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  • Insightful, heart-wrenching and eye-opening

    Beautiful memoir that illustrates how mental health issues can have devastating consequences. Trigger warning: eating disorder, drug use, sexual abuse and suicide attempt. I was captivated by Keri Blakinger's story from the first page. The dichotomy she paints of her life as an aspiring Olympic figure skater and straight A college student versus her life battling internal struggles with mental health, eating disorders and drug use is both heart wrenching and eye opening. It poses the question: how many other over-achieving paragons are going through similar struggles behind closed doors and why isn't today's healthcare system prioritizing made mental health? Keri's drug use eventually lands her in jail and that is where the bulk of the story lies. Not only does she shed light on daily prison life, its injustices and systemic racism but she also demonstrates how quasi-impossible it is to get out of the system if you aren't a privileged Caucasian person. Being one herself, Keri explains how she managed to finish her degree and how she fights the to even the odds. Like a phoenix rising out of the ashes the author has managed to write an insightful memoir proving that it is never too late to get your life in order and she does so with vulnerability and not a single ounce of martyrdom. She writes with honesty (and a dash of humour) to educate people about the broken prison system without sounding preachy. I gave it 4 stars as I found some of the transitions between timelines to be a little confusing.

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