I picked this book up by chance; the dust cover was lost so I had no blurb to go by. I just read a few lines from the first page and was instantly hooked. Charlie Davis is 17, and a self-harmer, who has done great damage to herself. She is currently in a residential psychiatric hospital, being paid for by her estranged mother, with whom she’s had a troubled relationship. When the money for the hospital runs out, Charlie is released into the care of her mother, who swiftly abandons her barely two minutes after she is released, leaving Charlie to try and make a go of it on her own.
Charlie starts on the right track, she finds a flat and a job and along the way meets a variety of personalities, all of whom are battling their own demons. She gets sucked back into old habits and some sticky situations. This book is tough going in parts and is certainly not for the faint-hearted. I’ve a relatively tough constitution but even I found some paragraphs tough to read. It is graphic in is descriptions of drug and alcohol abuse, sexual encounters, self-harm and mental health but it gives great insight into how people end up with, and try to deal with, these issues. With 404 pages, this is not a small book but I managed to get through it in two nights. It is extremely captivating and very difficult to put down. I highly recommend it to anyone who likes a gritty and realistic read.
You can reserve a copy online at South Dublin Libraries’ catalogue here.