A Note of Madness By Tabitha Suzuma

   Flynn is enjoying life. He is at the Royal Collage of Music and has been given the opportunity to play the piano at an important concert. But things begin to change for Flynn. Sometimes he is bursting with energy and feels invincible. Other days however he cannot get out of bed and wishes he was dead.

Flynn is beginning to experience the symptoms of Bipolar Disorder and it threatens to wreck his music career. His behavior worries his friends and family but his brother manages to get him some help from a psychiatrist that he knows. Flynn must begin a battle with erratic mood swings and medication.

I read this book several years ago but am writing a review now because I read it and loved it. This is a novel which deals with the onset of mental illness which often occurs in a persons young adult years in which they are at a pivotal point in their lives – here it is collage. Unlike most books about Bipolar Disorder Tabitha Suzuma does not focus solely on the manic episodes but shows the depressive episodes which are often the main problem people with Bipolar Disorder experience. The debilitating depression often comes in the wake of a manic episode and lasts much longer. Flynn must battle to get out of bed and continue with his studies before it is too late.

This is an excellent novel aimed at a young adult audience. A introduction into the world of mental illness and that it can happen to anyone. Those with Bipolar Disorder do not have to be famous or on drugs. It can happen to anyone.

I feel that Tabitha Suzuma understands that there is no easy answers to mental illness. This shows through the writing. Medications don’t work straight away and the side effects are sometimes harder to deal with than the illness. You might have to try a variety of medications to find the correct balance. Talking therapies also play a role. This book is not overly medical which is a good thing. It explains things in a way that is easy to understand without overly simplifying them.

I am giving this novel a 5 out of 5 as it is a book I would read again and again.


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