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Life Inside My Mind: 31 Authors Share Their Personal Struggles


Life Inside My Mind: 31 Authors Share Their Personal Struggles

Jessica Burkhart took 31 authors --- herself included --- to make an incredible collection of essays about mental health called LIFE INSIDE MY MIND: 31 Authors Share Their Personal Struggles. Some of these authors include but are not limited to Dan Wells, Elle Hopkins, Tom Pollock, Lauren Oliver and --- of course --- Jessica Burkhart also contributes to LIFE INSIDE MY MIND. LIFE INSIDE MY MIND might be her first book about mental health but LIFE INSIDE MY MIND is not Jessica Burkhart’s first book, nor is LIFE INSIDE MY MIND her first young adult book. Jessica Burkhart’s first young adult book is WILD HEARTS. Jessica Burkhart is also known for her Canterwood Crest series and her Unicorn Magic series.

"The stories were beautifully written and filled with hope....LIFE INSIDE MY MIND is a book to start a conversation."

Maureen Johnson, Scott Newmyer, Jennifer L Armentrout and many more authors come together to write a series of 31 essays about mental health. These essays span over almost every topic on mental issues, disorders, illnesses and problems. For example, some of the topics of some of the essays are Attention Deficit Disorder, depression, anxiety, PTSD, addiction and Alzheimer’s. Some essays are about each author’s own personal struggle with any of these mental illnesses or disorders, or they are about their family or friend’s experience. Each personal struggle gives another unique perspective about each mental illness. LIFE INSIDE MY MIND is clearly meant to be conversation starter and bring mental illness into the light. Each author explains what his or her personal struggle is, and sometimes he or she gives suggestions on how to handle not just surviving with that certain mental illness or disorder but also living with it in the essays. However, essays are not the only pieces of work in LIFE INSIDE MY MIND. There are also short stories and a poem to show real experiences and to emphasize just how real these experiences are.

LIFE INSIDE MY MIND by Jessica Burkhart is an incredible anthology of essays. Not only does is start a very important conversation about mental health, it brings mental health into the public and this book humanizes people with mental illnesses or mental disorders. These works show actual people, actual lives and how they live with their problems and chronic illnesses just like every other person on this planet. The stories were beautifully written and filled with hope. Even though the issues within the book were very serious, I did not finish feeling completely drained and upset. Instead, I felt happy. Another great part about LIFE INSIDE MY MIND is that there are so many disorders, problems and illnesses covered within the book in so many ways that absolutely anyone and everyone can find at least one piece of work to which she or he can relate.

I’ve said this multiple times, and I’m about to say it again, LIFE INSIDE MY MIND is a book to start a conversation. I’d highly suggest reading it with a group of friends or as a book club. However, if you are suffering from a mental illness or you just want to know more about mental illness, LIFE INSIDE MY MIND is great book to read.

Reviewed by Rebecca D., Teen Board Member on April 11, 2018

Life Inside My Mind: 31 Authors Share Their Personal Struggles
Edited by Jessica Burkhart