Sunday, January 12, 2014

Her by Felicia Johnson Book Tour

Felicia Johnson
Release Date: May 22, 2013
Rating: 3.5 Groupie Stars



 In many ways, Kristen Elliott is a normal, seventeen-year-old girl. Kristen loves her family. She works hard academically, and tries to please her mother. She takes on the additional responsibility of caring for her twin siblings, Nick and Alison. She idealizes her best friend, Lexus, who not only seems to lead the perfect life, but also catches the attention of John, the boy Kristen secretly loves. However, as is the case with many teenagers, Kristen feels frustrated, isolated, and confused.

In other ways, Kristen is not like other kids her age. She knows something is wrong with her. Kristen feels like an utter failure. She is unable to please her abrasive mother, and scared to confront Jack, her abusive stepfather. She is also unable to protect Nick from Jack, making her fell all the more helpless. Adding to her problems, she knows she will never be as beautiful as her best friend Lexus. Kristen finds solace in self-injury, and the company of Mr. Sharp, her imaginary friend who encourages her feelings of self-loathing.

After a failed suicide attempt, Kristen is placed in the Bent Creek mental hospital, where she is diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. While in the hospital, she meets a group of peers suffering with their own mental illnesses, and a compassionate staff of doctors and counselors. From there, Kristen begins her journey to survival. She discovers the circumstances that brought her to this breaking point, struggles to understand her mental illness, and fights to be a survivor against her own worst enemy: her self-blame.

Kristen’s tale of endurance illustrates the complex illness of Borderline Personality Disorder. Readers – including those suffering from BPD and their friends and family – can glean insight into the illness from Kristen’s humanity. Her story is an example of how, if we try to push the past away, we are either doomed to repeat it or let it haunt us to our graves.

My father would probably have killed my
mother. Theresa probably would have still killed
herself, and I probably would have done it, too.”
“Were you scared?”
“At first I was. When I first got here, I thought I
was being punished. Now I see what being a
survivor really is. It’s not giving up. It’s not
running away. It’s getting through whatever it is
you have to get through to make it. It is allowing
you to grow stronger for whatever is coming
next. It is being brave and choosing to live
through it all so that you can share your story
and help others. That’s what a survivor does. I
don’t want to run away anymore. I just want to
live and make things better. My mom wants to
do the same. I tell you, Kristen, Bent Creek may
seem like the worst place to be right now, but
you’ll see. It’s not.”
He looked straight into my eyes and said, “I’ve
watched you.”
My heart started beating fast. He grabbed my
hand gently and looked down at my bandaged
wrists. His fingers traced the fresh tape that Ms.
Mosley had used for the bandages when she’d
changed them this morning. I closed my eyes
and let myself feel this moment between us.
“You seem so sad and regretful. You can’t just
let it out, can you?”
I shook my head. My eyes were still closed. I
felt tears begin to well up in them. There were
no words to describe that moment. His words
and the feelings inside of me were just too
much. The tears poured out from underneath my
eyelids. He squeezed my hands. I jolted, not
afraid, just feeling too much.“Open your eyes,” he said.
I did open my eyes, and his large, beautiful eyes
stared into mine.
“You know how the old people in here always
have something to say to us? And when they
talk, they think they know everything. You
know?” He chuckled a little. Then his smile
“There are things I keep hearing over and over
that I do believe, though. They sound old–
fashioned, and they are definitely cliché. But
remember this, Kristen,” he told me with his
seriously passionate stare. “This too shall pass,
and what doesn’t kill you will make you
stronger.” He paused. “If you let it. Keep your
head up and your eyes open. That’s how you
will survive. If what you go through doesn’t kill
you, let it make you stronger.

WOW!  This book floored my in more ways than one!  This was the first book that I had that dealt with this type of illness, so I really didn't know much about it, but Felicia Johnson did an amazing job!  This story was descriptive and drew the reader in quickly.  There were a few contradictory parts in the story but over a good read.

Kristen is a seventeen year-old girl with not only family problems but also a severe mental issue.  When she tries to kill herself, she is admitted into a psychiatric hospital and there she learns about herself and ways to cope with her illness.

This story will make you angry, cry, and feel deeply for the girl who just wants to be "normal."  It will also open your eyes to BPD and what a person who has been diagnosed with it goes through on a daily basis. 

Felicia Johnson is a writer, youth mentor, student, and big sister. She loves ice cream, and seeing her little sister, Laura, smile.

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