Read How I Made It to Eighteen: A Mostly True Story by TracyWhite Online


How do you know if you're on the verge of a nervous breakdown? For seventeen-year-old Stacy Black, it all begins with the smashing of a window. After putting her fist through the glass, she checks into a mental hospital. Stacy hates it there but despite herself slowly realizes she has to face the reasons for her depression to stop from self-destructing. Based on the authorHow do you know if you're on the verge of a nervous breakdown? For seventeen-year-old Stacy Black, it all begins with the smashing of a window. After putting her fist through the glass, she checks into a mental hospital. Stacy hates it there but despite herself slowly realizes she has to face the reasons for her depression to stop from self-destructing. Based on the author's experiences, How I Made it to Eighteen is a frank portrait of what it's like to struggle with self-esteem, body image issues, drug addiction, and anxiety. How I Made It to Eighteen is a 2011 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year....

Title : How I Made It to Eighteen: A Mostly True Story
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781596434547
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 160 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

How I Made It to Eighteen: A Mostly True Story Reviews

  • Sesana
    2018-11-10 21:27

    This is a somewhat fictionalized (lightly, the author says) account of the author's stay in a mental hospital after having a breakdown. There's plenty going on in her life: depression, an eating disorder, drugs, isolation from family and friends, and a boyfriend who is both controlling and detached from the relationship. The story is completely contained to Stacy's stay in the hospital (Stacy is the author's alter ego here) so we have limited details on how she got there, and none after her discharge, which seems to happen very suddenly. It's really just a snapshot in her life. It gives a very incomplete feeling, but what is there is mostly absorbing. I just could have done with more.

  • Jasmine
    2018-10-21 03:25

    so lets be honest there is nothing that is more productive to well everything else than an assignment that you don't really want to do. My assignment? a paper on neurotransmission. I thought that I didn't want to write this paper because I didn't understand it but I was wrong, I understand it fine in fact the book and I are fighting because I am having trouble finding the spelling for the terms that I want and it annoys me. The fact being I am 1 single spaced page into a 5 page double spaced paper after an hour, it's going to be fine although with my procrastination level and meeting in the morning I won't be sleeping tonight. oh well, I've got thursday off mostly. So instead of writing my paper for a lot of the last hour I read this book. It's um, well not a good break book. Not because it's depressing just because it isn't all that good. I recommended this to a woman because she wanted new comics drawn by women. Now the only female comic artist I know off the top of my head is liz prince and I don't think she has anything new, but she is a genius, sadly we almost never have her in the store (even though I won a staffy for will you till love me if I wet the bed, it makes no god damn sense). So I gave the woman this book because 1. connor had it on display, 2. I knew it had just come out at the time 3. it was written by a woman. well it would have been better for tracy and I both if that had been the end of my knowledge of this book. Has anyone else tried to reread girl interrupted once you weren't actually stupid and 16 anymore? In fact this isn't unlike the problem I have with both matilda and un lun dun. These are age gated books. For matilda and un lun dun, well children are stupid they don't understand the complicated crap I like in my adult books, or perhaps they don't have the patience for it, it doesn't really matter which children's books bore me either way. girl interrupted and go ask alice are both books written for scary teenage girls who hang out with drug addicts and cut themselves and contemplate suicide. I had that phase it was a damn good time, but it ended. and you know what since then I've reread girl interrupted and it isn't a very good book. This book is girl interrupted for people who are too stupid, or can't be bothered with too many words. Don't get me wrong I think girl interrupted is better than this book there is more depth and there is that really interesting scene about her trying to figure out if she really has bones. Basically the book is poorly written but there were a lot of meaningful moments that I still look back on now and think about in relation to myself. there is a moment where she says the difference between being sane and being insane is both people see a tiger in the corner the sane person convinces themselves it's a lamp the insane person doesn't. I liked this as a kid because honestly I was one of those kids who actually had to stand up get out of bed turn the light on and check what it was because I could not convince myself it wasn't a tiger otherwise, sometimes I did that multiple times. I have an excuse, I have extremely bad night vision and was afraid of the dark till... I'm not really sure it's never dark in new york so possibly still. Now that I've reviewed a different book. This book isn't very good, it isn't very insightful. It's a bit cutesy and I mean that in the worst possible way. It's almost like it's trying to say "poor me, but you couldn't give a crap about me, so I'm not actually going to wallow in my self pity because then you'll just think I'm an idiot so why don't you just fuck off, but please read my book and connect with me". uh no, I don't go for that level of convoluted bullshit in my read/author relationship. Pick a side either we have one or we don't. I don't have a teenage daughter for a reason, I think teenage girls are idiots so I don't really want to read people who write like they are talking to their moms who they hate. And yes I saw that dedication... it isn't polite to put things like that in print. ugh. the moral of this story is read liz prince she loves you too:try to tell me those aren't better. just try.

