Her Tour Stop!!


In many ways, Kristen Elliott is a normal, seventeen-year-old girl. Kristen loves her family. She works hard academically, and tries to please her mother. She takes on the additional responsibility of caring for her twin siblings, Nick and Alison. She idealizes her best friend, Lexus, who not only seems to lead the perfect life, but also catches the attention of John, the boy Kristen secretly loves. However, as is the case with many teenagers, Kristen feels frustrated, isolated, and confused.In other ways, Kristen is not like other kids her age. She knows something is wrong with her. Kristen feels like an utter failure. She is unable to please her abrasive mother, and scared to confront Jack, her abusive stepfather. She is also unable to protect Nick from Jack, making her fell all the more helpless. Adding to her problems, she knows she will
never be as beautiful as her best friend Lexus. Kristen finds solace in self-injury, and the company of Mr. Sharp, her imaginary friend who encourages her feelings of self-loathing.

After a failed suicide attempt, Kristen is placed in the Bent Creek mental hospital, where she is diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. While in the hospital, she meets a group of peers suffering with their own mental
illnesses, and a compassionate staff of doctors and counselors. From there, Kristen begins her journey to survival. She discovers the circumstances that brought her to this breaking point, struggles to understand her mental illness, and fights to be a survivor against her own worst enemy: her self-blame.

Kristen’s tale of endurance illustrates the complex illness of Borderline Personality Disorder. Readers – including those suffering from BPD and their friends and family – can glean insight into the illness from Kristen’s humanity. Her
story is an example of how, if we try to push the past away, we are either doomed to repeat it or let it haunt us to our graves.


I feel that by me reading and rating this book is not really fair. This book touched way to close to home for me. Everything that happened in this book (well almost everything) I went through with someone very close to me. That being said, I will admit that the author was DEAD ON with her description of what a residential treatment center was like and what happens beyond those four walls.

In this book we meet Kristin who is a very tortured soul who also has a mental illness. We follow her journey through a botched suicide attempt, her treatment in residential care, and a small peek of her life afterwards. She felt alone in her grief and suffering and used cutting as a method to deal with this. I know there are tons of teenagers that also go through this and my heart breaks every time I hear or read about one. I feel this would be a great read for a younger girl who may be dealing with these emotions or a parent who is new to this sort of thing. I felt that maybe the beginning of the book was too preachy, as in describing everything that goes on in the treatment center and such, and didn’t focus enough on how Kristen was really feeling. To be honest, in the beginning, I had a really hard time getting into this book. That is why I feel it wasn’t fair for me. I knew all this stuff already having gone through it. I am sure someone who has not been through this would find it very interesting and would hold their attention. The one thing I did want to hear more about wasn’t really explained as well and that was Borderline Personality Disorder. It interested me enough to do some research about it on my own however.

I found it troubling that it seemed all of Kristin’s friends were so perfect. But then I thought, maybe it was the disease that made her mind make them so perfect? Everything I thought I understood sort of went out the window once she was diagnosed and made me wonder if her idea of what was reality was a bit askew.

“Lexus and I lived on the same planet, but we were from different worlds.”

I did enjoy watching Kristen open up to her doctors and the counselors slowly over her course of treatment. The author also didn’t use the “oh she is getting help so everything is all sunshine and rainbows now.” She had deep troubles and one week and a new medication wasn’t just going to help her. Another thing I wish had been explored further was the abrupt leaving of Dr. Cuvo. It was alluded at as to why he had to leave however I guess I just needed it spelled out for me. Overall, I think this is a great read for a younger group. I would definitely classify it as young adult to a point although it deals with some deep subjects. But overall, we learn that what really matters is the will to live.

“Now I see what being a survivor really is. It’s not giving up. It’s not running away. It’s getting through whatever it is you have to get through to make it.”
From under his strands of hair, I could see his lips shivering and his teeth chattering. He hugged himself tightly and bunched his knees to his chest.
“I didn’t hear you come in,” I told Mr. Sharp.
He wouldn’t look up at me.
“Are you afraid?” I asked him.
He didn’t answer.
I felt the blood drip down my finger. I pulled my hand out of my pocket, and the sharp butterfly fell into the palm of my bloody hand. Mr. Sharp stayed crouched up on the seat. He looked at my hand and his shivering lips would not
give me that smile I was waiting for.
“What’s wrong? I need you! Help me!”He bit down on his lip and kept his head low. He wouldn’t let me see his eyes.
I pressed the sharp butterfly wing to my hand and twisted the wing into my palm. I screamed in pain as I twisted and made the blood squeeze out.
“You said you’d be there for me! You said you’d help me breathe! I need to breathe! Mr. Sharp! Mr. Sharp, please don’t leave me!”
“You have to stop,” he whispered hoarsely.
“You have to stop,” he repeated.
“I can’t! I can’t breathe. The ball keeps turning, and it’s hard for me to breathe.”
Mr. Sharp turned away from me and, without opening the door, he stepped outside into the pouring rain. He started walking towards the bridge that led to the highway. I began to open the driver’s side door when Mom’s cell phone rang. I looked down and saw that Mom was calling from her office. The phone rang continuously. She was calling because it was after 3:00pm, and Nick had promised he would call her if I wasn’t there on time. I looked at the phone, and then out the window that had begun to fog. Mr. Sharp was still on the path to the bridge.
I slammed the door shut when I was out of the car, and I ran as fast as I could in the pouring rain to get to him. When I caught up with him, he was at the top of the bridge, looking down from the overpass.
Mr. Sharp kept his head low as he yelled over the noise of the traffic. “Jack was right!”
“No! He was never right!”“Yes, he was! You got what you deserved, Kristen, because you failed! He’s going to come back and he’s going to show you! You’ll see! She’s going to take him back!”
“She wouldn’t do that!”
“Yes, she would, if she knew that it would get rid of you! You are useless! You are ugly! You are a loser!”
“Why?” I screamed out to him.
A car horn honked loud enough to make me jump. I had somehow walked out into traffic.
The car swerved and passed me.
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Felicia Johnson is a writer, youth mentor, student, and big sister. She loves ice cream, and seeing her little sister, Laura, smile.