Book Review: Brain On Fire; My Month Of Madness

Book Review

brain-on-fireSynopsis via Goodread

When twenty-four-year-old Susannah Cahalan woke up alone in a hospital room, strapped to her bed and unable to move or speak, she had no memory of how she’d gotten there. Days earlier, she had been on the threshold of a new, adult life: at the beginning of her first serious relationship and a promising career at a major New York newspaper. Now she was labeled violent, psychotic, a flight risk. What happened?

In a swift and breathtaking narrative, Cahalan tells the astonishing true story of her descent into madness, her family’s inspiring faith in her, and the lifesaving diagnosis that nearly didn’t happen.

What I loved: I love how this book explores mental health or the lack of understanding when it comes to dealing with mental health in today’s society.  

Interesting Fact: There are countless of individuals who aren’t properly diagnosed  around the world *great that the book shed light on this issue*

Thoughts/Final Thoughts:

This book was a rollercoaster of emotions, from start to finish- we sympathize/empathize with Susannah. Could you imagine going through an unknown illness or situation where you feel as if the world is against you, you feel indescribable pain, physically and mentally you’re exhausting. You’re trying your best to be “normal” but you can’t. SO why do I feel as if this book, how can I describe it: A balloon deflating? A plastic bag floating through the wind with an unknown destination?

As lovely as this book was, it wasn’t memorable. It was an easy read, flow was great (I finished it two days after my Book In Review), but it wasn’t memorable. I remember faces and places but I can’t remember the” meat” of the story. What was her diagnosis, did she make it through because of her family? I remember her family was very supportive, her boss was there for her, I even remember the Jamaican nurse in the beginning of the book who reappeared at the very end. But other than that, I don’t remember the book.  As much as I want to sit here and write about Mental Health and diagnoses issues in today’s society, I can’t. I felt as if something was missing from the story like she was trying to paint a pretty picture of her illness even though it wasn’t a pretty process. For that reason, I’d give the book a:

Rate: 6.5/10

Because the content was there,  subject matter gets an A+, the information, though lacking sometimes human feeling was there, but it wasn’t memorable. Important elements were missing, I love that they didn’t follow the normal format of a memoir, skipping around and added fantasized movements/motions but the book didn’t “grab” me. But I would add this on my reread list, why? Only because I want to give this book a second chance. Maybe I missed something the first time, so I’ll give this another try before the year ends and rewrite this Book Review.

Check out my initial impression in my Book In Review


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