  • Steve
    2018-11-06 04:35

    Would have liked a little more to have happened in this book. The moment she gets close to a breakthrough the story just stops. The art style is a bit simplistic, which works for it sometimes but falls short others. The fact that the book focuses so much on the perspectives of her four friends is another thing that kind of works for it but also kind of doesn't. And the fact that she changes her character's name to Stacy Black instead of Tracy White kind of got under my skin. If you're going to tell a "mostly true" story about yourself, even if you admit to taking dramatic license with the sequence of events and with the names of friends, you have to be true to YOU, and changing the name of YOUR character seems a bit disingenuous. But maybe that's part of the theme too, that she at that time was unable to talk about herself. If so, then the POV of her friends and her changing her name work, but only barely.

  • Breanne
    2018-10-18 21:43

    Read this for school and I guess I thought it would be more relatable.

  • Lauren Watts
    2018-11-15 03:47

    Hmm I don't really know what to say about this book. I have just now spent an hour trying to decide what to rate it. I liked it more than I thought I would. I had picked it up at the library yesterday figuring it would be something I could possibly relate to. I could relate to her depression and her body image issues. Granted I'm not bulimic like she was, I still have issues with liking my body. I loved the analysis questions with her past and future friends' opinions. I thought that was very interesting and helpful to see others points of view on the situations. I really had a deep hatred for Eric. He reminded me of some of the past guys I have known. Controlling and guilt inducing. He feels like he has to be in control and when he isn't he uses guilt to make you feel bad and do what he says. I hope she dumped him and found a man who gave her a healthy relationship. I wish the book would have been longer though. I wanted to see her whole journey through her road to recovery. The simple drawings were great. I liked how they were simple and to the point. I think the simple drawings made me focus more on the story rather than the art. I also enjoyed the black and white aspect of the drawings. It revealed how dark the situation really is and didn't candy coat it with happy colors. Depression and eating disorders are very big issues. I think everyone should be educated on them. I hope Tracy White writes some more books like this one. She has talent. Hopefully one day I can write a book about my experiences just like she has.

  • Marissa
    2018-10-29 01:33

    From the cover and the art style of this book, on first glance I thought it was going to be a ya graphic novel along the lines of Ariel Schrag's chronicles of being a teenager, but it is actually a fairly dark, honest account of Tracy White's long stay in a mental hospital as an adolescent. I feel like there has been a recent rash of movies and books talking about mental illness in teenagers and I think it is a really difficult topic to take on candidly without it becoming too cliched, too overwrought, or just too after-school-special. I think this book actually does a good job of it though and I think in a lot of ways it is a much better account than something like Girl, Interrupted. I thought one aspect of it that worked especially well were the chapter bumpers where her friends were interviewed about her. When you're a teenager your friends really are your family, the people you're closest to, the ones who reflect who you want to be and who you wish you weren't, and I thought these interviews were a really effective way to really understand more and more about who the main character was. I also think it was a smart framing device because the other thing that is tricky about telling a mental hospital story is to not let the audience get bogged down in mistrust of the narrator's feelings and their sense of what's going on and why they're there. I liked having these outside perspectives brought in as a counter balance to the story that was unfolding and I liked that it showed how the people around her were affected by her illness. Definitely worth checking out.

  • Mark
    2018-10-23 05:53

    Stacy Black checks herself into Golden Meadows Hospital in an attempt to feel happy again, after putting her fist through a window at her apartment. This graphic novel follows Stacy's time at the hospital, as she adjusts to psychotherapy, deals with her issues, and comes to grip with her bulimia, even as she advises a fellow patient against it. The book flashes back effectively to moments from Stacy's past, which set her on her current path. This is a pretty straight-forward story, but that's not a bad thing. I just didn't feel as much for Stacy as I think White intended. The intersections with Stacy's friends, where they comment on their relationship with Stacy, and their thoughts on her condition, really seem to break up the narrative, and feel clunky. The novel also seemed to end right at a key moment, when it could have benefited from perhaps one more section. Still, I'd recommend it as a good model for using a graphic format to tell a personal story, and I can see how some readers could get a lot out of Stacy's struggles.

