Saturday 6 August 2016

Book ~ "Detached" (2016) Christina Kilbourne

From Goodreads ~ Anna has always been so level-headed, so easy-going, so talented and funny. How could anyone have guessed she wanted to die?

Anna is not like other people. For one thing, she’s been an accomplished artist since she was a preschooler. For another, she’s always felt like she didn’t belong: not with other kids, not with her family, not in her body. It isn’t until her grandparents are killed in a tragic accident, however, that Anna starts to feel untethered. She begins to wonder what it would be like if she didn’t exist and the thought of escaping the aimless drifting is the only thing that brings her comfort.

When Anna overdoses on prescription pain killers the doctors realize she has been suffering from depression and start looking for a way to help her out of the desperate black hole she never thought she would escape. It’s then that rock bottom comes into sight and the journey back to normal begins. 

From the outside, it seems like teenager Anna has everything.  She has caring parents, she lives in a nice house, she is an accomplished artist and she has friends who care about her.  Then why is she so unhappy and wants to kill herself?

Anna is ready to die.  The story is about her trying to figure out what the best way would be so she considers them all ... falling off a bridge, jumping in front of traffic, drowning, hanging, etc.  As she's doing this, she tries to live her life normally so no realizes how unhappy she really is.  She finally decides that an overdose of pain killers would be the best way and that's what she eventually does.

This is the first book I've read by this author.  It's not a happy story and I think the author handled it well.  In the introduction at the beginning of the book, Kilbourne said that it was a hard book to write and she didn't want to write it at first.  But she was approached by a mother whose son had committed suicide and she wanted a book she cold use in her outreach efforts.

I liked the writing style.  It is written in first person perspective from Anna, Aliya (Anna's best friend) and Anna's mother's points of view (the chapters are labeled so you know whose voice it is).  I think the target audiences can be teenagers (so they'll ask for help if they start feeling as Anna did) and parents of teenagers so they'll know what signs to look for.

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