“Battles are never won. Only survived”rating: ★★★½

  • Sarah
    2019-01-25 05:42

    (I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to HarperCollinsChildren’sBooks and NetGalley.)“Dr Jordan told me everyone with bipolar disorder is different – endless variations of moods, emotions, intensity, frequency, reactions, episodes, delusions, breakdowns – but even so, according to him, I’m unusual.”This was a YA contemporary story, about a girl with bipolar disorder.Mel was an okay character, although I found it quite hard to keep up with the way she tracked her moods. The author did do a good job of showing her ups and downs though.The storyline in this was about Mel coping with her bipolar disorder, and also trying to deal with her grief over her older brother’s death. We did get a few twists thrown in, and I really did not see some of them coming. The pace in this was a little slow though, and I wanted answers faster than we got them. The ending to this was okay, although it was clear that Mel still wasn’t really thinking straight.6.5 out of 10

  • Elyse
    2019-02-15 04:29

    Engaging...compassionate...authentic.........Heartbreaking......Beautiful! Mel Hannigan has recently been diagnosed having bipolar disorder. She is learning about the illness from her doctor and how to manage it....but at 16 years old you can only imagine how much she'd like to crawl into a hole and not even face 'learning' anything. And talking with her therapist... she'd rather just take the pills and bolt the sessions. We also know very early into this story that Mel's older brother, Nolan, died. Her parents get a divorce soon after Nolan's death... and Mel makes all new friends at her 'new' school after she and her mom moved. It wouldn't be easy being 'the new' kid at age 16 in the best of situations....but for Mel...( with her brother's death, her parents divorce, and her own illness), hanging out with Senior Citizens certainly feels more comforting than hanging out with kids her own age. She worked at the "Silver Sands" and often played cribbage with the old folks - the residents. Plus she becomes buddies with a retired psychiatrist who encourages her to open up to her own therapist. She will also meet a boy name David. I began to wonder myself .. was it possible for Mel to have a healthy relationship - or was her illness too dominant? Mel begins to make some friends -- but never plans to tell any of them that she 'had' a brother....and then.....this conversation came up:"I can't remember the last time someone at home asked me a meaningful question", Holly says. "With sisters who've been fighting since I was born, I'm ignored like dining room furniture". "I could use some ignored time", Declan says. "Apparently I'm an only child on purpose. My mom says it's because they couldn't improve on perfection. My dad says I was a terrible mistake they didn't want to repeat. What about you, Mel? Why didn't your parents have other kids? "The question catches me offguard. I hope I don't look startled". "I don't know". I managed to say. "it's not a conversation we've ever had". Throughout the story Mel is struggling with friends- and her own inner demons- She is afraid to trust. Can other kids her age handle being friends with her? Will her mental illness be too much for them? Too much for Mel ..( to have to worry about them worrying about her) Mel's got a wonderful mother and a 'dream-COOL-FUN-aunt....so thankfully she has a couple of adult power-house women who have her back and love her more than life itself...But nobody would choose to have Bipolar disorder. Author Eric Lindstrom wrote this book with great sensitivity... giving detail descriptions of bipolar.....informative...real... and valuable. If this is the type of book teens are reading... I'm extremely impressed!!! The story itself is intimate and moves at a face pace - very easy to 'feel' empathy and understanding. Thank You Little Brown Books, NetGalley, and Eric Lindstrom

  • Dannii Elle
    2019-02-07 01:48

    I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to the author, Eric Lindstrom, and the publisher, Harper Collins Children's Books, for this opportunity.Mel Hannigan is harbouring a secret. More than one, in fact. The first is that she's not an only child. The second is that her brother is dead. The third is that they both have bi-polar disorder.Mel works hard to separate the life lived inside the confines of her mind from the life of school friends and typical teen angst. But the lines are blurring, and separating these two parts of herself may just prove to be the tipping point in the list of things she can deal with. What will happen when her life comes crashing down around her? And, when it does, who will still be there to help her to pick up the pieces?During the initial portions of this book I found this an enjoyable if predictable read. I felt like I had read many books centring around the topic of mental health and many of them began in a similar fashion. It became evident however, that this would prove to be far more than simply an entertaining read.This quickly proved itself to be such a heartbreaking yet important representation of mental illness. Mel's mental stability spiralled over the course of the novel and the author cleverly used the structure of Mel's inner-thoughts and speech to convey this to the reader. It truly felt like I was given an in-depth insight into the character's every feeling and garnered a better understanding of what life is like for those who live with this disorder, in real-life.I can't truly say if this is a true-to-life representation as I don't suffer from it myself, or know anyone who does. It did however, feel like an authentic representation and is an important voice for marginalised perspectives, because of that.I also appreciated how Mel was depicted as far more than her mental illness. The story dealt with what she was feeling and suffering, but also conveyed her as being a typical teenage girl with typical teenage worries, aside from that. She has friend drama and boy troubles just like many other from her demographic.This was such an important read, and truly impacted me into recognising the struggles faced by those suffering from mental illness. Just due to that fact alone this book should be a necessary book for everybody to read. In its own right, it is also a highly entertaining book; full of diverse characters, witty dialogue, a sweet yet subtle romance, a dynamic family, and a thrilling plot with a gripping conclusion.

