by Lacey London
2017. 224 pages.
Series: Anxiety Girl, Book 1
Genre: Contemporary, Mental Health Awareness
Final Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
One in four people will be affected by mental health issues at some point in their lives, but it couldn’t happen to you, could it?
Sadie Valentine is just like you and I, or so she was…
After a series of unfortunate events in her life, Sadie finds herself in a dark hole that seems impossible to crawl out of.
Once a normal-ish woman, mental illness wasn’t something that she really thought about, but when the three evils, anxiety, panic and depression creep into her life, Sadie wonders if she will ever see the light again.
Set in the glitzy and glamorous Cheshire village of Alderley Edge, Anxiety Girl is a story surrounding the struggles of a beautiful young woman who thought she had it all.
Lacey London has spoken publicly about her own struggles with anxiety and hopes that Sadie will help other sufferers realize that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
First Sentence, Chapter 1:
‘You have the most beautiful eyes I’ve ever seen.’
I am so grateful for this book! As someone who has suffered from depression and anxiety for as long as I can remember, I found the main character’s plight all too easy to relate to. It would be awesome if there were more books available like this to raise mental health awareness!
Sadie Valentine lives a comfortable life. As a result of her mother winning the lottery, Sadie lives in an upscale apartment and enjoys the finer things in life. Things aren’t all fine dining and shopping sprees for Sadie, however. Her fiancée suddenly breaks things off with her, the venue that displays and sells her artwork decides to cut their business ties, her BFF/roommate is moving out, her group of friends are a bunch of shallow, self-absorbed, gold-digging bitches— one of which is ‘talking’ to her ex-fiancée, she discovers the father that abandoned her as an infant has moved on and started a family that doesn’t include her, and her mother is cold, distant, and uncaring.
Anxiety Girls does an excellent job describing the panic attacks that an anxiety overload brings and the feelings of emptiness and hopelessness that come with the depression territory. Not only is this great in that people who are suffering from anxiety can relate, but it is also a great way for those of us who have trouble explaining to friends and family what we are going through to finally get them to understand. “Hey, you want a better idea of what I’m going through? Read this book!”
Sadie doesn’t advertise her issues to anyone for most of the book, opting instead to keep all of her feelings bottled up; which just makes things worse. Her three female friends that are beyond fake and annoying, represents (at least from my perspective) society and how it treats mental illness. Sadie herself seems in denial because mental illness is such a taboo word, not to mention society has brainwashed her into believing that there’s no need to mope around about things because there is always someone out there who has it worse. Well, that may be true, but that doesn’t make someone like Sadie’s negative feelings and experiences any less valid. You don’t get to deny yourself what you’re feeling simply because it would make you appear weak or ungrateful for the things that you’ve got going for you. I see that kind of attitude every single day out there in the world and it irks me to no end. “There’s always someone out there who has it worse” can be a very dangerous and self-destructive mindset.
So… getting back to Sadie, her only support is her best friend, Aldo. I loved Aldo’s character so much! He sticks with Sadie through it all, even when she is doing everything she can to push him away. Support from people like Aldo is so important for someone suffering from anxiety and/or depression to have. I would like to think that if I had an Aldo in my life, I would stand a much better chance of keeping those inner demons in check. I found that I envied Sadie not so much for her lavish lifestyle, but for her close friendship with Aldo. I would give anything if I had a friend like that! I hope to see him again in Book 2!
I feel that this book has a great message, which is you are not alone and don’t be afraid to get help. I look forward to reading the rest of the books in this series! I did find that Sadie’s anxiety seemed to be more of a short-term issue, rather than the long-term that I have lived. As this is just the first book in a series, however, I think it will be revealed later that Sadie’s anxiety spiraling out of control isn’t as short-termed as she may have initially thought.
I discovered the author, Lacey London on Twitter and have always enjoyed reading her tweets. I knew when I saw the book cover and title of this book that I had to check it out! I guess I could say I felt it calling to me. I’m so glad that I discovered the Anxiety Girl series!
They say the eyes are the window to the soul, but mine seem so distant, so cut off from reality and so closed to the outside world.
As it turns out, absolutely nothing lasts forever. Everything has to come to an end eventually, whether we like it or not. We’re all aware of that deep down, we just don’t want to believe it. Instead, we bury our heads in the sand and pretend it won’t ever happen, all the while knowing that it will.
A part of me believes that if I can hold it together until the memory fades, then it never really happened.
As time passes, I genuinely struggle to separate what actually happened from the film reel I’ve built up in my mind.
Sometimes I ask myself what’s worse, knowing how badly you want something, or knowing that you can never have it?
You’ve never truly grieved for something, until you have grieved alone…
They say home is where the heart is, only my heart has been hollow for quite some time.
Maybe this is how people live their lives, putting on a show just to fit in.
Regardless of what horrendous things happen to you, people might offer a few sympathetic words or an understanding cuddle, but they continue with their lives no matter what you’re going through.
The trees have finally lost their leaves. One by one they have turned brown at the edges and gently floated to the ground. Like a snake shedding its skin, the trees just let go of parts of them they’ve carried for so long.
If these past few months have taught me anything, it’s that absolutely nothing can keep you safe from yourself.
A sinking ship has more chance of staying afloat if you throw out the things that are weighing it down…
‘If these past couple of months have taught me anything, it’s that life’s too short for regrets. We can’t change the past, so we have to accept that at one time, things like tattoos were exactly what we wanted.’