Sarah's Stars

Julie Halpern. Get Well Soon
Feiwel and Friends  $21.00  ISBN 978-0-312-36795-4   193 pg.
Reviewed by Ceilidh, Age 15

The walls are covered with a sticky, slightly padded substance in soothing pastel pinks and blues so I won’t want to kill myself. Remember when we learned about that black bridge in sociology class? People kept jumping off of it, so they painted it powder blue. I bet the only reason that brought the suicide numbers down is the humiliating thought of having someone say, ”Steve killed himself by jumping off a powder blue bridge.” They’re thinking the walls will lull me into a calmed state?

Anna Bloom is just like any other teenage girl, she gets stressed out, she gets upset, and she’s not happy with her body, right? Except, it’s not the same for her, she’s not just stressed out, she gets panic attacks, which prevent her from doing much of anything at school. She’s doesn’t just get upset, she is clinically depressed and she would probably be perfectly okay with her body type if not for her depression, the panic attacks and her mother’s obsession with her weight. When her parents finally stop writing notes to excuse her from school, they take her to a mental institution. Finally away from her weight-obsessed mother, she finds that her doctor is obsessed as well and then she finds out that she will remain on suicide watch. She takes matters into her own hands; she refuses to cooperate and threatens to take her own life inside the institution, but it doesn’t appear that she will be getting out anytime soon.

This book describes what any high school girl goes through to an extreme degree. This book was a little slow at the beginning, and the language was harsh, simply because she was so angry that she had been placed there, but once she truly came to terms with the idea of her being there, the book really took off and became much more enjoyable. The friends that she makes in this book make it entertaining as well; the different personalities mesh perfectly and make a perfect dose of comic relief. It also shows that the people in the homes are not always just purely insane, despite societies beliefs. The stories behind each person in the institution are gut wrenching, but you come to realize how much the things in someone’s past can truly affect them later in life. It was interesting to see how Anna could go through treatment, and be able to be cured, simply with the mundane things that you would never expect.

I give this book four wild stars out of five. I recommend this book for ages 13 and up because of the coarse language, which gets less frequent throughout the book, but can be a little startling at the beginning of the book. 

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