26 November, 2016


Title: The Edge of Brilliance
Author: Susan Traugh
Series: -
Genres: YA
Publisher: Finch Books
Source: Ebook
Pages: 193

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SYNOPSIS: Volatile and unstable, Amy stands at the precipice. Will she fall into the chaos and despair of insanity or ascend into brilliance and redemption?

Amy Miles is fifteen and crazy. Or, at least that’s her greatest fear. Her severe bipolar disorder, with its roller coaster manic and depressive episodes, is ruining her life. Yet in Amy’s mind it is accepting the pills and therapy—not the disease—that will brand her as ’crazy’.

When Amy lands in a residential psychiatric program, she befriends take-charge Mallory and the two create family and try to salvage the shards of their broken minds. There, Amy discovers that her illicit drug use has robbed her of her ability to dance and she is forced to weigh how hard she is willing to work to reclaim her lost talent and potential. But, despite a promising beginning, when Amy falls back into denial, the tragic consequences cannot be undone.

Amy is left to decide whether to give up altogether or accept her diagnosis and the tools she needs to battle her disease, to learn to dance again and forge a new and improved version of herself. Will she step up to the edge of her brilliance and shine?

Reader Advisory: This book contains strong language and also includes scenes involving drug use, rape, violence. This book also includes a frank exploration of mental illness and loss of autonomy.
I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
WARNING: There are scenes of drug use, rape, and violence. I didn't find them very very strong but may still be triggering. 

THE WORLD: Normal Earth. Normal life.

CHARACTERS: The main character is Amy Miles, a fifteen year old girl with severe bipolar disorder. We follow Amy's personal growth journey from reckless teen who doesn't take her meds, does drugs, etc to high school graduate and overall a much better role model to be honest. A lot of Amy's trouble comes from her "friends" though, Stacey and Kairyn, who know she has bipolar disorder but they do nothing to try to control Amy and help her through her breakdowns. In one of these breakdowns Amy's family puts her in a residential facility under supervision of nurses and psychiatrists where Amy doesn't start with the right foot. Little by little she starts to realize all the damage she's done to her family and herself and also gains a new friend, Mallory, who has severe depression.

LOVE: There is no love.

PLUS: I picked up this book because I wanted to know more about bipolar disorder. As a neuroscience student I'm interested in all the brain aspects and bipolar disorder was never mentioned in my modules so why not read about it in YA literature? Overall I found it very interesting and informative. I know these symptoms reflected in the book won't match 100% with everyone of course because even with the same disorder the symptoms can very varied. It is a good start though.

As per usual I couldn't really relate to Amy but that's normal since I don't have bipolar disorder, it didn't stop me from empathizing with her. I know a lot of her decisions were completely stupid but I also felt bad for her and for how badly all her "friends" acted.

MINUS: It's not really a minus per se but I admit I didn't really pay attention to the plot/Amy's high school life and didn't put much thought into the secondary characters because I was solely interested in Amy and her mental disorder. My bad.

OVERALL: 4 stars. Very informative and interesting journey into bipolar disorder. Some scenes are tough. Life is tough. But the character growth and development is truly inspirational so I recommend this book to everyone interested in the topic.

What did you guys think about THE EDGE OF BRILLIANCE?