For sixteen-year-old Mel Hannigan, bipolar disorder makes life unpredictable. Her latest struggle is balancing her growing feelings in a new relationship with her instinct to keep everyone at arm’s length. And when a former friend confronts Mel with the truth about the way their relationship ended, deeply buried secrets threaten to come out and upend her shaky equilibrium.
As the walls of Mel’s compartmentalized world crumble, she fears the worst–that her friends will abandon her if they learn the truth about what she’s been hiding. Can Mel bring herself to risk everything to find out?
In A Tragic Kind of Wonderful, Eric Lindstrom, author of the critically acclaimed Not If I See You First, examines the fear that keeps us from exposing our true selves, and the courage it takes to be loved for who we really are.
Rating: 5 stars
A Tragic Kind of Wonderful is one of the best YA tales that I have read. Here, readers will meet a deeply flawed character who has one heck of a journey to find herself. Courage, love, and friendships are easier said than done. When one has a mental disorder such as being bipolar, that brings a lot of insecurity to a teenage girl. Teens go through enough stress and inner turmoil without adding to it. But this, new flaw, will be the disaster or the realization she doesn’t have to be alone anymore. It’s tough keeping people out of one’s circle. Especially, when that said character wants to be around them. Friends can come and go. Who’s to say they will stay if they find out Mel’s deep secret? Then there’s that good guy that every teenage girl wants in her life…David. David is another great character. He struggles with the fact his grandma is being taken care of by others. It puts him in an awkward situation. But his grandma is okay and the girl helping his grandma fascinates him more than anything. But as with all good things, there’s always the deep dark side to that must come with it. Eric Lindstrom takes readers deep into his character’s mind and heart. Feeling and hearing everything through Mel’s eyes. I loved getting to know her and to watch her grow. Facing her struggles is tough but I kept my hopes up…Overall, A Tragic Kind of Wonderful is exactly that. Tragic but wonderful too. I highly recommend this YA story to all.