Blog Tour: THERAPY by Kathryn Perez
Cutting breaks through my numbness, but only opens more wounds.
Depression, self-harm, bullying….that’s my reality.
Sex and guys….that’s my escape.
The space between the truth and lies is blurred leaving me torn, lost and confused. And while the monsters that live in my head try to beat me– the two men that I love try to save me.
This is my story of friendship, heartache, and the grueling journey that is mental-illness.
Sometimes you have to get lost in order to be found…
Abby’s Review 5+++++ Stars
“The story was fiction, but the messages were not.”
Do you know or love someone who suffers from mental illness? The answer is YES! 1 in 4 adults in the U.S suffer from some type of mental Illness. I’m no statistician, but I’m betting that’s higher than every other disease out there. So why isn’t it talked about? Why all the negative stigmatism? Why is it easier to say, “My mom has cancer” then, “My mom is bipolar with personality disorders?”
This is Jessica’s journey of her struggles with Mental Illness but it’s also her journey of finding love in herself and others.
Jessica is bullied. She takes it and accepts it, not giving herself enough self worth to stand up to it.
“Their weapons aren’t illegal, yet they cut deeper than a blade ever could. Hiding behind electronic shields, they use their words like swords.”
She finds love, but ultimately learns she has to love herself first.
” I’ve been broken before, I’ve been bound and I survived.”
Every once in a while you will come across a gem that will stick with you for the rest of your life. You find the beauty in courage and strength. For me, this book touches a very personal place and I am guessing it will for most of us, since we all love someone, knowingly or not who suffers from some sort of mental illness.
My mom is a sufferer from Bipolar Disorder and PTSD and Mood and Personality disorders, and everything else that she has been diagnosed with. My father passed when I was young so she was my only parent. In high school, I remember feeling shame, guilt and fear because of her disorders. There were times where she was committed and I didn’t want anyone to know, in fear that children’s services would find out. I was terrified that I would be uprooted and put in a worse situation.
Guess what, the reason I’m sharing is because this book says, STAND UP! SPEAK OUT! This is a family disease. And often one person’s mental illness can sometimes spread throughout a family. I am a girl who always has hid behind a smile, doing my best to make everything okay for every one.
“But I smile for the world because my smile is my protection. It hides my pain, It hides my sadness, and it hides my fear.”
Jace loves Jessica. He struggles with doing the right thing, but I never doubted his love.
“You were beautifully flawed, but perfect to me.”
After trying to take care of Jessica, and perhaps his sociopathic Mom, Jace finally gets some help for himself. This is so important because it can effect everyone who is touched.
I loved Kathryn Perez before reading this, but her talent shines through in waves. Every line is deliberate and beautiful. Through pain and hard topics she shows beauty and strength. I felt her courage through this book. I think it will help others speak out and be more accepting of mental illness.
“I saw me today, I don’t hate me. It’s time that I get to know the girl staring back at me in the mirror better. It’s time to have a love affair with myself, time to live my life for me once.”
I read the words The End and you know what I wanted to do? I wanted to start it all over again, I may have highlighted a record breaking amount of lines throughout this story, but it’s only because of the strength found on every single page. If you haven’t fallen in love with Kathryn Perez yet, it’s time. She encompasses everything beautiful in writing.
Nicole’s Review 5+ Stars
There are certain topics out there that authors need to be very careful with as they write about them; physical abuse, substance abuse, rape, war, mental illness. All of these are extremely personal and triggering events. In order for them to come across to a reader as real, the author must have a deeper understanding and compassion for them. A reader who has first-hand knowledge of any of these topics would be able to spot a less than accurate portrayal right away. In my opinion, it takes a very special kind of author to pull off this kind of writing. In Therapy, Kathryn Perez is able to pull it off, and then some, when she tells the story of how devastating and personal mental illness is.
Jessica is a high school senior who has been the victim of bullying for years. She believes that if she can just make it to graduation without drawing too much attention to herself, it will end. In the meantime, she copes by cutting herself and having sex with any guy who wants it. This is how she can control the pain and self-loathing that she feels. When the bullying takes a dangerous turn, the most popular and best looking boy in the school, Jace, steps in and gives Jessica something that she has never really had…hope. Jessica and Jace’s journey is a long and winding one that is full of love, heartache, acceptance and forgiveness.
Throughout this story, mental illness is discussed with great honesty and compassion. Never once does Perez minimize the exhausting and painful road that someone suffering from bullying, depression or severe self-loathing must walk each and every day. I won’t lie. There are some dark places in this book. There are most definitely things that may be triggers for some people. I had a few of my own pulled. That said, this book is amazing. Kathryn Perez does such a wonderful job of writing about topics that are heavy and uncomfortable. Topics that can be looked at with judgmental eyes or ignorance rather than compassion or love. She writes about them in such a way that you ache when Jessica feels pain, you cry with her when it all seems to be too much. And hidden under all of the heaviness in the story is hope. Jessica’s journey isn’t easy. In fact, it is downright awful at times. But she doesn’t give up. She could have and at times, she wants to…but she doesn’t. There is power and beauty in that.
Therapy might be one of my very favorite books of all time. No lie. It is no surprise that I am giving it 5 stars. I would give it more if I could. While the topic of mental illness is a crucial part of the story, there is also love, laughter and hope. All of which make Therapy a must read.
ARC provided for honest review
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Married. Thinking about Jace being married to someone else puts a crack in my armor. It hurts; it burns my throat as I try to swallow the acidic thought of it down.
“Well then, in four weeks you should get married. Buy a big fancy house and go to charity dinners with your mother and wife. You can have the white picket fence and everything. It sounds like a perfect happily ever after, Jace. Don’t give it up for some broken girl you slept with once.” I bite out. I’m doing my best to keep it together, but I’m slowly unraveling. I love him; I hate him. I want him to stay; I need him to go. My contradicting thoughts circle my mind like vultures.
“Jessica, falling in love can’t always be a happily ever after or a once in a lifetime kind of story. Those happen in books, in movies. This is life and it’s real. Life has no script, no outline. We broke the rules of love long ago. All I know for sure is that with you, the rules will never apply.”
Before dejectedly walking out, he stops to look at me once more.
“And you weren’t just a girl I slept with once. You’re a girl I’ve loved—always.” And then he’s gone.
Kathryn lives in her small hometown in East Texas with her hand and two amazing children. Kathryn is an advocate of suicide prevention, supporter of ant-bullying efforts and does all she can to provide support to organizations who educate and bring awareness to these topics. With music being her second love to books she claims to be a music infused writer and book junkie who loves to live in a fictional world.
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