  • RavenclawReadingRoom
    2019-01-30 06:30

    3.5 stars. I absolutely adored Eric Lindstrom's first book, Not If I See You First, so I was pretty excited about reading this one. And there was a lot to love in this book. The portrayal of bipolar disorder is pretty great. I love that Mel works at a nursing home/retirement community/thing, hanging out with old people for funsies because it's what she's good at. I loved that we have a teenage girl who gets her period and whose period has a significant impact on her mental health. As with Not If I See You First, I really enjoyed the writing and it gave me feels. But I think it might eventually prove to be a slightly...forgettable...story? So it was enjoyable enough (though it features a lot of shitty friendships), but I really don't think it will stick with me the way his first book has.

  • Catherine ♡
    2019-01-26 05:44

    Actual Rating: 3.5This was so fluffy - I loved it!That's the thing about it though; there were so many "rom-com" parts of this I enjoyed reading, and although I loved reading about the interpretation of bipolar disorder, all in all it didn't resonate with me much.Mel is a sixteen-year-old with bipolar disorder, which she keeps a secret from her friends because she doesn't want to be treated differently. When an old friend she had a falling out with confronts her again, Mel's carefully crafted facade begins to crack, and this time, she doesn't seem to be able to keep everything locked up.I thought Mel was a pretty likeable character and her character arc was very powerful. There were several scenes between her and the love interest that I really thought were pretty cute. This was the type of insta-attraction (not insta-love) that I had absolutely no problem with.I did have a bit of trouble with the way she kept track of her feelings, however. Mel nicknamed her heart, head, etc. with names like Hammerhead or Hummingbird, and though this was creative, I kept forgetting which corresponded to which.The plot was definitely very thorough and thought out. I could definitely see how things progressed the way they did, and the conclusion really gave me a good sense of closure. However, I did think that there were a lot of themes in this book: coming-of-age, friendship, family, romance, and although I love all these things, after a while it began to feel like Mel's bipolar disorder wasn't main point of the story, but rather a catalyst for all these other things to get through.I also kind of wish I knew more about the secondary characters. We saw enough of Mel's old friends, but Holly and Declan, Mel's current friends, had so little screen-time that I kind of wondered if they even had a purpose other than to act as Mel's support.Overall, I'd recommend this as a really quick but eye-opening read for anyone who was looking for a light contemporary read that touches upon mental illness. There was a great balance between seriousness and humor, and overall the writing style was pretty good - there were several lines that really hit me, but this was probably my favorite:"I think it's fair to say," Dr. Dharni says, "that only people open to dying would be so careless with something so dangerous."

  • Figgy
    2019-01-23 07:44

    Once again, Eric Lindstrom brings us a story that’s kinda cute and fluffy and is bound to make you laugh, but which has a decent helping of meatiness, too.At first glance, there are some things that can seem a little shallow, and though it’s true that overall this feels like it has a little less heart than Lindstrom’s previous book, Not If I See You First, and the friendships feel a little less developed, there is still plenty here to love, and his second offering is one that is as easy to get caught up in as his debut.One of the things that felt a little odd early on in the book was the fact that Mel, a self-described antisocial underachiever, seems to find it so easy to make conversation with people. We’ve had this conversation countless times, when Mom’s not around to stop her. Except I know the drugs are a scapegoat. Like how Dad thinks I’m unambitious and unmotivated and blames it on being surrounded by underachievers. Aunt Joan thinks I’m antisocial because of the meds. They’re both wrong. I’m naturally an antisocial underachiever.But perhaps this was part of the message of this book; just because they need time away from people in order to recharge, people with anxiety and other mental health disorders don’t always struggle in a way that is outwardly visible. The rest of this review can be found HERE!

