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Title: Hello Me, it’s You
Author: Anonymous, Hannah Todd (Editor)
Rating: 4/5

Blurb (taken from Goodreads):

“Keep smiling and being you. Don’t let the world change you”

Hello Me, it’s You is a collection of letters by young adults aged 17-24 about their experiences with mental health issues. The letters are written to their 16-year-old selves, giving beautifully honest advice, insight and encouragement for all that lays ahead of them.

This book was produced by the Hello Me, it’s You charity, set up by the editor, Hannah. Hannah was diagnosed with depression and anxiety whilst at university and found comfort in talking to friends about their experiences, realising she was not alone in her situation. This inspired the idea for the charity and book. Through the creation of materials such as this, the charity aims to provide reassurance for young adults (and their families) who are experiencing mental health issues and give a voice to young adults on such an important topic. The result of that will hopefully be a reduction in the negative stigma surrounding mental health and an increase in awareness of young people’s experiences. All profits go the Hello Me, it’s You charity, for the production of future supportive books.

Trigger warning: Due to it’s nature, the content of this book may be triggering. Contains personal experiences of depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, trichotillomania and other mental health issues, as well as issues such as assault.

“…both beautiful and necessary” Sarah Franklin

***

Review:

For many sixteen year olds who are struggling with personal issues such as the ones mentioned above, this book could save their lives. I’m just echoing what other people have said, here, but it’s such an important collection of stories. To everyone who submitted a letter and especially to those who took the time to personally reflect on their experience and to share all these details with the entire world: you are beyond brave. You have made me reflect on what I could tell my sixteen year old self. You have made me study how far I’ve come from the girl I was in high school, on the choices that made me who I am today, and on the mistakes I’ve made. Needless to say, I wish these had been collected and published eight years ago, but hey.

Although this book deals with heavy subject matters, it contains an overwhelmingly positive message: it gets better. Life gets easier. Accept the help that is offered to you. It’s a book that every high school library should keep on hand to help out struggling youth, just like the Chicken Soup series has helped me all these years ago.  

However, I did find that by the 20th letter, the stories were blurring into one another for me, and I could barely differentiate one experience from the next. I think a better diversity could’ve been achieved by enlarging the age group of the writers and adding individuals with more life experience to the mix. Also, I believe that this is the type of book that you pick up when you are having an off day, and it is not meant to be read in one sitting (like I attempted).

“Hello Me, it’s You” is also a charity. Their mandate is very dear to me, and I urge you to purchase a copy of the book if you are interested in reading it. The money is going toward a good cause!

I’d like to thank Netgalley and the publisher for the free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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