8/4/2021 0 Comments
The Bridge by Bill Konigsberg
This story about two teenagers who cross paths as they have decided to jump from the same bridge at the same time is one of the most beautiful, heart-wrenching, sad and gripping books I’ve ever read. It’s a story that will stay with me forever and that both broke my heart and made me want to live my life to the fullest.
The Bridge is such an important book about mental illness and suicide that everyone should read. But most of all, it’s a beautiful book that will grip you and make you fall in love with the characters and feel their pain and struggle. When writing this book, Bill Konigsberg, drew from his own experiences with depression and attempted suicide, which made this story even more authentic and heartfelt.
The story is told from the different POVs of Aaron and Tillie, who don’t know each other, but who are both struggling with depression, loneliness, the feeling of not being seen or not being good enough. When things happen in both their lives that makes it all just too much, they arrive at the George Washington Bridge at the same time, intending to jump. The story also has alternative options for storyline. I don’t want to go into the specifics too much as it might spoil the reading experience, but just say that this is an absolutely amazing and so important book that I recommend with all my heart!
Please just note the trigger warnings for suicide, bullying and depression, so you don’t read this book unaware of those. As Bill Konigsberg added in the acknowledgement section, it’s hard to know how and if you should talk about suicide with someone who might be depressed, but that the important thing is to raise awareness and to make everyone feel seen and like they matter:
“My hope was to write a book about suicide and depression that was so real you could feel it in your bones, but that also felt hopeful, that left the reader with a sense that there was hope, because to me that's everything. I wanted to do that by telling the same story four ways. So that readers could see the impact of the choices these two teens make on top of the bridge. So often when I’ve been depressed, I’ve had the thought that no one would care if I were dead or alive.”
Overall, this is a story that will bring tears to your eyes and break your heart, but I truly believe that you in the end will be glad that you have read it. It’s definitely a book that anyone will be affected by and start to rethink one’s own life after reading.
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The Music of What Happens is a beautiful, emotional story of two very different teenage boys meeting by chance and ending up spending the summer together to fix a food truck mess. In the course of the summer, they discover not only the attraction for each other, but trust and comfort, and the courage to face their biggest fears.
This book is at the same time funny and heartbreaking. Despite dealing with some pretty heavy subjects, such as addiction, parental neglect and even rape, it is nevertheless a truly wonderful, breathtaking and hopeful story. It also feels absolutely authentic and real, with amazing characters.
The main characters, Max and Jordan, literally leapt off the pages and took hold of my heart from the very first moment. There is some remarkable personal growth in them both along the way and there are so many layers to their characters. As it was in all characters in this book; there are some wonderful secondary players in the boys’ mothers and their group of friends. They were all real persons, with flaws, good and bad sides (Jordan’s mother had mostly bad ones, but I won’t go into much into that as I don’t want to spoil anything).
What I especially loved about this book was how different Max and Jordan were from one another, but how the attraction between them nevertheless felt completely real and natural. Max on the one hand was the cool, easy-going jock. Capable and popular, but with a tendency to bottle his feelings and “warrior up” like his father always told him to. Jordan on the other hand, was the shy and awkward emo guy, suffering from low self-esteem and the chaos and grief caused by his father’s death and his mother’s gambling problems. But the way they complement and support each other was so wonderful; I loved how Jordan taught Max to open up and become more vulnerable, and how Max in his turn helped Jordan to stand up for himself.
This book really shows the problems with toxic masculinity and the importance of admitting and sharing your problems. Even a tough and strong jock can get raped, and the built-up anger and fear, the feeling of not being able to breath, won’t go away until you face it. It was so well described how Max tried to push all thoughts away, but how they still affected him, and how he questioned his own actions.
All in all, I absolutely loved this book, even though it almost broke my heart at some points, and I know that it will stay with me for a long time! It reminds me a bit of another favorite book of mine, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, so if you’re a fan of that book you will definitely love this one as well!
