Life Inside My Mind (Hardcover)

31 Authors Share Their Personal Struggles

By Jessica Burkhart (Editor), Maureen Johnson, Robison Wells, Lauren Oliver, Jennifer L. Armentrout, Amy Reed, Aprilynne Pike, Rachel M. Wilson, Dan Wells, Amber Benson, E. Kristin Anderson, Sarah Fine, Kelly Fiore-Stultz, Ellen Hopkins, Scott Neumyer, Crissa-Jean Chappell, Francesca Lia Block, Tara Kelly, Kimberly McCreight, Megan Kelley Hall, Hannah Moskowitz, Karen Mahoney, Tom Pollock, Cyn Balog, Melissa Marr, Wendy Toliver, Cindy L. Rodriguez, Candace Ganger, Sara Zarr, Cynthia Hand, Francisco X. Stork, Jessica Burkhart

Simon Pulse, 9781481494649, 320pp.

Publication Date: April 10, 2018

List Price: 17.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.

Description

Your favorite YA authors including Ellen Hopkins, Maureen Johnson, and more recount their own experiences with mental illness in this raw, real, and powerful collection of essays that explores everything from ADD to PTSD.

Have you ever felt like you just couldn’t get out of bed? Not the occasional morning, but every day? Do you find yourself listening to a voice in your head that says “you’re not good enough,” “not good looking enough,” “not thin enough,” or “not smart enough”? Have you ever found yourself unable to do homework or pay attention in class unless everything is “just so” on your desk? Everyone has had days like that, but what if you have them every day?

You’re not alone. Millions of people are going through similar things. However issues around mental health still tend to be treated as something shrouded in shame or discussed in whispers. It’s easier to have a broken bone—something tangible that can be “fixed”—than to have a mental illness, and easier to have a discussion about sex than it is to have one about mental health.

Life Inside My Mind is an anthology of true-life events from writers of this generation, for this generation. These essays tackle everything from neurodiversity to addiction to OCD to PTSD and much more. The goals of this book range from providing home to those who are feeling alone, awareness to those who are witnessing a friend or family member struggle, and to open the floodgates to conversation.

Participating writers include E.K. Anderson, J.L. Armentrout, Cyn Balog, Amber Benson, Francesca Lia Block, Jessica Burkhart, Crissa Chappell, Sarah Fine, Kelly Fiore, Candace Ganger, Meghan Kelley Hall, Cynthia Hand, Ellen Hopkins, Maureen Johnson, Tara Kelly, Karen Mahoney, Melissa Marr, Kim McCreight, Hannah Moskowitz, Scott Neumyer, Lauren Oliver, Aprilynne Pike, Tom Pollack, Amy Reed, Cindy Rodriquez, Francisco Stork, Wendy Tolliver, Rob Wells, Dan Wells, Rachel Wilson, and Sara Zarr.


About the Author

Jessica Burkhart (a.k.a. Jessica Ashley) is the author of the Unicorn Magic and Canterwood Crest series, which you can learn more about at CanterwoodCrest.com. She is a former equestrian who writes from her apartment in Tennessee. (It’s not the size of Crystal Castle, but Jess tries to decorate like a princess!) Jess’s aura would be hot pink and she loves glittery things. If she had a unicorn, it would be named Sparkle. Visit Jess at JessicaBurkhart.com.

Maureen Johnson is the New York Times bestselling author of over a dozen YA novels, including 13 Little Blue Envelopes, The Name of the Star, Suite Scarlett, and Truly Devious. Visit her at MaureenJohnsonBooks.com, MaureenJohnsonBooks on Tumblr, or @MaureenJohnson on Twitter.

Amy Reed is the author of the contemporary young adult novels BeautifulCleanCrazyOver YouDamagedInvincibleUnforgivable, and The Nowhere Girls. She is also the editor of Our Stories, Our Voices. She is a feminist, mother, and quadruple Virgo who enjoys running, making lists, and wandering around the mountains of western North Carolina where she lives. You can find her online at AmyReedFiction.com.

Amber Benson is a writer, actress, and director who has written for the stage, screen, books, and comic books. She is perhaps best known for playing the role of "Tara" on the hit television show Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Amber lives in Los Angeles, California.This is her first children's book.