  • Maddie (Heart Full Of Books)
    2019-02-17 05:56

    A great read for bipolar disorder representation, and I felt like I really understood and empathised with the mindset, but I'm tragically disappointed with the lesbian shaming that happened in regards to Zumi, and the conversations about sexualities felt like the written equivalents of nails on a chalkboard that made me want to shove my Kindle under a pillow and never pick it up again.I felt a little confused with the introduction of David, and the ending was so close to being the romance-as-part-of-the-mental-health-cure, but it wasn't, so thank goodness! It makes me feel really sad that the books I read that have protagonists with mental health issues always feel such shame about it, and when they eventually tell others, there's no stigma at all, so hopefully as people realise that mental health isn't something to feel bad for, we'll see some characters more confident in their headspace. There was such an intense friendship circle that I really appreciated, although all the secrets were toxic and I don't think I've ever read a friendship where they actually trust each other!

  • Ryan Buckby
    2019-02-13 02:46

    actual rating: 4.5How can you have a future if you can't accept your past? I enjoyed this second book by Eric Lindstorm more then i did his first book i feel like this one had more fleshed out characters and i could distinctly hear the different characters voices while i was reading it more then i did in his debut novel. This story follows Mel Hannigan a 16 year old girl who is living with bipolar disorder and reeling from the death of her brother, she not also dealing with the loss of her brother but is also dealing with the divorce of her parents. Her and her mother have moved in with her aunt while her dad has very little to do with her since her parents divorce. Mel's friendships have become strained and she goes on a journey to try fix her friendships with Annie, Zumi and Connor after they all became close when they were growing up.Characters Mel: Mel is the main character in this story and she is living with bipolar disorder but has kept it a secret from her friends and everyone else around her, the only people that know she has it are her family. I liked the journey Mel went on in the story because i have no idea what living with bipolar is like but the author showed it in a way that was real and honest. Mel to me felt like one of the realist sounding YA characters that i have read in a long time because she was in high school and had a job but she also did something in her spare time that helped and gave back to the community so it was refreshing to read a character like that. One thing that i also really enjoyed about this character is that 'love' or 'relationships' with a guy didn't play any role in this story and i love how this was touched on in the story. David: david was the new/close friend for Mel as they meet in the nursing home where Mel works as it's revealed that David's grandmother is a resident in the nursing home. I liked this character because he was different then Mel's other friends in the book, he tried to understand and help her as much as he could and be there for her as much as he could as well. I'm so glad the author didn't have the whole insta love between the two because the way the friendship was between the two could have been ruined if it was insta love straight away.Mel's Parents: i love how her parent's were written in the story because you had her Mum who was involved and present in her life where as her dad was distant and not there a lot of the time but he does start to have more an impact towards the end of the story. Usually parents aren't very present in YA contemporary novels but i'm glad they were such a huge part of the story. HJ: i think one of my favourite characters in this story was Mel's aunt she brought the brighter and happier dialogue for the most part of the story and i really enjoyed reading that character. I feel like Mel wanted to be like her aunt in most aspects but living with bipolar never could really be able to do that. The only thing that really annoyed me about the character was how she wasn't really understanding with Mel having bipolar and how she tried to get mel to do things that were way out of her comfort zone. Zumi, Connor and Annie: All three of these characters were Mel's friends in the book and all played different roles throughout the story. Annie was the main instigator of this friendship circle and isn't really seen that much in the story only in the beginning until her family move to paris. However most of the past is brought up and things are explained and secrets are exposed. Zumi was another one of Mel's friends and one that i would say i enjoyed the most from because she was one of those friends who wanted to understand and be there for Mel but things got twisted and secrets were revealed so them two had a rocky friendship throughout the whole book but i'm glad by the end of it they do make up *some what* Connor was the last of Mel's friends and a character who was the neutral one of the whole friendship group. I feel like i can relate to him a lot because of his friends are girls and he doesn't seem to have that many guy friends in the book. Most of my friendships throughout high school were with females as Connor's are in the book. Mental illness is a big thing throughout the book and is something that many people are suffering with in their own lives day to day. However all to often people feel ashamed to talk about their own mental health issues and feel like they should keep it a secret from everyone with the fear of being ridiculed by people for having a mental illness. People with a mental illness feel like they'll be treated differently, that people will expect less (or more) of them but this should never be the case.I wasn’t really sick, at least not in the way where you eventually get better or die. I just found out my brain was poorly designed. It won’t kill me, but I can’t get right again since I was never right in the first place LGBTIQ+ issues are brought up in this book but i was unaware of these issues until much later in this book where these issues started to pop up and become known to me. I won't spoil it to much but there are instances where many characters are discovering their own sexualities in the book and how they accept what it is. A love interest in the story was of different colour and i believe that David was Chinese from the way he and his grandmother were speaking in a different language. I honestly did enjoy this diverse range of characters because it's something that is needed more in YA novels because everyone is different and we all come from different backgrounds in society that need to be portrayed more in YA novels.I enjoyed this book so much, because if you like stories like these i would HIGHLY recommend you pick up and read Mel's so you can enjoy the story as much as i did and it will continue to hold a special place in my heart.

