A teen fiction debut that’s a little bit BRIDGET JONES, a little bit GIRL, INTERRUPTED — a funny (yes, funny) novel that takes place in a mental hospital.
Anna Bloom is depressed—so depressed that her parents have committed her to a mental hospital with a bunch of other messed-up teens. Here she meets a roommate with a secret (and a plastic baby), a doctor who focuses way too much on her weight, and a cute, shy boy who just might like her.
But wait! Being trapped in a loony bin isn’t supposed to be about making friends, losing weight, and having a crush, is it?
In her fiction debut, Julie Halpern finds humor in the unlikeliest of places, and presents a character whose voice—and heart—will resonate with all of us who have ever felt just a little bit crazy.
JULIE HALPERN is the author of Into the Wild Nerd Yonder and Don’t Stop Now, as well as the picture book Toby and the Snowflakes. In addition to writing, Julie is a middle-school librarian. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, lived in Australia for six months, and created a couple of zines before she started writing books, and realized she was and always has been a writer. She is married to the artist Matthew Cordell, and they live outside Chicago with their daughter and gloriously large Siamese cat, Tobin.
“I completely fell in love with Anna Bloom’s voice—it’s wry, romantic, and so, so true.” —Gabrielle Zevin, author of Elsewhere
“An upbeat story that offers a hype-free, realistic look inside a teen ward . . . As the novel progresses, readers will get a kick out of Anna’s snarky sense of humor and her capacity for self-renewal.” —Publishers Weekly
“[Anna] is endearing as a caustic damsel in distress. With Anna down the hall, landing in the ‘loony bin’ just might be a whole lot of fun.” —Chicago Tribune
“A funny novel about depression. That’s the welcome, endearing product Julie Halpern offers readers . . . a never-didactic message about emotional growth and psychic healing.” —Kirkus Reviews Best Young-Adult Books 2007
“Debut author Halpern drew from her own teen experiences with depression, and Anne’s voice, filled with spot-on musings, sarcasm, slang, and swearing, is uproariously funny and authentic . . . Many teens will connect with the vague anxiety that lands Anna in treatment as well as her subtle, realistic sense that her life is her own to value and shape.” —Booklist
“. . . funny, easygoing prose . . . an appealingly comic cousin of Carolyn Mackler’s The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things.” —Kirkus Reviews
“There is a lovely sweetness in the blooming relationship between Anna and Justin . . . Halpern creates a narrative that reflects the changes in Anna with each passing day that includes self-reflection and a good dose of humor. Readers will cheer for Anna as she gains confidence in herself, dares to rebel a little, and gets well as she goes back to her life.” —VOYA