I decided to pick up a book to read from the National Library and this book was so amazingly written that I decided to write a book review for this book that I have read – please pardon my first attempt on a book review. 😉 Special Thanks to http://www.book-review-circle.com/book-review-guidelines.html on its guidelines on writing a book review! 🙂
Name of the Book: Cracked; Not Broken – Surviving and Thriving After a Suicide Attempt
Name of the Author: Kevin Hines http://www.kevinhinesstory.com/
Summary: At the age of 19, Kevin was diagnosed suffering from a bipolar mental disorder with voices in his head telling him that he had to die in which he believed in. Consequently, with that in mind, he attempted to take his own life by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge – the world’s most familiar iconic structure of San Francisco, a distance that would take him 4 seconds to fall. After leaping off the bridge, he realized that he did not want to die. Despite the fall that broke his body, he still fought hard to stay alive in the water and miraculously got saved by a marine mammal that was in the water. The story followed him through his first stay-in after he got rescued; how a close relative encouraged him to be a public speaker advocating for mental disorders. Despite his mental breakdowns after his first suicide attempt, he still had a very strong will to recover while making a difference to others by being a health advocate by sharing his experiences. This book also shared the importance of family support and concern towards a mental patient’s journey of being well again.
Social/Historical Context: The author’s purpose of writing the book was to share that it is essential to show concern and support for mental patients towards the road of recovery. The author wanted to let his readers know that living mentally well takes time, endurance, hardwork and support from loved ones. With this fields in place, those living with very difficult lives can achieve better lives for themselves as well as for those who support and care for them.
Writing Style: This is a very good book that narrated the various scenes from the first person point-of-view about things that were going through the author’s mind before his suicide attempt, miraculous survival and recovery; falling back into his old ways and back to recovery again. Throughout the years, with the support from his family and friends, he felt determined to recover from his illness in order to live a better life. With that, he became a public speaker by sharing his personal stories with many that saved them from taking their own lives. The words that were used described the author’s experiences very well in a narrative manner that allows the readers to have a deeper understanding of what the author was experiencing the whole time.
My Thoughts: Being one of USA’s iconic structures, the Golden Gate Bridge looked like something magnificent and never would have I thought that people would actually take on their lives at the bridge. This was my first time reading about suicide attempts with a miraculous survival on it. I enjoyed reading this book because I have always been interested in knowing the main cause of mental patients in their attempt to take on their lives. It made the book more interesting to read as the author survived from a suicide attempt following with many recovery periods at the same time displaying his resilience and determination to being well again.
On top of understanding a mental patient’s thinking, I believe that it is also important to be aware of things that are happening around us and empathize as our actions may impact someone’s life or even put a stop to things from happening. There was a part in the book whereby Kevin was on his way for his suicide attempt and he mentioned that if there was somebody on the bus/train that noticed him crying and asked him how was he – he would have put a stop to the things that he was going to do (jump off the Golden Gate Bridge). I feel that this are small things that could be done that we can possibly put a stop to things that can/might happen and save somebody’s life.