  • Thomas Velasquez
    2018-10-24 21:41

    i relate

  • Matt Ryan
    2018-11-11 03:48

    How I made it to Eighteen is supposedly a true story about the author's experiences in a mental hospital while she is going through depression. She tells us what exactly seems to be her problem, and how she tries to cope with it by using drugs and other bootleg methods, as well as the effects that her depression is having on her. Her friends, and the mental institute is trying to help her with her problem.I mean, I liked the concept, I figured it would be interesting to enter the mind of someone who is seriously depressed and in a mental hospital, but after reading this, I just realized that there isn't much content to read. She goes over the effects her depression has on her, how she tries to fix it, and how she is feeling, and thats about it. The rest seems to be filler about nobody understanding her, and throwing up. Thats right, there was a whole section dedicated to throwing up, which would normally be alright seeing as that is one of the things she did A LOT, but instead of going into interesting detail like that, instead we get different kinds of throw up and how it tastes. Anyways, I would recommend this to anyone who wants to enter the mind of a teenager, or anyone who is currently depressed/ going through the same thing that the main character is. It may help them out, but personally I didn't get much from it.

  • John
    2018-11-15 04:25

    I've followed Tracy White's online comic "Traced" for a couple of years and was really looking forward to seeing and reading this book. I was not disappointed.The art is White's typically minimal, yet deeply evocative, style. A lot of emotion lies underneath a few ethereal brush strokes. She also inserts four of Stacy's friends into the story who give their observations of events during different parts of the drama as it unfolds. In the process, they tell as much about themselves as about Stacy. I happened to read this book within days of reading Kerry Cohen's "Loose Girl." The two together paint a troubling and revealing picture of the world of teenage girls. I've felt that our culture does a lot to undermine the strength and dignity of young girls. If these two portraits have any validity at all - I've grossly underestimated that effect.

  • Stacy Fetters
    2018-10-27 21:26

    Stacy is 17 and has a mental breakdown. She finally admits herself and this is her tale. Everyone who thinks that they had an unusual life, always makes a grapic novel memior. Her life isn't all that glamorous or even that different. With so many people thinking similar things, I've read this book so many times before. This really seems to be an occurring theme with me lately. Kind of interesting with lots of disappointment piled on a very normal life.I'm glad she got the help she needed, but maybe she didn't need to make a grapic novel. I truely believe that if this was a regular memoir, I would have enjoyed this so much more.

  • Additeenlibrarian
    2018-10-27 23:44

    Autobiographical graphic novel, written and drawn by the author. Engaging story of author's near-nervous-breakdown and time spent in a mental hospital when she was 17. Each chapter begins with an excerpt from her medical records and ends with her four friends responding to a question about Stacy (main character). I would have liked it more if there'd been more evidence of Stacy changing, getting better, responding differently to the world, but there isn't much -- her progress is shown primarily in the words of her medical records. Still, this book has inspired me to go put up a display of books about mental breakdowns. It certainly feels like an authentic portrayal of being depressed.

  • Mike Fiore
    2018-10-28 23:24

    Tracy White's mostly true story of her experience in a mental hospital and the troubles she went through is a story to behold. The simplistic and scarce artwork is just enough to help the text convey her story. It's a story of a young adult's downspiral into depression and her recovery from the pit, but it's not a pick-me-up, happy-go-lucky recovery story.While this is a fantastic book, it doesn't leave much to the imagination. For this reason, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who may be set off by the content of the book or anyone who may be faint of heart.

  • Andria
    2018-11-14 00:48

    I'm rarely enthusiastic about a graphic novel, but give me one that's also a memoir of teenage mental illness and addiction set in a treatment facility with a snarky female lead, and I'm already halfway there. Add simple, expressive, and quirky line drawings, and I'm sold. I've been reading graphic novels recently to become more familiar with the genre, and really enjoyed this one. The black & white illustrations perfectly complement the text, set the tone, and help tell the story of a young woman's descent into self-loathing and despair and her journey toward recovery.

  • Raina
    2018-11-12 21:50

    I liked the simplistic line drawings and the slices of life from a hospital White includes. In some ways, though, this felt a little over-produced. Each chapter starts with a very graphic-designed few pages including how long Tracy'd been in the institution, and an excerpt from her medical records. I wanted more details about how she got there, how she got ahold of her records (maybe I've just seen that Winona Ryder movie too often), more the overarching story of her stay. It felt a little abrupt at the end. But I liked it.