  • Drew
    2019-02-12 03:56

    3 1/2 stars. The first book I read by Eric Lindstrom was about a blind girl with a traumatic past. It was also one of the best contemporaries I read in 2016. Similarly, this second book by the author follows Mel Hannigan, who has bipolar disorder and is suffering from a traumatic past.Even though the plot was very similar to Not If I See You First, I still really enjoyed it. I think the author has nailed writing realistic contemporaries - while making them unique and enjoyable, they also inform the reader about a very real, serious matter.Mel suffers from severe bipolar disorder that throws her into unpredictable mood swings. She takes pills to help her get through the day, but her family is worried about her. Ever since "the incident" that happened with her brother years ago, she's shut down, cutting off all her friends and pushing everyone close to her out of her life.Now, for those of you out there who aren't big romance fans - there is a romance that's a main part of this book, but trust me, you should give this one a try. Mel works at a retirement home where she meets the grandson of one of the women she takes care of, David - and I really loved their romance.The relationship between Mel and David was realistic and their chemistry was strong. They were cute, funny, brutally honest with each other, and things were definitely a little awkward on their first date. While there may have been no breathless, beautiful, swoon-worthy lines, there was a grittiness, an intense attraction between them. Mel admired David, but it wasn't "love at first sight," and I appreciated that realism.The romance didn't trivialize bipolar disorders either, and being in love didn't "heal" Mel. Rather, David was just a guy she liked who put up with her mood swings and was there for her. I have an issue with YA books that "romanticize" mental illness. Like, when a hot guy falls in love with a depressed girl and magically "heals" her of her ilness. Not only is this incredibly unrealistic, but it's also belittling a serious matter. But this was one unique time when romance and mental illness were actually compatible.Lindstrom's A Tragic Kind of Wonderful was relatable, quirky, humorous, and honest. I love that we've been given two feisty female narrators in his books so far who prove they're worth more than their illness or disability - I can't wait to read what he comes up with next.

  • Karen Whittard
    2019-01-24 02:44

    Unputdownable. Powerful eyeopener. Into a world lots of people know nothing about. Bipolar. It is heartbreaking and uplifting to see how Mel deals with her new diagnosis. It is eye opening to see how the world treats her, how her relationships with her friends and family and had changed and the struggles that she has to face on a day to day basis. I think this book was written really well and it was heartening to have a look into someone else's world. It is a book about empowerment and how yes illnesses change you. But they also help to define you. And they help you to know who are the most important people in your life. And that if they stick by you throu thick and thin then they are something really special. If they don't and The are mean and hurtful. Then you really don't need that negativity in your life. It is a lesson we all have to learn. I think that this book is uplifting. You can find my review on Goodreads and Amazon. On Goodreads under Karen whittard and on Amazon under k.e.whittard. Happy reading everyone

  • Yip Jung Hon
    2019-02-09 06:51

    This is an utterly rare and compelling read that leaves the reader thinking long after the last page. Eric Lindstrom takes us through the life of Mel, a girl suffering from bipolar disorder since her brother committed suicide. Mel's personality is particularly striking: beneath her cheerful and somewhat sarcastic nature, she is fundamentally damaged. To me, she is a reminder of how much of ourselves we keep hidden under the surface. Yet, her story is filled with hope, the desire for meaning, and the willingness to help other people even when she no longer has love to give. She is memorable because she helps people even as she rejects help for her condition, and she is kind to the world even though the world is not kind to her. On the back cover of this book, there is this quote: 'Not everyone has the courage to be loved for who they really are...' I think it is tragic that Mel deems herself unworthy of love despite giving the world the best of herself and her love.Mel feels very authentic. I could understand and empathize every one of her impulses (even walking twenty miles to Golden Gate Bridge on bloodied feet). The eerie part is that I don't feel as though she is acting irrationally at any point in the book. I'm not saying that walking twenty miles or courting death on rooftops is sane behavior. But at the same time, I can't help but think that if I'm placed under the same circumstances, I, a reasonably sane person (hopefully), might do the same things Mel did. Her pain must have been unimaginable. This book taught me that we tread a fine line between sanity and insanity. The mentally ill of this world are not any less human than the mentally healthy, and they may lead more colorful and enriching lives than the majority of us do.My favorite part of the book was when Mel and David were talking about an amnesia patient. Mel thinks she's sad, David corrects her, saying that she is happy even though she cannot remember anything. There any many more bone-haunting conversations like this in the book, and this is where this book shines. I find this book very subtle -- never telling us everything -- yet enough for us to figure it out with relative ease. The story is beautiful when I look back at it, and although it's never revealed whether Amelia Hanningan finds her peace, I hope she will. It is a book worth reading.

