For 16-year-old Mel Hannigan, bipolar disorder makes life unpredictable. Her latest struggle is balancing her growing feelings in a new relationship with her instinct to keep everyone at arms’ length. And when a former friend confronts Mel with the truth about the way their relationship ended, deeply buried secrets threaten to come out…
As her world begins to crumble, she fears the worst — that her friends will abandon her if they learn the truth about what she’s been hiding. Can Mel bring herself to risk everything to find out?
Mel is a great protagonist: fierce, funny and intrinsically complex. You root for her as she grapples with her family relationships, friendships, her internal ‘animals’ and her deepest, darkest secrets.
I loved how although Mel’s bipolar disorder was a main factor of the plot, it wasn’t her defining factor. Her story was far more complicated than that, intertwining with themes of friendship, love and loss. To me, her disorder only highlighted how multi-faceted her relationships were and that made Mel a human being, instead of being just a mental illness (unlike some other YA novels I could mention). In the same spirit, sexuality is discussed in a refreshingly open and honest way.
A Tragic Kind of Wonderful is a captivating story about dealing with mental illness, friendship problems and first loves that’s perfect for fans of YA, or those who are looking for a unique and phenomenal new book to lose themselves in.