The story of a young teen’s struggle with Bipolar Disorder.
Volatile and unstable, Amy stands at the precipice. Will she fall into the chaos and despair of insanity or ascend into brilliance and redemption?
Warning: 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.
The Edge of Brilliance (Release Date: July 19, 2016)
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?
This book was a tough one to review. Though the nature of the story is extremely important, and the message adequately conveyed, I had a hard time finishing the story. It may have been the writing style that I didn’t care for or possibly the dialogue, but something just didn’t sit well with me. One of the problems was that I can’t see teens relating to the book. Though this is a YA book, it’s quite apparent that it comes from an adult POV and I actually think it may be too mature for younger readers.
I struggled through the first few chapters and initially put it aside as a DNF. However, because it is about mental illness, I felt that it deserved a second chance. I’m glad that I did, because it does get much better and the story is a fascinating read in terms of the subject matter.
Obviously, the protagonist is going to possess some unlikable characteristics because of the nature of the story. But there were also other reasons why I found it hard to like her. Amy did grow on me eventually but honestly, I think many readers will have a hard time with her.
I think this book is all about personal taste. Though I appreciated it for its theme, The Edge of Brilliance as a whole didn’t suit me. I’m sure many other readers will disagree, so I would recommend giving it a try, if only because it sheds light on such important issues.
Rating… C+ (3 Stars)