  • Priss
    2019-02-15 01:55

    4/5. Super interesting, I liked having a look into Mel's thoughts and being able to understand her more, living with bipolar disorder. Quite recommend this!

  • Marianna
    2019-01-19 01:31

    I have no idea if I will be reviewing this, I'm still indecisive.A Tragic Kind of Wonderful is a very accurate book. It represents people who have bipolar disorder type 1 and rapid cyclers extremely well, so if you want to get educated on the subject, or want to see yourself represented I highly recommend this.As far as trigger warnings are concerned, obviously there are some for bipolar disorder, manic episodes,mild depressive episodes, mention of suicide. Imo, I didn't find it triggering at all; that depends on the person though so I can't say for all.What I found surprising is that it features LGBTQ+ characters?? And they're central to the plot!!! Ok fine, I'll review it after all YOU CONVINCED ME

  • Laurie • The Baking Bookworm
    2019-02-13 06:38

    I feel so torn about this book. I enjoyed some aspects and others I struggled with so much that I almost gave up on the whole thing. Unfortunately, I found the bulk of the story slow-going with the focus being on teenage angst, friendship and relationships vying for top billing instead of mental illness. It isn't until two-thirds of the way through the book (when I had almost given up) that I finally could sink my teeth into the story. It's at this point that Lindstrom gets to the heart of Mel's struggle with bipolar disorder and the results are vivid and emotional. From the intensity of her feelings, to her loss of control, delusions and finally her breakdown readers will witness the heart-breaking struggle within Mel and the enormous stress she is under to keep it hidden from people around her. One of my issue with the book is that there was too much angst and not enough depth or character development. There is a mixed bag of secondary characters with the residents of the nursing home where Mel works being my favourites with their sass, personality and heart. Some of the teenagers by comparison (Declan and Holly, I'm looking at you) faded so much into the background that they were easily forgettable. The other issue I had was that there was too much telling and not enough showing. I wanted to witness the connection or disconnection between Annie, Connor, Zumi and Mel so I could better understand Mel's hesitation to inform her friends of her mental illness. Similarly, the romance happened too quickly, felt forced and too good to be true considering all the issues and drama that occur in their brief relationship. Unfortunately, I just wasn't invested in these relationships.Also, when it finally came down to the big reveal about the reason for the rift between Zumi, Connor and Mel, the result was disappointing for something that was alluded to many times. I would have preferred a more in-depth look at other relationships - namely, Mel's relationship with her brother. Her bond with him underlies much of the book yet is barely talked about. Or even a look at Mel's mother and how she has handled having so much mental illness within her family. It sounds like I wasn't a fan of this book and for a chunk of it I wasn't. But I will take away a better understanding of bipolar disorder. This went from a book I almost gave up on to one that became a decent read due to the vivid and honest look at Mel's illness and her heartbreaking struggle to be seen as 'normal'. While this wasn't a home run for me I applaud the author for giving his readers a better insight into the mental health of teens. Disclaimer: My sincere thanks to Little, Brown Books for Young Readers and NetGalley for providing me with a complimentary e-book copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

