{Review/Giveaway} THIS IS HOW I FIND HER by Sara Polsky

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and chances to win your own copy of PROMISE ME SOMETHING and THIS IS HOW I FIND HER!

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Check out my review of the other book I'm giving away,

O P E N I N G   L I N E:

ON THE FOURTH DAY OF JUNIOR YEAR, sometime between the second bell marking the start of chemistry class and the time I got home from school, my mother tried to kill herself.

This is how I find her...
(pg. 6, US ebook edition)

Mental illness is always a tough subject, but even more so when it has the ability to destroy or irrevocably alter an entire family. Kids are forced to grow up too fast and deal with guilt that was never meant for them, as is the case in Sara Polsky's debut novel THIS IS HOW I FIND HER.

Sophie is used to her mother's ups and downs. She's been acting more manic than usual lately, but she's an artist and prone to moods. Right? Wrong. When Sophie returns home after the fourth day of the new school year, she discovers that her mother has overdosed on pills. Her mother is bipolar, and had stopped taking her pills, causing her depression to rise to the surface. Sophie feels guilty and responsible. Her mother asked her to help keep track of making sure she took the pills if she forgot. Sophie never noticed that her mother had stopped and was getting worse. She feels as though everything is her fault and that she is to blame for her mother being in the hospital. Sophie temporarily moves in with her estranged aunt, uncle, and cousin Leila. Old wounds open alongside the new, and a new school year is the least of Sophie's many concerns.

Sophie is forced to be the parent because her mother is unable to take care of herself, and that's no situation any teen or child should have to be in. She bears so much responsibility, and it's interesting to see the way the dynamic changes upon entering her aunt's household. She has, for lack of a better word, Survivor's Guilt. Is it wrong to want to live her own life when her mother is still in the hospital after having attempted to commit suicide? What happens when her mom gets out? Sophie is afraid to make new friends and pushes those who try away, knowing she'll have to give them up when she goes back to taking care of her mother full-time. In some ways, she wishes her mother would never get out of the hospital, because she wants a life of her own. Polsky does a great job reflecting everything Sophie goes through and experiences. She handles the material sensitively, and shows the way Sophie deals with her situation. As the novel deepens, readers also understand more about Sophie's aunt and cousin Leila, and the emotions they experience through her mother's mental illness as well. The entire family is affected by her mother, Sophie most of all. THIS IS HOW I FIND HER offers a closer look at what makes up a family, and how to recover and work around the tough situations life throws at us. Teens going through something similar will really relate to Sophie and feel more hope for themselves when it comes to their own situation.
C O V E R   D E S I G N:

This cover is very pensive. You can tell that the model is upset; there's some real emotion in her face and posture!

The farmhouse taking up most of the cover actually plays a role in the novel, too, and I always like when book covers reflect genuine book moments rather than invented ones.

I like the use of the teal with the red, falling into earthier shades of brown and orange as well. The coloring works for me!
O F F I C I A   I N F O:

Author: Sara Polsky
Release Date: Sept. 1, 2013
Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company
Received: For Review

Sophie Canon has just started her junior year when her mother tries to kill herself. Sophie has always lived her life in the shadow of her mother's bipolar disorder, monitoring her medication, rushing home after school to check on her instead of spending time with friends, and keeping her mother's diagnosis secret from everyone outside their family. But when the overdose lands Sophie's mother in the hospital, Sophie no longer has to watch over her. She moves in with her aunt, uncle, and cousin, from whom she has been estranged for the past five years. Rolling her suitcase across town to her family's house is easy. What's harder is figuring out how to build her own life.


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  1. Another contemporary read. I'm not sure if this quite draws me the way the other one did. It still sounds worthy though. Thanks for the introduction.

    1. Actually, I liked this one the best of the two, Gina!


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