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Closer to Okay

Rating 3 out of 5

Trigger Warning: self harm, mental health issues, mental institution, suicide

Kyle Davies is doing fine, she has a routine developed after years working as baker, a routine which is comfortable. It's almost enough to make her forget the scars on wrist, that she lost her job at the bakery, and that she checked herself into inpatient at the Hope House. Recently, her to-do list has expanded to watching the coffee shop across the street. Mostly this involves staring at Jackson the shop's owner. Kyle is allowed to leave 2 hours everyday and decides to use this time to get to know Jackson. She quickly learns he is a jerk with a heart of gold. Kyle is quickly drawn to him; though Dr. Booth warns her against any romantic involvement at this point in her recovery. Kyle thinks its nice to be taken care of for once, but soon must confront the reality that maybe Dr. Booth was right about relationships.

So this book covers some really heavy topics and sometimes it seemed like they weren't taken as seriously as they should have been. I think this was just the way Kyle was written; she seems very ambivalent about her mental health. Even though she has some serious depression and abandonment issues. My main issue with this book is the relationship with Jackson. I think rather than focus on her mental health Kyle projects a bunch of things onto Jackson and decides she is in love. Despite Jackson saying that neither are in a place for this to work. Of course as the novel progresses even this resistance shifts some. I would have given this book 4 stars without the romantic involvement aspect. I enjoyed that the book delved into mental health and provided a unique perspective but I just felt that the romantic element overshadowed some great elements of acceptance and healing for Kyle. However, if you are one who likes to read books about mental health you should read this one because it was different from most others that I have read.

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