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Kid Konnection: Hannah

January 14, 2012

The subtitle of Hannah Westberg’s book, Hannah: My True Story of Drugs, Cutting, and Mental Illness says it all.  Hannah’s mentally ill mother had a horrible upbringing and an abusive first husband.  She had one child with him and, after he was murdered, she married his brother and had three more children – the youngest is Hannah.  Hannah’s parents ended up divorcing and, as a child, Hannah spent a lot of time with her father and his girlfriend/wife.

It seemed that Hannah was always searching for love and a sense of belonging without success, so she turned to drugs and cutting before realizing that she, too, suffered from mental illness.  She has been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder and, at times, seems to be her own worst enemy.

Hannah’s story is told in a scattered, disjointed manner and, at first, it bothered me.  I kept thinking that the book wasn’t well written, and then it dawned on me that it was written by a mentally ill teenager, the way the book reads is probably the way her mind works, and I’m not the target audience.  When I realized and accepted that, I began to admire Hannah for her bravery in sharing her story.  In the hands of a teen suffering from issues similar to Hannah’s this book would probably be a godsend.  Hannah says:

I have always dreamed of becoming stable and being able to tell others of the light at the end of the tunnel.  That’s what I hope I’m doing with this book.

If you know any troubled teens, be sure to check out Hannah and the other two Louder Than Words Books.

For more children’s books reviews, go to Booking Mama’s feature, Kid Konnection. If you’d like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children’s books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week,  leave a comment as well as a link on her site.

I won this book in a contest on Ticket to Anywhere.   I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
15 Comments leave one →
  1. January 14, 2012 6:31 am

    It is kinda scary how many teens this would actually resonate with. I have admiration for anyone willing to get their story out there so it can help others.

  2. January 14, 2012 7:29 am

    It certainly sounds like a difficult book to read. Glad you enjoyed it by the end.

  3. January 14, 2012 8:34 am

    It’s great that the author is getting her story out in an attempt to help others — unfortunately, I’m sure there are many teens out there that would relate to some part of her story.

  4. January 14, 2012 8:53 am

    Wow, what a childhood! Poor kid!

  5. January 14, 2012 9:19 am

    Wow, this does sound like a moving read. Such a sad story, yet good for Hannah for sharing her story in an attempt to help others.

  6. January 14, 2012 9:26 am

    I have recently read a lot about mental illness, both in memoirs and in novels, and I find the topic fascinating. I had planned on studying psychology at one time, and I think my interest in the subject is still strong. That being said, this sounds like a very unique and powerful read, and one that I might like to try out for myself. It does sound like it’s emotionally difficult for the reader, but I like the fact that Hannah is so honest about the things that make her different than everyone else. This was a great review today, Kathy! I am adding this book to my wish list!

  7. January 14, 2012 3:16 pm

    I’m glad there are more and more books exposing people to what some teens with mental illness are going through. Hannah is brave to share her story.

  8. January 14, 2012 6:19 pm

    It sounds powerful.

  9. January 15, 2012 7:54 am

    As a mom to an almost teen, this book sounds like it would be a difficult read. Having said that, I appreciate what the author is trying to do with this novel.

  10. January 15, 2012 9:33 am

    I like the idea of this series and would like to read at least one of them.

  11. January 15, 2012 5:51 pm

    Oh my. What a horrible way to have to live in the world in such a messed up family. I’m glad she managed to share her story and in her own words. I suspect it might resonate more with the people who need this book the most.

  12. January 16, 2012 12:08 pm

    My middle daughter suffers from Borderline Personality Disorder (and, yes, she was a cutter as well). I wonder if getting this book would be good for her (knowing that you’re not the only one), even though our family background is much more stable than “Hannah’s” was, I think she could find something to relate to in here.

    Thanks for the review; I think I will be purchasing this one.

  13. January 16, 2012 1:14 pm

    What a very sad story. Good to read if you needed to understand a troubled teen I bet.

  14. January 24, 2012 3:23 pm

    hmmm…I might have to try this one out, see what I think. Her story really interests me and maybe going into it knowing how the format works it won’t bother me.

  15. bookingmama permalink
    August 21, 2014 6:14 pm

    I imagine that the book is very authentic since it’s disjointed. I bet it’s a little disturbing though.

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