Seventeen-year-old Catherine Pulaski knows Zero is coming for her. Zero, the devastating depression born of Catherine’s bipolar disorder, almost triumphed once; that was her first suicide attempt.
Being bipolar is forever. It never goes away. The med du jour might work right now, but Zero will be back for her. It’s only a matter of time.
And so, in an old ballet-shoe box, Catherine stockpiles medications, preparing to take her own life before Zero can inflict its living death on her again. Before she goes, though, she starts a short bucket list.
The bucket list, the support of her family, new friends, and a new course of treatment all begin to lessen Catherine’s sense of isolation. The problem is, her plan is already in place, and has been for so long that she might not be able to see a future beyond it.
This is a story of loss and grief and hope, and how some of the many shapes of love—maternal, romantic, and platonic—affect a young woman’s struggle with mental illness and the stigma of treatment.
I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars!
From the very first words of this novel I was entranced. The writting was absolutely beautiful and uniquely honest throughout.
There were so many times when Catherine’s thoughts broke my heart. I wanted so much for her to feel good about herself. Every time she had a moment of happiness it was clouded by her impending plan of suicide. The amount of guilt she felt for things that were not her fault made me want to give her a hug and just speak to her. I wanted to tell Cathrine that everything would be aliright. That her illness would not hinder her from having a wonderful life in the future.
With every moment of hope there was a thought of darkness tainting the moment, yet, it felt so true to her illness. The stark reality of her disorder being chronic and the talk of zero breathing down her neck telling her that she will never be good enough felt so true to life and so very tragic. Yet this book was so hopeful. It focused on real friendships with real people that felt so authentically formed that I felt I was right there with the characters.
This novel made me smile and it also broke my heart, but it made me want to go out and be kind, to do good, to act. I don’t remember the last time a novel had inspired me as much as this one has, and the best part was after I finished and read the authors note I felt a true kinship with the author.
There was a part where Karen writes about ordering a pair of silver snowflake earrings the same as the ones she uses in the novel. She had lost them in her house shortly after, but didn’t oreder new ones because she believed that their reappearance was linked to the publishing of this novel. Two months later she had found them again and within 20 minute she recieved an email on her phone from an agent telling her that she would love to represent her and her story.
It felt so right to me that this story had a sort of fate to be published. Especially with the weird circumstance in which this book happened to come into my own life.
This novel was one born out of love and hope and the result is absolutely brilliant. I will be holding this novel close to my heart for years to come.
-Till Next Time!