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review 2016-02-26 21:24
The Shock of the Fall
The Shock of the Fall - Nathan Filer

A few years ago, I went through a phase where I read tons and tons of books about characters with illnesses. I quickly burned myself out on them because they all started to feel similar. I was hesitant to read The Shock of the Fall because I’m still feeling the illness-book burnout. However, the author of this book is a nurse, so I thought he’d have a unique take on the topic.

 

The book’s narrator, Nineteen-year-old Matt, has been struggling with schizophrenia for most of his life. This novel is written as a document that Matt types up and illustrates. He tells the story of his brother’s death, his dysfunctional relationship with his mother, and his time in a hospital.

 

I think the author does have an interesting take on the illness topic. I like that we get to see the business side of running a hospital and how budget cuts impact the patients (or “service users”). The reader also gets to see how dehumanizing it can be to stay in a hospital long-term. The patients’ lives are boring. They have very little control over what happens to them. Sometimes they don’t even understand what’s happening, and the hospital workers can’t be bothered to explain.

 

Matt has a disorganized way of thinking, and the novel’s structure captures that well. He tells events out of order, repeats himself, and talks about things that happen only in his imagination. It’s obvious that something is not right with his mind. The story is a little confusing at first, but I got used to the structure quickly, and I ended up really liking it. The nonlinear structure shows Matt’s personality and what’s important to him.

 

I love Matt’s relationship with his father. At first, his father seems standoffish, but he just has unusual ways of showing his love. Instead of being affectionate, he has special names for Matt and writes messages on the walls. It’s sweet.

 

I think this book proved that I’m still suffering from illness-book burnout. I enjoyed the book, and I got through it quickly, but I found it predictable. It didn’t do much that I haven’t seen in dozens of other books that focus on illnesses.

 

Matt also doesn’t feel like a realistic nineteen-year-old to me. I was actually surprised when he said that he was nineteen because he sounds much older. I had to keep reminding myself that this is a teenager narrating.

 

This book didn’t blow my mind, but it’s an interesting enough way to spend a few hours.

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review 2014-12-31 17:40
My Top Book of 2014!
The Shock of the Fall - Nathan Filer

I was going to do a post including all my top reads of 2014, but I felt that this book stood out so much that it warrented a post all of its own. Also, which is especially good for me, it means I can be lazy and not do a post with multiple books!

 

As I'm sure you know by now, I don't award five-stars lightly and this is the only book that got a full five from me. Even worse is that I read this book away back in January, so it's been nearly a year since I've had a five-star read! I've read plenty of great books this year, one's that have gotten four-and-a-half stars, but nothing has gone that extra bit of distance.

 

You're probably wondering at this point what kind of book does go all the way for me and rightly so. Well, it has to be a book where I deeply sympathise with the protagonist on an unbelievable level and feel a real emotional connection with. Here, that rare thing happened and I love it as much now as I did then. I reckon it'll always be special to me. It tells the story of Matt and his battle with mental illness. To see my full review, go here, The Shock of the Fall

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text 2014-05-03 12:53
April wrap up and May TBR

  

 

Oh yeah, the month of April was an amazing reading month, even though I went on a schooltrip to England (where I bought too many books), I did read thirteen books. Some of them weren't that big like the books in the Pretty Little Liars Series, which I was marathoning in the beginning of the month, but I also read quite a few chunky books like A Game of Thrones and The Book Thief. Last month was also an amazing month to discover new favourites and I am happy about that

 

The books I have read in April are:

- Wicked by Sara Shepard

- Killer by Sara Shepard

- Heartless by Sara Shepard

- Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell*

- The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (reread)

- The Book Thief by Markus Zusak*

- Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell*

- Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins *

- An Abundance of Katherines by John Green (reread)

- A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin*

- The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan

- The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer

* My favourites of this month

 


 

 

Even though we are already three days in May and I have already finished two books, I think it is still in time to show the books I plan on reading this month. There are actually only two books I plan on reading this month. The first one is A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin, the sequel to A Game of Thrones. 

The other book is Panic by Lauren Oliver and this book is the book of the month of a little bookclub of a online forum. I already own A Clash of Kings but because of being broke I will not be able to buy Panic, so I will have to read the (illegally downloaded) ebook on my Kobo Glo, which is totally fine I guess.

 

What  do you plan on reading in May?

 

 

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text 2014-04-20 07:21
21!
The Shock of the Fall - Nathan Filer
Life After Life - Kate Atkinson
Like This, For Ever - S.J. Bolton
The Fault in Our Stars - John Green
The Shining Girls - Lauren Beukes
The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared - Jonas Jonasson

Happy Easter Everyone! Enjoy the long weekend!

 

A few days ago I turned 21! (That's nothing really special here, I was already allowed to drink etc) I received some very nice books that are now patiently waiting (screaming at me) to be read. If only I could find the time to read them.

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review 2014-03-23 22:10
PLEASE STOP READING OVER MY SHOULDER
The Shock of the Fall - Nathan Filer

Admittedly, this isn't the kind of book I'd usually go for. I tend to lean towards fantasy or high-concept escapism, rather than books dealing with real-world problems. However, I'm glad I gave this one a try.

 

The book is written from the perspective of a young man dealing with grief induced schizophrenia. I've never before read any account of mental illness which seems so believable and relatable. Mental illness is a tricky thing to portray from an outside perspective, let alone an internal one, and the Author's experience as a mental health nurse really shows here.

 

At the same time, the book is also very well written and poetic. The author frequently conjures such beautiful and poignant imagery that I wish I could copy entire chapters into this review as examples, but unfortunately you'll just have to take my inadequate word for it and find out for yourself.

 

The book also avoided leaving me worn out or depressed, as books about 'real life' often do. In fact, I came away from this book feeling uplifted, and that I'd gained some sort of new insight and understanding into mental illness. 

 

Overall 'The Shock of the Fall' was a great experience, and a great encouragement for me to leave my reading comfort zone every once in a while.

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