Wednesday, March 9, 2011

How I Made it to Eighteen: A Mostly True Story by Tracy White

Stacy has some issues, which is probably why she's at Golden Meadows mental hospital. She has self-esteem issues, drug issues, trust issues, self-image issues, eating issues, relationship issues... In other words she has a lot to work on. Delving into Stacy's past through 'interviews' with her friends, flashbacks of Stacy's memories, and seeing her progression with actual nurse and therapist notes, you slowly see through the walls that Stacy has put up to keep others out and find yourself caring for a deeply troubled young woman. And bear in mind, as Tracy White puts it, all of the stories in this book are at least 95% true.

It took a while for me to get into this. You might have noticed that I'm not a 'serious issues' reader. I'm more than a little OK with admitting I generally like my stories fluffy. But this one I felt that I needed to plow through (probably to keep up with Arianna), I'm glad that I did. Stacy/Tracy's story sneaks up on you, while at first she comes across as just an angry angsty teen with ridiculous amounts of issues you slowly see how these things developed and the environment that allowed them to fester. It makes you want to sit and listen to her story for a little longer, not because you are wishing for a happy ending but rather because you care and want to sit with this character and listen as a friend. I kind of felt like the character of Stacy weaseled her way into my psyche and made me empathetic to her experience. I guess I have to give the 'serious issues' genre another chance.

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