Book Reviews, Received for Review

ARC Review: Project Semicolon by Amy Bleuel

Project Semicolon by Amy Bleuel
Genre: Nonfiction | Short Stories
Length: 352 pages
Published on 5th September 2017 by HarperCollins
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | TBD | Waterstones | WHSmith
Amy Bleuel: Website | Twitter | Goodreads
Copy requested via @Harper360UK on twitter.

Synopsis:
For fans of PostSecret, Humans of New York, and If You Feel Too Much, this collection from suicide-awareness organization Project Semicolon features stories and photos from those struggling with mental illness.
Project Semicolon began in 2013 to spread a message of hope: No one struggling with a mental illness is alone; you, too, can survive and live a life filled with joy and love. In support of the project and its message, thousands of people all over the world have gotten semicolon tattoos and shared photos of them, often alongside stories of hardship, growth, and rebirth.Project Semicolon: Your Story Isn’t Over reveals dozens of new portraits and stories from people of all ages talking about what they have endured and what they want for their futures. This represents a new step in the movement and a new awareness around those who struggle with mental illness and those who support them. At once heartfelt, unflinchingly honest, and eternally hopeful, this collection tells a story of choice: every day you choose to live and let your story continue on.Learn more about the project at http://www.projectsemicolon.com.

I was fortunate enough to see @HArper360UK tweet that they had proofs to hand out of this book.

 

I had only briefly heard of Project Semicolon before but I knew the importance of it and of how more open we need to be regarding mental health so it seemed like a perfect read.
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Unfortunately after reading 72 pages I’ve decided to part ways with this book.That’s not to say its a bad book. It’ll probably do some good for some people however I really had to time when I read it due to its obviously triggering content at times.Project Semicolon covers topics such as, but not limited too; abuse, depression, suicide, self harm, and attempted suicide.

I think what this book needed the most was someone to sit down and read through these stories a bit more. Obviously not everyone writing is a writer, that’s not to say any of them were written badly, its to say that I think its clear when some of the authors were not in the correct frame of mind for this book.

The pages I did read I ended up tabbing the stories at the start that I thought had a mostly positive outlook and if I found the ending paragraph to have a positive outlook I tabbed at the end too. There was a good handful that I couldn’t tab at all because I felt they were too heavy on triggering content or overall had little positive aspects in them.

That isn’t to say these contributors failed at writing for the book, just that, to me, it didn’t seem a good idea to include these stories in a book that is most likely going to be read by people struggling with similar situations.

However, on the positive side of things, the stories that were clear they’re choosing life and choosing to keep moving forward were really great. I also think its super important to note that the contributors were from different ages, sexes, and races. Mental illness does  not discriminate. Its something we could all struggle with.

As mentioned I ended up DNFing this book simply because I wasn’t going to gain anything from it and I’d been struggling enough with my own mental health this year. This book is probably better for someone else.
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(I’ve now traded my tabbed copy to Meg so hopefully she’ll have a better time than I did. And please note that there are no words I could possibly say to honor Amy. She did a lot of good for a lot of people and ‘I hope her hard work remains as an encouragement for others to stay strong).

2.5 stars / 5 stars

 

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9 thoughts on “ARC Review: Project Semicolon by Amy Bleuel”

  1. This is such a thoughtful review!
    I’d heard of Project Semicolon but had no clue that there was a book relating to it coming out until I saw you talk about it.

    Katie x
    A Novel Idea

  2. This sounds like such a difficult read but I’d love to read the positive stories, definitely sounds like it’s worth taking a look at :)
    I’ll definitely try skim read it if I can though, I don’t know how I’d react to reading pretty negative stories about the subject.

  3. This is the one tattoo I’ve thought seriously about getting. Unfortunately, truth be told, I’m in a semi-permanent suicidal state. The only reason I bother to keep going is my kid, and when the disease that she has finally takes her… Well, let’s just say I’m finally going to rest.

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