  • LisCarcamo (The Reader L)
    2019-01-26 01:47

    I have no words to tell you how much I loved this book. Literally, no words. There’s just too much I’d like to say, but I’d probably end up saying “I loved it” again and again and again.I think the only way to “review” this book is listing the 10 things I loved the most about A Tragic Kind of Wonderful.So, here you are.1. The main character. Mel Freaking Hannigan is one of the best main characters I’ve ever read. And… Seriously, Mel is so “me”. I don’t have bipolar disorder, but I’m very (very!) paranoid and it was kind of freeing to see how much I can relate to her AND in a good way.2. The main character works at an elderly people home. Just like I did! I think there’s so important so see this in YA books; I don’t remember if I’ve ever a book that made me aware of how much older people needs help and company.3. The bipolar disorder rep was so well done. Like I said, I don’t have bipolar disorder, but I have two friends who have it. I’m also glad the book touches the importance of meds and psychiatric help. This is something so, so important!4. The characters were diverse and fun and likable. Except for the typical “mean girls” at school (okay, I’m not even going to lie, it bothered me a bit that the mean girls were Latinas, but it didn’t bother me too much) everyone was lovely and it made me so happy!5. The friendship. Mel’s friends are such good friends. They have ups and down, they make mistakes and they say the wrong things sometimes, but they loved Mel and even when they weren’t part of the same group, they were nice to each other. (This reminded me so much of my high school/church friends).6. The romance. The romance was almost inexistence, but I liked it that way. A Tragic Kind of Wonderful was about Mel coping with her mental illness and the grief of her brother’s dead. The romance wasn’t even necessary, it wasn’t the center of the book, but it was a plus. David and Mel were so cute together!7. The mystery. From the first chapter you know something tragic happened to Nolan, Mel’s brother. Until the end of the book, I made a hundred and more theories. What really happened wasn’t really unexpected, but it was gut wrenching and heartbreaking.8. The writing was fast-paced and addictive. I think I’ve said this everywhere, I had an ugly eye disease and surgery and I haven’t read almost anything this year and when I read it takes me at least a week to finish a book, but I read ATKOW in two days!9. There’s a LGBT rep I wasn’t expecting. Okay, we know from the start that Zumy is lesbian, but she’s not the only LGTB character. There’s a bi out there, and I loved it.10. The ending wrapped everything perfectly. I’d still love to read more about Mel Hannigan, but this ending gave me enough to feel good about saying goodbye to this characters.Now you see. A Tragic Kind of Wonderful was kind of wonderful. A huge thank you to Harper Reach for the chance to read this beautiful book… now I can’t wait to read the other book by this author.

  • Casey
    2019-02-14 02:58

    Mel is dealing with the loss of her brother, the loss of her 3 bestfriends, and being diagnosed with Bipolar disorder.A Tragic Kind of Wonderful is exactly what the title states. A story where Mel's character gripped me from the first chapter, her family sucked me in, the mysterious slow reveals of her old friendship days, her personality and genuine care of other people.All the characters in this story are so important to Mel's journey and there are done so well, every character introduced felt real, there are fights, moodiness, days where it's hard and good days too.Rather then talk plot I'm just going to talk about how this book made me go through so many feelings and that's exactly what a contemporary should do in my mind. I laughed at Mel and David's honest and upfront conversations. I cried for Mel and Zumi's friendship, I was gripping the book at all the memories of her brother.The entire last quarter was heart wrenching and special (view spoiler)[ When Zumi opened her laptop I was so scared for Mel and for her other friends and Declan to stand up for her I was so happy that she had such caring friends. (hide spoiler)]The portrayal of bipolar was well done in my opinion, I lived with a family member of my partners for a while that has bipolar (in no way does this make me an expert) and I'm glad Eric showed that there are all different types of Bipolar it's not a one for all and people can be a spectrum.(view spoiler)[ One of my fave moments was when Zumi and Declan set up an hourly vigil so Mel would know they were sorry and waiting to be her friend. The most heart wrenching moment was when Mel tried to jump that sky light, and the descriptions of her brother's death just thinking about it makes me upset and I just wanted to reach into the book and comfort Mel with everything I had.(hide spoiler)]I recommend this to contemporary lovers, people who love a story that makes you feel all the feelings, and most of all someone who loves Character driven plots because this is the story of the messy life of a 17 year old who you couldn't help but love.

  • Ashley Owens
    2019-01-20 02:59

    Full non-spoiler video review here! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hH_Er...

  • Vivian
    2019-02-01 07:50

    Goed boek! Eerste helft vond ik vooral sterk door het coming of age-proces op het gebied van vriendschap, maar in de tweede helft wordt Mels bipolaire stoornis echt heel goed neergezet en werd het enorm heftig. Heel bijzonder en intens hoe er een stem wordt gegeven aan iemand met een stoornis die goed te verbergen is maar ook een erg grote impact kan hebben. Zitten veel mooie dingen in. Uitgebreide recensie: http://thebookreview.nl/recensies/con...

