08. January 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Contemporary Fiction, Courtney, Graphic Novel, Teen Books

How I Made it to Eighteen: A mostly true story by Tracy White, 160 pages, read by Courtney, on 12/26/2012

This is the mostly-true story of a teenaged girl who checked herself into a mental institution and got stuck there until realizing that she has to actively try to get better. Stacy had already been to rehab for her drug use, but it didn’t stop the depression. Now that she’s in the hospital, she’s falling back into old habits; withdrawing and withholding. It takes months and several different hair cuts before Stacy begins to open up and begin to talk. When she finally did, she turned it into a comic.
The main storyline is interspersed with questions about Stacy directed at her friends (2 from her old life, one from rehab and one who is currently in the same hospital). These little vignettes provide insight into Stacy’s life; insight that would be very difficult to come by without and alternate perspective. It’s clear that her friends care about her, but none of them are perfect either. Stacy’s voice rings true and her plight is relate-able. This is graphic novel that the vast majority of teens could benefit from reading, even if they don’t suffer from any form of mental illness.

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