Tuesday, November 29, 2016

"My Friends Are All Strange" by Margaret Lesh

My Friends Are All Strange
by Margaret Lesh

My Friends Are All Strange by Margaret Lesh is currently on tour with Xpresso Book Tours. The tour stops here today for my review, an excerpt, and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

My friends are all strange.
Right now I’m living at Brookside, a place for people like me. I’ve met a kitty girl, a brooding beautiful boy, one who can’t be touched, and others. My new friends. Strange people. People like me.
I’ve always been different, but lately, more so. My hands sometimes don’t seem to be attached to the rest of me. I cut up all of my clothes. I’m hot, so hot, all of the time. If I sleep, a wizard haunts every dream. I don’t sleep. Sometimes I want to run, but where do you run to when you’re trying to escape your own mind? I don’t know if I’ll ever be the same. I’m smart. I’m nice, sometimes. I just want to be normal(ish). But, right now, my friends are all strange ...  Like me.
Dark, funny, snarky, seventeen-year-old Becca struggles to cope with mental illness in My Friends Are All Strange, the gripping contemporary young adult companion novel to Normalish.

[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]

Praise for the Book
"The beginning of the story gave me the feeling of It's Kind of a Funny Story, and then TFIOS. I highly recommend this book for YA fans."
"Becca’s wit is sharp and incisive, and if you’ve ever felt like you’re on the outside looking in, you’ll appreciate it as much as I did. And really, this is a book about healing, about accepting one’s weaknesses and treasuring our own uniqueness."
"Teen emotional problems and mental disorders are portrayed with a tremendous amount of skill ... in this believable, realistic, and memorable storyline."
"Lesh creates characters who could be sitting in my classrooms--and I appreciate her for giving me these insights and expanding my 'looking at things through someone else's shoes' empathy. A beautiful book, both for its content and design."

My Review

By Lynda Dickson
Becca is a high school senior who crumples under the pressure of school and the weight of her insomnia. She has always been a little off. As she herself says, "It's just one of those things. You don't know you're different for a while." But her father's death two years earlier and the absence of his reassurance has finally sent her over the edge. After an incident at school, Becca is admitted to Brookside, a psychiatric care facility, where she unexpectedly befriends some of her fellow inmates: Kat, the Hello Kitty-loving perpetual child with a tragic past; the seemingly normal Bobby, who lashes out unexpectedly; and Carrie, the germophobe. While they seem to have no real desire to leave Brookside, Becca looks forward to resuming a normal life at school and with her boyfriend Roman, who remains her staunch supporter throughout. But, just what is "normal"?
This book gives us an eye-opening glimpse into the lives of the young inmates of a mental care facility. They don't all have psychiatric disorders, but are people not unlike you are or me, who are under undue stress, have made bad choices, or are the victims of circumstance. It poses the question: "Are our mind's problems sometimes an escape from the terrible, traumatic things that happen to us in real life?"
Ultimately hopefully, this book is a good tool for starting a conversation about mental health with the young people in our lives.

About the Author
California native Margaret Lesh lives in a narrow canyon populated by herds of wild burro and packs of coyote. The canyon is also populated with her creative, handsome husband, her feisty mother-in-law, her not-brave-at-all Border Collie, Echo, and sometimes her son (who is away at college. And she is not quite sure how that all happened so fast).
She writes books to entertain young and not-so-young readers as well as herself. She believes tacos are magic.

Enter the giveaway for a chance to win an ebook copy of My Friends Are All Strange by Margaret Lesh. The prize will be sent out after 21 December.