  • Aimee
    2019-02-07 00:41

    I received a copy of A Tragic Kind of Wonderful from HarperCollins New Zealand to review. I read Eric’s debut novel, Not If I See You First, last year and loved it. So I was looking forward to reading this.A Tragic Kind of Wonderful deals with the grief of losing a child and brother as well as mental illness. I’ve been reading more books about mental illness and I don’t think it’s something that should be hidden and not talked about. Mel hid it from some important people in her life. She didn’t want people to look at her differently and I do understand that but if they were her friends then they should accept everything about you. Mental illness isn’t something to be ashamed of, or something you should try to hide from people.I was glad that even though there is a love interest for Mel in this book that it wasn’t written in a way that had this new guy swooping in and fixing her because that’s not realistic at all. And Mel doesn’t need fixing. I’m not talking about medication, I think that’s a personal choice and that’s something that comes up in the book between Mel, her mother and aunt.I think this book was more about Mel’s journey to accept herself the way she is and not a romance. That’s what I took for the book anyway.I really enjoyed A Tragic Kind of Wonderful and would recommend both this and Eric’s first book, Not If I See You First, to anyone who hasn’t read them.

  • Lexxie (un)Conventional Bookviews
    2019-01-31 06:56

    This review was originally posted on (un)Conventional BookviewsA Tragic Kind of Wonderful had my whole body in knots. Mel made my heart break so badly, and at the same time I'm so happy to have met her - to get a glimpse into how life might be for someone who suffers from bipolar disorder. Story: After a horrible shock, Mel became so sick she couldn't go to school for several months. Afterwards, though, she never shared with her friends the actual reasons for not coming to school. She didn't want anyone to think she was weird. Or different. Or someone they might not want to spend their time with - so she stayed away from them instead. She got new friends, though and that works well for her. Until her old friends reach out to her once more.A Tragic Kind of Wonderful doesn't make depression pretty. And it doesn't sugarcoat what Mel has been through, nor does it try to show an 'easy' fix for anything. It gets down and dirty, and has no qualms about showing both the lows and the highs Mel deals with in her daily life. Characters: Mel is the main character, and I fell in love with her form the beginning. While she does have a lot to deal with, she does her best to move forward. To not let her illness keep her down in the pits. And she has more people she can count on than she knows.Declan and Holly are her new friends, and they're a couple. Her old friends show up again, too, Connor, Zumi and Annie - whom she lost while she was sick.Mel's parents as well as her aunt Joan are very present in Mel's life as well, and it was refreshing to read about real parents in a young adult book.Then, there are the people at the Silver Sands Suites where Mel works. Writing style : First person, present tense from Mel's perspective. A Tragic Kind of Wonderful switches between the past and the present. Feels : Lindström managed to bring me close to Mel, and while sometimes I was a bit confused, I guess she was as well. And I truly did feel the feels - both sadness and happiness, and everything in between.We've had this conversation countless times, when Mom's not around to stop her. Except I know the drugs are a scapegoat. Like how Dad thinks I'm unambitious and unmotivated and blames it on being surrounded by underachievers. Aunt Joan thinks I'm antisocial because of the meds. They're both wrong. I'm naturally an antisocial underachiever.Ms. Li laughs and blurts something in Chinese. David grins big - the first I've seen from him. Nope, not serious. His grandmother told me he's hardly ever serious but his poker face is amazing.He laughs and bows his head, and this instantly triggers my bright smile. That almost never happens on its own.

  • Harker
    2019-02-14 04:44

    I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.Reading books about mental illness is so important because there is still a lot of misinformation out there about what mental illness is, especially in regards to certain conditions such a bipolar disorder. There are stereotypes that seem to have stuck and I appreciate a good try at getting rid of them because as someone who has to deal with it themselves, it's good to have representation on the page.That is not the reason that I rated this book so lowly. The representation of the various "types" of bipolar disorder was good. I think the author showed that it isn't a singular diagnosis that makes everyone the same. There were three characters in this book that were diagnosed as being bipolar: Mel, her aunt HJ, and her brother Nolan. As the narrative is mostly focused on Mel we hear the most about her experience, a bit more from HJ's corner, but unfortunately not much about Nolan due to circumstances the took place before the book started.The problem that I had was that the story itself felt flat. There were a lot of plot points that tried to take over the main story of Mel, but none that really had emotion attached to them. Even the story line with the friend from the past that is alluded to in the summary didn't have the tension or shock that I would expect from something like that. The first 50% actually went alright, but the pacing really started losing steam in the second half from the aforementioned extraneous plot points. I think the book was trying to be too many things at once and suffered for it.The romance felt forced and the actions that came from Mel and David "getting together" felt fake because their relationship didn't ring true. Mel's friends Holly and Declan were posited as being more important than they turned out being. They were flat set dressing for her. I think Mel's best friends came from the Silver Sands Retirement Home and those characters I loved. I wish we could have heard more from them, especially Mrs. Li (David's grandmother). It felt like there could have been more there, especially since Mel's recently deceased grandmother lived there before her death.All in all, it was a good effort, but A Tragic Kind of Wonderful felt like a cardboard setup for a play with characters on sticks dancing back and forth. You might get the story, but there's not going to be a lot of emotion conveyed behind those painted on eyes.I wouldn't recommend this if you've never read an Eric Lindstrom novel before; you'd be much better off reading his book Not If I See You First.

