Brain On Fire: My Month of Sadness By Susannah Cahalan |Book Review

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“Someone once asked, “If you could take it all back, would you?” At the time I didn’t know. Now I do. I wouldn’t take that terrible experience back for anything in the world. Too much light has come out of my darkness.”

Hello, my bookish friends. I hope you’re doing well. So, I’ve been in a weird reading mood ever since I finished reading  A Little Life. It’s like I want to read something light and funny, but I can’t bring myself to choose one. And after so much thinking, I’ve realized that I’m going through a phase where all I want to read is sad and heart wrenching books. So, I decided to read Brain On fire, and I wasn’t disappointed at all. To be honest, I don’t read memoirs that much, because I’m afraid that I’ll lose interest in finishing the entire book. But, I finished this one in one sitting, because it was too interesting to actually put down. So, without further ado, let’s review this book!

This is a true story about a journalist named Susannah Cahalan. When she graduated from college, she started working at the New York post. She finally had everything figured out. She had a boyfriend, a loving family, an exciting career that she dedicated herself to, and her own place. One day, she started having those compulsive thoughts to do things she’s never done before, and act differently from the way she used to. She thought she was having an intense flu, but that was totally wrong. One afternoon, She had an emotional breakdown in the office and she started crying and yelling until she passed out. Every doctor she went to, thought she was having schizophrenia or depression. But all her medical results were totally fine. Despite that, her health was getting worse day by day, and she was having psychotic episodes. However, throughout the book we follow her complicated recovery journey from a mysterious illness, and how it had affected her life.

The way she talked and explained her life during that painful period was so touching to the point where it made me cry. Staying in the hospital and having repetitive therapy sessions were too much for her. All the doctors couldn’t find what was wrong with her, until Dr. Najjar found out the name of  her rare brain disease. After that, she started getting better and got back to her normal life again. In the book she talked about how she didn’t remember anything from that specific period of her illness, and how her family explained to her the way she was back then. She also helped so many people who were having the same disease as her, and some of them were cured because of her. I really find it so fascinating that the human body is like a machine, and if one part stopped working, then everything will go down. It’s such an incredible, terrifying, and a raw memoir about what it’s like to be misunderstood by others, and having hope for things to get better in the end. This is one of those books that I’ll definitely recommend everyone to read, because trust me, you won’t regret it.

A Little Life By Hanya Yanagihara | Book Review

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“You won’t understand what I mean now, but someday you will: the only trick of friendship, I think, is to find people who are better than you are—not smarter, not cooler, but kinder, and more generous, and more forgiving—and then to appreciate them for what they can teach you, and to try to listen to them when they tell you something about yourself, no matter how bad—or good—it might be, and to trust them, which is the hardest thing of all. But the best, as well.”

Hello, my bookish friends. I hope you’re doing well. It’s halfway through Ramadan, and it’s just insane how days go by so fast, because there’s barely enough time to do everything. But, I managed to read A Little Life and today I’m going to talk about it, because that was the most overwhelming book I’ve read so far this year. So, Let’s review this book!

This book follows the story of four friends. Malcolm who’s an architect, Willem who’s an actor, JB who’s an artist, and finally Jude who’s a lawyer. After their graduation, they decide to move to New York and live there together. They always talk about their past and childhood, except Jude. No one knows anything about him, and where he came from, because he’s always been secretive about his past. However, throughout their years of friendship, Jude’s past will unfold, and it will affect each one of them in a way they’ve never expected.

Oh God, I don’t even know where to begin from. This book ruined me, and made me cry so much. When I started reading it, I thought it was going to be about the four of them, but it wasn’t. It was specifically about Jude. He had a tremendously horrible childhood, and I honestly can’t even describe how heartbreaking it was. What he had to go through was beyond painful, and sometimes I really had to put the book down, because his story was getting too much for me to handle. But, When he turned sixteen, his life changed and he had many amazing opportunities. He’s become a successful lawyer that everyone respected and feared. Regardless of his success, he found it hard to trust anyone, except Willem. He’s the only one who understood him and kept his secret. Now let’s talk about the others. I loved JB’s sense of humor and how he had something funny to say in every situation. And when It comes to Willem, at the beginning of the book we are told about his home town and his brother Hemming. And finally, Malcolm which there wasn’t much about his life. However, considering the fact of how huge this book is, I wished there was more about the three of them and not only Jude. Because technically, throughout the book we are only left with Jude and Willem. I also loved Jude’s professor, Harlod. He was so affectionate, kind, and giving to Jude, just like the father he’s never had. Despite how painfully tragic the end was, it is still one of those books that it’ll always stay with me. It is a story about love, friendship, and how they can change someone’s life forever. But, before you read this book, there are things that you have to take into consideration. This book talks about heavy topics in details. Like, physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. Also about mental illness, and self harming in a descriptive way. So please be aware of that. Finally, it’s such a profoundly written book with  unforgettable characters. Even though it was an emotionally draining  for me, it really touched me deeply in so many ways. And I’m glad that I gave this book a chance and read it.