Review: The Existence of Amy – Lana Grace Riva

My rating: 4/5 stars

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Amy has a normal life. That is, if you were to go by a definition of ‘no immediate obvious indicators of peculiarity’, and you didn’t know her very well. She has good friends, a good job, a nice enough home. This normality, however, is precariously plastered on top of a different life. A life that is Amy’s real life. The only one her brain will let her lead.

My thoughts

I was very grateful to be contacted by Lana to review The Existence of Amy in exchange for an honest review.

Mental health is a topic needs to be spoken about openly and I am happy that this novel gave such an insight. However, this novel is not the easiest read, at points I just wanted to cry for Amy as you could see just how much her mental health was affecting everyday tasks that I would think nothing of. The novel is well written and as a reader I was put into Amy’s shoes and felt all of her emotions and struggles with her.

The plot for this novel is kept fairly simple as the author chooses to focus more on Amy and her struggles with her mental health than an intense plot. It allows the reader to fully understand Amy and her daily struggles with her mental health. Fortunately, I have personally not suffered with my mental health to the extent that Amy has so such a strong focus on this was very interesting and insightful.

I connected straight away with Amy even though I couldn’t relate to all of her experiences and I think this is down to a great writing style. I liked that it was written in the first person and I think that was a great decision by the author as it made me feel so much closer to Amy and her struggles.

This novel may be a slightly heavy read to start with I finished the novel with hope for Amy. At first I felt that Amy had no one who really understood her and yet as the novel progresses you see that this isn’t the case. Throughout the novel Amy has her very low moments and yet the author still manages to balance these with moments of great hope for Amy.

Although this novel is only short, it is not a novel that I will forget easily. I have never read a novel that deals so openly with mental health issues and I hope to read more novels like this. I was gripped by Amy’s story and her struggles and I think that is great testament to the way that this novel has been written. I would recommend this to everyone who will not be triggered by the topics of OCD, depression and anxiety. One thing I would say is to read a more lighthearted novel after!

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