Sarah Fine is the author of Of Metal and WishesOf Dreams and RustThe Impostor QueenThe Cursed QueenThe True Queen, and The Guards of the Shadowlands series. She was born on the West Coast, raised in the Midwest, and is now firmly entrenched on the East Coast. When she’s not writing, she’s working as a child psychologist. Visit her at SarahFineBooks.com.

Ellen Hopkins is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of fourteen young adult novels, as well as the adult novels TrianglesCollateral, and Love Lies Beneath. She lives with her family in Carson City, Nevada, where she founded Ventana Sierra, a nonprofit youth housing and resource initiative. Visit her at EllenHopkins.com and on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter at @EllenHopkinsLit.

Hannah Moskowitz is the award-winning author of the young adult novels BreakInvincible SummerGone, Gone, Gone; and Teeth; as well as the middle grade novels Zombie Tag and Marco Impossible. She lives in New York City. Learn more at HannahMoskowitz.com.

Wendy Toliver has explored a variety of jobs, from impersonating Marilyn Monroe for singing telegrams to impersonating a computer geek at an ad agency. She lives in Eden, Utah with her husband, three sons, two dogs, a cat, several fish, and an occasional mole.

Jessica Burkhart (a.k.a. Jessica Ashley) is the author of the Unicorn Magic and Canterwood Crest series, which you can learn more about at CanterwoodCrest.com. She is a former equestrian who writes from her apartment in Tennessee. (It’s not the size of Crystal Castle, but Jess tries to decorate like a princess!) Jess’s aura would be hot pink and she loves glittery things. If she had a unicorn, it would be named Sparkle. Visit Jess at JessicaBurkhart.com.


Praise For Life Inside My Mind: 31 Authors Share Their Personal Struggles

Ellen Hopkins, Lauren Oliver, Francisco X. Stork, Sara Zarr, and the other 27 contributors to this anthology are all best-selling, award-winning authors. Yet many admit that their personal essay on mental illness was the hardest piece they’ve ever written. Although a few authors write about friends and family, most reveal their own struggles with anxiety, depression, addiction, OCD, ADHD, PTSD, bipolar disorder, body-image issues, and more, with cutting and suicidal thoughts often entering the picture. The contributors explain how the mental illness first manifested itself and eventually took over their lives. Their essays (and one poem) are raw, intense, and poignant. Individually, they show a wide range of experiences; collectively, they show commonalities among sufferers. There are feelings of isolation, shame, being stigmatized, and losing control as “it” or a “monster” seemingly guides their thoughts and actions. Nevertheless, hope and recovery also shine through as the authors reflect on their self-care and coping mechanisms, including therapy, medication, meditation, exercise, sleep, and diet. Just like mental illness itself, the paths to acceptance and recovery take many forms. Who better to raise teens’ awareness of mental illness and health than the YA authors they admire? Their compelling stories will start important discussions and assure readers they’re never alone. — Angela Leeper
— Booklist *STARRED REVIEW*

In this much-needed, enlightening book, 31 young adult authors write candidly about mental health crises, either their own or that of someone very close to them. Ranging from humorous to heartbreaking to hopeful, each story has a uniquely individual approach to the set of circumstances that the writer is dealing with. Many authors address readers in the second person, inviting them to imagine what it’s like to live a day inside their heads. The symptoms of anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and addiction are frequently discussed. Readers will learn of the many different ways these conditions can be present and in which they often work together. Despite the intense emotional content, teens will warm to the authenticity apparent in every voice. Many, if not most of the essays offer a list of the techniques and treatments that have been successful in handling symptoms, including medication, therapy, exercise, and yoga. The difficulty in recognizing mental health issues, as well as the unfortunate stigma associated with asking for help, is frequently acknowledged and may help teen and adult readers work toward achieving a more open dialogue. Perhaps most importantly, the collection’s overarching sentiment points toward acceptance and the idea that treatment is a journey. As contributor Tara Kelly writes: “If anxiety gets the better of me again, that’s okay. I give myself permission to fall down and get back up.” VERDICT A first purchase for all young adult collections.
— School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW

Teens may be unlikely to seek out this collection on their own, but it is a valuable read to put in the hands of those who need it. (Memoir/essay. 14-18)