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In Giving Up we meet two young men. Dylan, who is literally on the verge of giving up, and Dan, who refuses to let him.
GIVING UP by Michelle Engardt
Publication Date: February 21, 2018 Publisher: Less Than Three Press Genre: LGBTQIA, Romance Length: 63 000 words Story Rating: 5/ 5
I’m so glad this book was written. It dealt with real and very difficult subjects, suicide, depression, anxiety, coming to terms with your sexuality. Topics that as a society we often ignore. It was brave of Michelle to take on so many difficult topics. These topics were discussed with beautifully brutal honesty. Fair warning, this book will break your heart … and then put it all back together.
Self harm wasn’t cool, mental illness wasn’t romantic, and depression wasn’t a phase that expired if given time.
That is what you need to remember if you read this book. It was real, at times it was downright painful. We’re joining Dylan on a personal and very difficult journey and we should feel some of his pain. I appreciate the way the author put it all out there without dressing it up and romanticizing it. I think it’s important; we should feel uncomfortable when we read about uncomfortable topics. Whether or not it should be, mental health is an uncomfortable topic.
This book is written in the third person from Dylan’s perspective. At the beginning of the book, he takes us with him as he attempts suicide. He shares his problems, his doubts and his commitment to ending his life. He shares his disappointment and frustration when he wakes up in the hospital. The worst/ best part is, I was right there with him, feeling the utter hopelessness and defeat he was feeling. It’s no secret, I connect with pretty much every character I read, but I rarely connect with them in the prologue like I did with Dylan.
A little while later, we meet Dan, who refuses to give up on Dylan. They form a friendship. We get to watch Dylan as he goes through all the trials of depression. Best of all, we get to watch as he realizes he’s not alone, that Dan is there for him.
This was not a fun, happy read. For better or worse, I was on this journey with Dylan. I felt all the ups and downs, the uncertainty, the insecurity, the anxiety. My heart broke, more times than I can count. But, in the end, the book left me with a smile.
Overall, Giving Up is a story about resiliency. A refreshing change from the Cinderella stories I typically read. I found the story eye opening and I think it’s a worthwhile read for anyone.