  • TheBibliotheque
    2019-02-12 07:49

    DNF 40%I TRIED. I did really try. DNF-ing this book pains me. It hurts my booklover heart. Because it's not that this book is bad, it's that I am just not into it. I am seriously struggling to get through it and I find hard picking it up. The characters don't interest me, I am zero engaged and I don't really think it's a good enough portrayal of the mental illness it presents.But it wouldn't be fair to elaborate because I can't even remember the main character names.For me it's definitely a forgettable read, but maybe you love it so I'll let you be the judge of it.*I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*

  • Rissa
    2019-02-07 03:44

    3.5⭐️

  • Hollybooks
    2019-01-20 00:56

    Ok. So this book wasn’t the greatest, but it wasn’t bad either. It follows the story of Mel, a teenage girl with bipolar disorder, struggling to cope with everyday life. To start with, I could really empathise for Mel, but she would’ve been a far more interesting character if the supporting characters were more developed. For example, Nolan was a great character, and we needed much more of him. There were a couple of plot twists that I thought were absolutely great (that Annie thing? Did not see that coming!) and made the novel a real page turner, but there was nothing major, and for a minute I thought it was going to be the whole ‘Mental illness cured by love’ shenanigans, but thankfully it was not.Overall this book was a good read and had a very interesting storyline, that if executed better, could have been amazing.

  • Michelle (Fluttering Butterflies)
    2019-02-12 07:54

    Loved it. Second book by this author I've read this year and both were amazing.Oh wow. I absolutely adored A Tragic Kind of Wonderful by Eric Lindstom. I had only read the author's debut book, Not If I See You First, earlier this year and I loved that too. So I requested A Tragic Kind of Wonderful based on the strength of his first book. But when I found out that his new book is about a girl with bipolar disorder? I was immediately intrigued. Books involving mental illnesses are amongst my favourite and I wanted to see how Eric Lindstrom would tackle the subject. The result? was this wonderful, messy glimpse into Mel's life. I say 'messy' because there's so much going on in this book. It's obviously about Mel and Mel has bipolar disorder. And while I loved the representation of that aspect of her life, I also really loved that the author explored Mel's life in so much other detail without it being too much, too heavy or too confusing to follow so many different strands to the story. Because not only does Mel have bipolar disorder (that she was only diagnosed with recently!) but she's also dealing with the grief of losing her older brother several years ago. She's fallen out with her previous circle of friends once she was diagnosed because of her fear of them rejecting her but she's got a new set of friends now and she's wondering if she should admit her condition to them or risk losing them like the last bunch? She's got kind of a complicated relationship within her family, especially with her aunt who also has bipolar disorder and a much different view of living with this illness. AND! she meets a cute boy through one of the residents of the retirement home where she works. I loved how all the elements of this story are pulled together, I love that Eric Lindstrom provides this great, realistic glimpse into Mel's life, including all of the complications. Real life is messy and complicated and Mel's story reflects that. And I hugely appreciated that. Obviously bipolar is something that features strongly in this book. Something that is brought up in this book which I hadn't seen before is this middle bit of bipolar which is in between the depressive episodes and the mania (the highs and lows!) and I don't think I've seen that written about or explored the way this book did. Mel begins each chapter by comparing different aspects of her condition (mood, heart rate etc) with different animals and through the four different elements works out what type of state she's in and I found it all to be quite fascinating. She's also seeing a therapist and I loved sitting in on some of those appointments. Throughout the book, Mel also brings up her thoughts on medication and her Aunt has an opposing view which provided an interesting contrast.There are some incredibly emotional aspects of the book that I felt were down to the great characterisation and also the great relationships. In particular, I loved Mel's relationship with her aunt just because they're so different and it was interesting to me to see two people with bipolar but had such wildly differing experiences and opinions on how to deal with this disorder. I also loved David, the love interest. There's a great mini-story line that includes a toxic relationship which I found intriguing but I think my favourite relationships, by far, included Mel's relationships with the people that she works with in the retirement home. Silver Sands retirement home had some wonderful characters and Mel's friendship with retired psychiatrist, Dr. Oswald had me in tears.This is such a wonderful book. I loved so many elements of this book that I feel like I could talk endlessly about this book. But I won't. I will just recommend it very highly!