The Apology Box by Naomi Ulsted. Blog Tour Review

4.5 stars

Thanks to The Book Review Crew and Naomi Ulsted for granting me early access to this wonderful book.

This is a contemporary drama for YA readers that wouldn’t do any harm to adults. Here’s the summary:

First of all, I’d love to say that I’m not generally that fond of contemporary because it tends to be focused on romance and this one has some because it’s part of life, but this aspect is never our main focus. When the romance appeared, I swore everything would take a turn and it would be a case of saved princess by blue prince. I was wrong.

Tessa is 17 and finding it incredibly hard to forgive herself and, after years of a loss that shook her whole family, she has not been able to forgive her mother either, which is just adding to everybody’s pain and making it impossible for her to deal with the hardships coming her way, even though there are beautiful people around her who are trying really hard to be there and give her their hand.

I found the book to be character driven, especially focused on their emotions and how these lead to behaviours that would affect themselves even for life and their future relationships with life, others and nature itself.

It shows how, when you don’t love yourself enough or cannot forgive yourself, anything and everything you do is directed towards pushing away those things and feelings from others you believe you’re not worthy of. Mental health should not be ignored or thought of as lees important. We have to stop thinking going to psychotherapy is for those who are crazy. We are all crazy in that sense. Nobody’s head is perfect because the system is too complex not to have problems. We all need help and, as we go to the doctor when we have a physical symptom, we should go to the psychologist when there’s something that’s not ok in our head. Let’s normalise psychotherapy!

Now, on this regard, the book could be misleading. Depression is not the main cause for suicide or self-harm. Borderline Personality Disorder is. If you need more information on this or want me to make a post on the topic, please let me know in the comments, but be clear on this issue, because this disorder is the most misdiagnosed one.

Characters are incredibly well portrayed. They’re likeable or hateable, real with all their flaws and mistakes, relatable. I felt so close to Tessa because the feelings she has are much closer to BPD than those of depression or anxiety. These two appear to be features of the disorder in this case. This made me cry and laugh with her throughout the story, even though I’m 39 and she’s 17. I loved her relationship with Effby, my favourite character in this book by far.

TW: anxiety, depression, loss, self-harm, BPD, death of a child.

There’s just one thing I found not believable in the romance, that she makes comments that are too much for the first time you meet a person. He’s working on her car, which is why they meet, and after a very brief encounter in the car shop, she seems to be deeply in love and not be able to live without him. And again, this would be normal in a person suffering from BPD.

The writing style was perfect for me. The author has a great sense of humour, the style made it a quick and easy read without making it simplistic and helped the reader get closer to the characters’ emotions.

I’d highly recommend this book if the trigger warnings are not an issue for you. It’s totally worth it and helped me think of ways to forgive myself.

Let’s also raise awareness on mental health, suicide and BPD!!

Bear hugs!

Anne

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