  • Eric
    2018-10-23 02:31

    Another graphic coming of age story. Lots of the usual elements: drugs, self-loathing, mental illness, eating disorders, parental loathing, you get the picture. Does anyone ever draw/write about living through a fairly normal high school experience, or is it only the most misery-laden lives that are chronicled and that we find interesting? Still, I enjoyed the book, the minimalist drawing style worked, and I liked the Greek-chorus of friends who are interviewed at various stages about their take on their friend's troubles. Gives a nice multiple perspective view into a troubled teen life.

  • Sasha
    2018-10-23 04:28

    Don't get me wrong - I liked this. It's a 95% true autobiographical account of a girl who checked herself into a mental health hospital and stayed longer than she expected. Like other books about depression and the slow crawl up from its depths (with its seemingly endless pitfalls), it's not exactly riveting, even with its devastating reveals. BUT. This is a book that clearly was cathartic to its author, and I respect and appreciate that greatly. It's an important work for that reason, and I feel privileged to have been given a glimpse into the most vulnerable point of her life.

  • Magg {Morgan} Paukner
    2018-10-22 02:50

    I picked this up after reading Little Fish by Ramsey Beyer because the covers looked similar. I know, I know, you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but I did. Part of me connected with the main character, but part of me felt slightly confused. I was left with more questions than answers, honestly and that disappointed me. Other than that, this was a very real story that was shared in a lovely format.

  • Lisa
    2018-10-25 01:40

    I thought this was an interesting account, but I wanted to know more about what happened to Stacey? Did she kick Eric in the shins? Also, I found myself confusing some of the minor characters, and I wish the accounts of her friends were in a different font. The font that was used hurt my eyes, so I skimmed those parts....

  • Sarah Laing
    2018-10-21 04:23

    This was a graphic novel about depression and bulemia that you could read in one sitting. I suppose I read it for voyeuristic reasons - it was promised to be 95% true, and fueled by 85% chocolate. 85% is my favourite. I admired the incredibly spare art - no backgrounds, barely a feature, and yet everyone was recognisable. She had a rhythm/structure about the book that kept it moving.

  • David Schaafsma
    2018-10-25 00:38

    Book about a girl who had what they used to call a "nervous breakdown" at 17, depressed, with an eating disorder, checked herself into a hospital and got better. Pretty straightforward and helpful look at the experience, feels like, Straightforward, simple drawing, with lots of white space... good work.

  • Adele Griffin
    2018-11-15 22:35

    I devoured this book, it was a little bit like reading from my own journal if I'd kept one back in the day. A fierce and fragile, wry and charming graphic novel that is as raw and true as any portrait of adolescence.

  • Jewels Emily
    2018-10-26 00:39

    The ending was rushed.

  • Stewart Tame
    2018-10-18 01:27

    After a nervous breakdown, seventeen year old Stacy Black checks herself into a mental hospital. Her recovery took a while. This is somewhat fictionalized autobiography. Stacy is pretty obviously a stand-in for Tracy. And, to be fair, the slight difference in names isn't intended to be deceptive, just give Tracy the distance she needs to be objective. The book seems to end a little early. Stacy makes a crucial breakthrough in her therapy, and Bam! we're wrapping up. It seems a little too abrupt. White has a very minimal style, providing just as much visual information as the reader needs. As autobio comics go, this isn't bad. It just didn't grab me the way some do.

  • Destinie Buske
    2018-11-08 03:50

    The book was sad and depressing. But it showed different lessons of life. It showed proof of how certain choices make others hurt or feel sad. It showed me that if you know something is bad and you shouldn't do it, you should stop. Or else you will get unhealthily addicted.

  • Samantha
    2018-11-08 00:38

    It just ends. I like the layout and design. The subject is highly relatable to me. But I wish the characters (based on real people) were more dynamic and the narrative more fully explored. I feel like this book could have had another hundred pages of thoughtful detail.

  • Nina Teal
    2018-11-03 23:35

    I found this book while looking for something else recommended to me. It's a great read (and gander-- it's illustrated) that you can handle in less than an hour.

  • Emily
    2018-11-11 21:51


  • Nicole Shafer
    2018-10-23 00:24

    I liked how the story switched from interviews to graphic novel. I wish it was longer, it felt like part of the story didn't get told or was rushed through.

  • Bellings Payton
    2018-11-09 03:49

    This was a really good book. I really liked it in the beginning. It was pretty enjoyable up until the end. The end left off at a really bad time. That is why I put the rating at two stars.