Saturday, January 25, 2014

Book Spotlight~ Her by Felicia Johnson

Her by Felicia Johnson

In many ways, Kristen Elliott is a normal, seventeen-year-old girl. Kristen loves her family. She works hard academically, and tries to please her mother. She takes on the additional responsibility of caring for her twin siblings, Nick and Alison. She idealizes her best friend, Lexus, who not only seems to lead the perfect life, but also catches the attention of John, the boy Kristen secretly loves. However, as is the case with many teenagers, Kristen feels frustrated, isolated, and confused.

In other ways, Kristen is not like other kids her age. She knows something is wrong with her. Kristen feels like an utter failure. She is unable to please her abrasive mother, and scared to confront Jack, her abusive stepfather. She is also unable to protect Nick from Jack, making her fell all the more helpless. Adding to her problems, she knows she will never be as beautiful as her best friend Lexus. Kristen finds solace in self-injury, and the company of Mr. Sharp, her imaginary friend who encourages her feelings of self-loathing.

After a failed suicide attempt, Kristen is placed in the Bent Creek mental hospital, where she is diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. While in the hospital, she meets a group of peers suffering with their own mental illnesses, and a compassionate staff of doctors and counselors. From there, Kristen begins her journey to survival. She discovers the circumstances that brought her to this breaking point, struggles to understand her mental illness, and fights to be a survivor against her own worst enemy: her self-blame.

Kristen’s tale of endurance illustrates the complex illness of Borderline Personality Disorder. Readers – including those suffering from BPD and their friends and family – can glean insight into the illness from Kristen’s humanity. Her story is an example of how, if we try to push the past away, we are either doomed to repeat it or let it haunt us to our graves.



From under his strands of hair, I could see his lips shivering and his teeth chattering. He hugged himself tightly and bunched his knees to his chest.
“I didn’t hear you come in,” I told Mr. Sharp.
He wouldn’t look up at me.
“Are you afraid?” I asked him.
He didn’t answer.
I felt the blood drip down my finger. I pulled my hand out of my pocket, and the sharp butterfly fell into the palm of my bloody hand. Mr. Sharp stayed crouched up on the seat. He looked at my hand and his shivering lips would not give me that smile I was waiting for.
“What’s wrong? I need you! Help me!”He bit down on his lip and kept his head low. He wouldn’t let me see his eyes.
I pressed the sharp butterfly wing to my hand and twisted the wing into my palm. I screamed in pain as I twisted and made the blood squeeze out.
“You said you’d be there for me! You said you’d help me breathe! I need to breathe! Mr.
Sharp! Mr. Sharp, please don’t leave me!”
“You have to stop,” he whispered hoarsely.
“You have to stop,” he repeated.
“I can’t! I can’t breathe. The ball keeps turning, and it’s hard for me to breathe.”
Mr. Sharp turned away from me and, without opening the door, he stepped outside into the
pouring rain. He started walking towards the bridge that led to the highway. I began to open the driver’s side door when Mom’s cell phone rang. I looked down and saw that Mom was calling from her office. The phone rang continuously. She was calling because it was
after 3:00pm, and Nick had promised he would call her if I wasn’t there on time. I looked at the phone, and then out the window that had begun to fog. Mr. Sharp was still on the path to the bridge.
I slammed the door shut when I was out of the car, and I ran as fast as I could in the pouring rain to get to him. When I caught up with him, he was at the top of the bridge, looking down from the overpass.
Mr. Sharp kept his head low as he yelled over the noise of the traffic. “Jack was right!”
“No! He was never right!”“Yes, he was! You got what you deserved, Kristen, because you failed! He’s going to come back and he’s going to show you! You’ll see! She’s going to take him back!”
“She wouldn’t do that!”
“Yes, she would, if she knew that it would get rid of you! You are useless! You are ugly! You
are a loser!”“Why?” I screamed out to him.
A car horn honked loud enough to make me jump. I had somehow walked out into traffic.
The car swerved and passed me.




Twitter @herthebook or



Book Trailers: The Pain -

and The Hope -

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