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From the West 44 YA Verse series

by Mel Mallory

Pub Date: April 19th, 2022
ISBN: 978-1-9785-9593-4
Publisher: West 44 Books

In ninth grade, Mara experienced a very public psychotic break after being raped at a party the summer before school started.

Never having disclosed what happened to authorities or her parents, she suffered paranoia and delusional thoughts. Mara’s initial ER treatment was harsh and followed by a hospital stay. Her parents, especially her dad, were clueless but did find her a therapist, Dr. Lewis, who continues to treat her. Now a senior, Mara takes medication and has learned techniques for getting through daily life. Ellie is the one person who has remained her friend—other students are downright mean. Top student Kendall is unbelievably cruel, using a public speaking class to openly bully Mara, with other students joining in while their teacher fails to deal adequately with the situation. Mara, now strong enough thanks to Dr. Lewis’ help, weathers this storm and ultimately stands up for herself. This brief, realistic novel is accessibly written in free verse by Mallory, who offers the firsthand perspective of a person living with psychosis. It focuses on Mara’s recovery, achieved through hard work with Dr. Lewis, who helps shore up her independence and self-confidence and wisely tells her that “Recovery is always a process.” Characters are cued as White.

A novel for reluctant readers that explores a young woman’s courage in finding her voice.

(Verse novel. 14-18)