Tuesday, February 25, 2020

A Tragic Kind of Wonderful by Eric Lindstrom - OPTIONAL

A Tragic Kind of Wonderful by Eric Lindstrom, 275 pages. Poppy, 2017. $18.

Language: R (99 swears, 7 “f”); Mature Content: PG13; Violence: PG



Mel is holding it together, but it’s been getting more difficult since her brother, Nolan’s, death. Mostly, she ignores the biggest problem to address other issues, and that works for her. Until one secret gets out and starts breaking down the walls Mel has built.

Mel has bipolar disorder, which is a big part of the story (and I love how Lindstrom conveyed her states of mind by writing her stream of consciousness differently depending on the mood), but the book is not just about issues specific to her disorder. As I read, I didn’t know what I liked so much about the book -- it’s pretty unremarkable, story-wise. However, Lindstrom has written about Mel and her loved ones in a way that made me care about them. I wanted to see them resolve their issues and succeed. They felt real to me, and I wanted to keep reading despite not knowing where the story was going. In the end, I felt understood and less alone as I read about how hard life is and about how we all keep going the best we can. The mature content rating is for underage drinking, drug use, and mentions of sex and genitalia; the violence rating is for mentions of death of suicide.

Reviewer: Carolina Herdegen

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