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All 1 Star 2 Stars 3 Stars 4 Stars 5 Stars Abbi Glines Abdi Nazemian Adam Silvera Adib Khorram Aiden Thomas Aisha Saeed Aislinn Brophy AJ Collins Alexandra Christo Alex Beltran Alexene Farol Follmuth Alexis Hall Alex Kelly Alex Sanchez Alice Dolman Alice Oseman Ali Hazelwood Alison Cochrun Al Riske Alwyn Hamilton Amanda Ferreira A. Meredith Walters Amy Aislin Amy Harmon Amy S. Foster Amy Spalding André Aciman Andy V Roamer Angie Thomas Annabeth Albert A. Poland Ashley Poston Ashley Woodfolk Ashlyn Kane Audrey Coulthurst Becca Fitzpatrick Becky Albertalli Benjamin Alire Saenz Beth Bolden Bill Konigsberg B.L. Maxwell Briar Prescott Bri Spicer Brooke Skipstone Cale Dietrich Casey McQuiston Cassandra Clare C.F. White C.G. Drews Charli Meadows Chris Bedell Ciara Smyth Clarissa Pattern C.L. Beaumont Colette Davison Colleen Hoover Crystal Frasier C.S. Pacat Daven McQueen David Biddle David Yoon Dean Atta Debbie McGowan Debbie Rigaud Debbie Schrack Deborah Harkness Delia Owens D.G. Carothers Dhonielle Clayton Douglas Stuart Dustin Thao Elisa A. Bonnin Elizabeth Acevedo Elizabeth Arroyo Elle Kennedy Elle Wright E. Lockhart Emily M. Danforth Emily Mims Erin Watt Ernest Cline Evan J. Corbin Eve Morton Everina Maxwell Evie Dunmore Felice Stevens Grace Williams Gwen Martin Hanya Yanagihara Hayden Stone Heather Truett H.E. Edgmon Hettie Bell Holly Black Hope Irving Hudson Lin Ingrid Sterling Jacqueline Lee Jacqueline Woodson James L. Sutter Jamie Deacon Jandy Nelson Jax Calder Jay Hogan Jeanette Winterson Jeff Zentner Jen Bailey Jenna Evans Welch Jenn Burke Jennifer E. Smith Jennifer G. Edelson Jennifer Gilmore Jennifer Iacopelli Jennifer Kropf Jennifer Niven Jenny Downham Jenny Han Jeremy Ray Jesse H. Reign Joelle Lynne John Green Jonny Garza Villa Julianne Donaldson Julian Winters Kacen Callender Kami Garcia Kara Leigh Miller Kasie West Kate Larkindale Katharine McGee Kathleen Mareé KD Casey Kendall Grey Kevin Van Whye Kiley Reid Kim Fielding Kim Holden Kim Liggett Kitty Bardot Kris Ripper K.S. Marsden Laura Hall Laura Pavlov Laura Silverman Lauren James Laurie Frankel Leah Johnson Lee Matthew Goldberg Leigh Bardugo Leylah Attar Lisa Henry Lisa Williamson Lisa Wingate Liv Rancourt Liz Plum Lola Noire Lynn Michaels Mackenzi Lee Madeline Miller Magdalena Di Sotru Maggie Doolin Maggie Stiefvater Malin Persson Giolito Malorie Blackman Margaret Stohl Marie Lu Mary E. Pearson Mason Deaver Matthew R. Corr Melina Marchetta Meredith Russo Miel Moreland Mila Gray Miranda Kenneally Moa Backe Astot Morgan James M. Tasia Nancy Garden Natalie Haynes Nicholas Sparks Nicola Yoon Nic Starr Nic Stone Nina Kenwood Nita Tyndall Nora Sakavic N.R. Walker Owen Lach Penny Aimes Phil Stamper Quinn Anderson Rachael Brownell Rachael Lippincott Rachel Hawkins Rainbow Rowell Ray Stoeve Renée Dahlia Rhiannon Wilde Riley Hart River Braun Roan Parrish Robin Gow Roseanne A. Brown Rowan MacKemsley Ruby Moone Ruta Sepetys Ryan La Sala Sally Green Sally Rooney Sarah J. Maas Sarah Waters Sarina Bowen Sasha Laurens Saundra Mitchell Saxon James Serena Bell Shannon O’Connor Sidney Bell Simone Elkeles Siryn Sueng Sophia DeRise Sophia Soames Sophie Gonzales S.R. Lane Stephen Chbosky Stephenie Meyer Steven Salvatore Susan Mac Nicol Suzanne Collins Tahereh Mafi Tal Bauer Tamara Girardi Teagan Hunter Terry J. Benton-Walker Tiffany D. Jackson Timothy Janovsky T.J. Klune T.L. Bradford Tobly McSmith Tomasz Jedrowski Tomi Adeyemi Tracy Deonn Val Wise Veronica Rossi Veronica Roth V.E. Schwab Victor Dixen Victoria Aveyard V.L. Stuart Wesley Chu Xan Van Rooyen Yamile Saied Méndez