Title: A Small Madness
Author: Dianne Touchell
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult
Format Read: Paperback, 240 pages
Publication Date: 28th January 2015, Allen and Unwin
Synopsis: “Rose didn’t tell anyone about it. She wondered if it showed. She looked at herself in the mirror and turned this way and then that way. She stood as close to the mirror as she could, leaning over the bathroom basin, looking into her own eyes until they disappeared behind the fog of her breath. Looking for something. Some evidence that she was different now. Something had shifted inside her, a gear being ratcheted over a clunky cog, gaining torque, starting her up. But it didn’t show. How could all of these feelings not show? She was a woman now but it didn’t show and she couldn’t tell anyone.
A devastating, compelling novel that will get everyone talking, from the author of Creepy and Maud.”
I’d say I went into this book already disappointed. The cover for this novel was not my favourite, and the synopsis really did nothing to give any indication of what the novel was about – a bad omen in my opinion.
Unfortunately, I was right.
I couldn’t physically finish this novel. I was not comfortable with the themes addressed, and the way these themes were depicted. It was due to my own personal beliefs and feelings that I had to put the book down.
The novel delves into unwanted teenage pregnancy, depression and countless other dark themes that I’m perfectly fine with reading about usually. Yet, I feel this novel contained quite graphic depictions of scenarios that I was extremely disturbed to read.
There was one particular scene that went into such unnecessary detail of something I was just completely horrified to even see being described, that I physically felt ill. I had to close the novel and move away from it. I felt like being sick.
Seriously. This novel should come with a trigger warning or something. There’s some SERIOUSLY heavy stuff in this book. And I can guarantee it’s not for everyone. Proven by my inability to finish it.
I understand that such things unfortunately (and to my absolute horror) do occur in real life, and I have incredible respect for Dianne for addressing such difficult issues that aren’t really talked about in society.
But I really just could not do it. I had to put this book down and listen to happy music. Seriously.
One word for this novel? Disturbing. Utterly and completely disturbing.
The characters are whack, the storyline is whack. I just can’t even.
Clearly A Small Madness was an attempt to join the trend of books that are doing a fantastic job at focusing on mental illness and serious issues for teens. But I feel like this just went a tad too far. Especially for a novel targeted towards young adults.
As an almost 21-year-old reading this, I was shocked and horrified. I can’t imagine a younger person having to read this, especially with some of the scenes.
I am very sorry I couldn’t finish this. I hate not finishing novels. Again, it’s mostly due to knowing my personal limitations that I couldn’t go on.
This is definitely a novel that would stay in your head for a long time (and not necessarily in a good way).
Give it a try if you’re up for a challenge. I’d really love to hear if anyone else has the same feelings as me about this book. Maybe I’m just super sensitive 😛
Thank you to Allen and Unwin for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review.
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