Monday, 19 September 2011

A Note of Mandess by Tabitha Suzuma

Life as a student is good for Flynn. As one of the top pianists at the Royal College of Music, he has been put forward for an important concert, the opportunity of a lifetime. But beneath the surface, things are changing. On a good day, he feels full of energy and life, but on a bad day being alive is worse than being dead. Sometimes he wants to compose and practise all night, at other times he can't get out of bed. His flatmate Harry tries to understand but is increasingly confused by Flynn's erratic mood swings. His friend Jennah tries to help, but Flynn finds it difficult to be around her as he struggles to control his feelings and behaviour. With the pressure of the forthcoming concert and the growing concern of his family and friends, emotions come to a head. Sometimes things can only get worse before they get better.

Usually when I go to write my review, I have an idea of what I am going to rate it. But not with this book. Suzuma is definately one of my favourite authors, and what I mostly love about her books is that she somehow manages to really capture the essence of what its like to be a teenager in these complicated situations, and I honestly felt myself cringing at parts of this book because I could relate so much to them. I guess that's really what makes me want to rate it a 9 - not because I didn't think it was excellent, but because the emotions shown were so raw and so real that it literally made me want to put the book down and turn away, or skip to the next chapter. But apart from that, I really enjoyed it. Compared to her others books, it wasn't as good, but I think thats what happens when you are dealing with topics that don't usually get written about. Throughout the story, Flynn's emotions become more clear and more raw, and I didn't know whether I wanted to hug him or slap him at some parts. Because on one hand, his bipolar is horrible for him, and you just want him to be okay again - but then he can just be a prick to Harry, Rami and Jennah, which is partly his bipolars fault, but he doesn't make things any easier for himself. However, its hard not to love Flynn all the same. All in all, I really enjoyed the book, and I am currently reading the sequel to this, A Voice In The Distance. I hope it will live up to the standards this book has set.

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