Book Review | Things to Do When It’s Raining by Marissa Stapley

Authour:
Marissa Stapley
Format:
eGalley
Publication date:
February 6th 2018
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster Canada
Source:
Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Review:
Marissa Stapley’s debut, Mating for Life was an interesting read and after being asked to do the cover reveal for Things To Do When It’s Raining I was excited for her latest book. Recommended for fans of Nicholas Sparks, I can definitely understand the appeal of Things To Do When It’s Raining. After all, there are childhood sweethearts, forbidden love and of course families complicated by secrets.

However, the romance isn’t the main focus of Things To Do When It’s Raining. Instead, told from various perspectives, readers receive all sorts of hints regarding the complicated family history of both Mae and Gabe. And while the stories are compelling, the various chapters felt a bit jumbled up and confusing after some time. Understandably, although this may be due to both Lilly and George’s old age and deteriorating state of mind it made it difficult to connect with either of their stories. As for Mae and Gabe, I adored their relationship and wished it received more time, especially since the epilogue glosses over what could’ve been a compelling story of how their relationship evolved over time.

Stapley’s writing as always is incredibly vivid and descriptive and it’s always refreshing to witness her approach serious topics in a realistic and occasionally heartbreaking way in her books. I also love the quirkiness that is infused into the story, for example, in Things To Do When It’s Raining each chapter starts with a suggestion of actual activities the characters can do on days where it’s raining making it an amusing nod to the title of the book.

Things To Do When It’s Raining is a quick read, however, I personally felt that I was given an abundance of little clues and details that did not truly add up to anything conclusive. In the end, it felt truly like nothing happened or was revealed despite the massive information overload. And while this made it the story more true to reality, it felt unsatisfying to me. Nevertheless, Things To Do When It’s Raining is well-written and would make for an excellent cozy read.

Regardless of how this book came into my possession, the above review consists of my honest opinion of the book and my opinion only.

Book Review | How Can I Help? A Week in My Life as a Psychiatrist by David Goldbloom & Pier Bryden

howhelpAuthour:
David Goldbloom and Pier Bryden
Format:
ARC, 367 pages
Publication date:
February 23rd 2016
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster Canada
Source:
Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Review:
You are not alone. These words are something we take for granted and it’s only when mental illness hits close to home and we reach out that we realize how true these words ring. Mental illness has touched my life in several ways, I’ve had friends and sibling of friends suffer from depression, bipolar illness and schizophrenia. My brother tried to kill himself multiple times in his first and second year of university and both my sister and I have suffered from severe anxiety in the past. Furthermore, with my educational background in psychology, mental illness has always been a topic of interest for me.

I’m sure that the majority of people may already be aware of statistics shows that 1 in 5 Canadians deal with mental illness each year, mental illness is quite commonplace. Today, I feel that people are more open to sharing their experiences with mental illness with others. However, as seen in Dr. David Goldbloom’s How Can I Help? we still have a long way to go when it comes to reducing the stigma associated with mental illness in addition to how it’s dealt with in our society.

What I appreciated with regards to How Can I Help? A Week in My Life as a Psychiatrist by David Goldbloom and Pier Bryden are how the book is written in an entertaining and accessible manner. The other thing is how the book is structured to illustrate a week in the life of a psychiatrist. There are numerous misconceptions concerning what psychiatrists do, it’s enlightening to hear from an actual psychiatrist what their job essentially entails.

As a result of the book’s structure we get a glimpse at the various types of patients that require psychiatric assistance. Furthermore, I liked how we catch glimpses of Dr. Goldbloom’s life outside work and his background in addition to brief social, historical and cultural background on psychiatry practices and research. Psychiatrists and other doctors are people too, and I appreciated how the book acknowledges that they are not invulnerable to biases and human emotions.

There is much that I can say regarding mental illness and this book, however in order to keep this review brief I will that I believe this book is one that every person should read. After all, in a society where stigma remains when it comes to mental illness, it is vital that we all take the time to educate ourselves so that we can not only support those in our lives who are suffering from mental illness, but also take care of our own mental health.

Regardless of how this book came into my possession, the above review consists of my honest opinion of the book and my opinion only.