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Teen Book Review

Get Well Soon by Julie Halpern

Rating 3

Reviewed by Courtney, Spencer TAB

What does a girl do when her parents abandon her at a teen mental hospital with only a few clothes and the lack of her beloved music? Well, she falls in love of course! Told through the eyes of a confused teen, readers get a glimpse into the world of mental health with the fantastic addition of teenage sarcasm. Anna Bloom, the main character of Get Well Soon is very lovable despite the times where her characterization can be a bit flimsy and immature. Readers will laugh at the humorous hospital staff. This book is sure to make readers see mental health in a new light. In a world where mental health is often stigmatized, the characters of Halpern’s book redraw all the lines. The love interest in the story, Justin, has a sense of mystery about him and Halpern leaves readers guessing about this character until the end. The scenes and characters in this book can be both incredibly funny as well as sad. A book based, at least partially, on Halpern's own experiences makes the story believable. This epistolary story is a short, quick read.

Recommendations: I would recommend this book for teens in junior high or high school. Although dealing with the potentially tough subject of mental health issues, Halpern keeps the story light enough for younger readers. Teens of this age may relate well with Anna as she faces some of the awkward situations that this age group faces. As she grapples with questions like- how does a girl tell if a guy likes her? And, how does one kiss said guy? As well as questions dealing with identity, hardships, and true friendship.  Readers who enjoy Get Well Soon should also keep an eye out for the sequel Have a Nice Day.

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