Review: My Friends Are All Strange by Margaret Lesh

Title: My Friends Are All Strange

Author: Margaret Lesh

Pages: 230 Pages

Publisher: Margaret Lesh

The Blurb

My friends are all strange.

Right now I’m living at Brookside, a place for people like me. I’ve met a kitty girl, a brooding beautiful boy, one who can’t be touched, and others. My new friends. Strange people. People like me.
I’ve always been different, but lately, more so. My hands sometimes don’t seem to be attached to the rest of me. I cut up all of my clothes. I’m hot, so hot, all of the time. If I sleep, a wizard haunts every dream. I don’t sleep. Sometimes I want to run, but where do you run to when you’re trying to escape your own mind? I don’t know if I’ll ever be the same. I’m smart. I’m nice, sometimes. I just want to be normal(ish). But, right now, my friends are all strange… Like me.

Dark, funny, snarky, seventeen-year-old Becca struggles to cope with mental illness in MY FRIENDS ARE ALL STRANGE, the gripping contemporary young adult companion novel to NORMALISH.

The Review

There has been a growing trend over the past few years to write stories that have mental health at the heart of it. This is a great thing. Without examples of how people are struggling, how are people to learn when to be compassionate. Sure, people should be raised to show compassion but as someone who works with adolescents I can assure you that it isn’t always the case. Therefore, YA fiction that tackles the issues of mental health awareness really is making a difference.

My Friends Are All Strange tells the story of Becca who has always teetered on the edge with her mental health but since the loss of her father her actions have grown more and more manic until she is institutionalised to try and help her come to terms with her condition and also learn to control it. At her mental health facility she meets a plethora of people who have a variety of conditions and we watch Becca and her friends dealing with the hand life dealt them.

Lesh run the risk of having the setting as a mental health facility of creating a competitive nature of look my mental illness is worse than yours. Equally, it could have gone the opposite way of becoming a bit saccharine – I saw all these other people with mental illness and I realised my life isn’t so bad. Fortunately, Lesh did not do this. She handled the topic with dignity and the message that I got from it was that mental health problems can happen to anyone. It doesn’t discriminate.

My Friends Are all Strange is a powerful book and every library needs a copy.

My Friends Are All Strange by Margaret Lesh is available now.

For more information regarding Margaret Lesh (@MargaretLesh) please visit www.margaretlesh.com.

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