Lisa M. Cronkhite,
(Poisoned Pencil, 2014)

I have nothing but admiration for the author's goal: to help people to understand some aspects of mental illness that generally affect teens more than children. However, while her advocacy is admirable, I am concerned that this book by Lisa M. Cronkhite does not give an accurate picture, even technically.

Milly, our protagonist, is persecuted by an inner voice that is also "her," named Amelia (Milly's given name). Amelia is depicted as a very nasty piece of work.

Yet, when Milly/Amelia gets into a psych hospital, the staff seems confused about whether they are dealing with dissociative identity disorder (not a physiological illness) or schizophrenia (which is a physiological illness). Although it is possible that one individual could have both, the treatments for each are vastly different, and the confusion between them is not helpful in educating readers about "mental illness" -- a category that spans a wide range of problems.

The characters and plot were also "disconnected" -- from each other, and from the reader. Perhaps that was the point, however, I could have seen this being a far more gripping and empathetic novel if most aspects of it were not seemingly random.

I think the goals of the author are laudable. I just wish this novel had done a better job of expressing them.

book review by
Amanda Fisher

30 August 2014

Agree? Disagree?
Send us your opinions!

what's new