“I’m looking out from inside the chaos. It must be a one-way mirror because no one seems to be able to see back inside to where I am. The looks on their faces, the judgment in their eyes, tells me everything I need to know. The most frustrating part about the whole messed up situation is that even though I’m the one that they stare at in shock, I am just as shocked as they are. I know no more than they do of why I lose control. What they don’t know is that I am more scared of myself than they could ever be.” ~ Tally Baker
After a devastating turn of events, seventeen year old Tally Baker is admitted to Mercy Psychiatric Facility where she is diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. She has come to a place where she honestly believes that her life is over. Her mind tells her that she will never smile or laugh again, that she will never be normal again. It is in this unlikely place that she meets two people, different in every way, yet both critical to helping her realize that she has so much more living to do. Candy, a cantankerous sixty year old Mercy Psychiatric patient, is hell bent on driving everyone as crazy as she is. Candy shows Tally that, regardless of her diagnosis, the ability to push on and live her life to the fullest is her choice and hers alone. In the midst of Tally’s oftentimes humorous, sometimes heart-wrenching, escapades with Candy, a new patient is admitted to Mercy—a Native American woman named Lolotea. Along with this new patient comes a daily visitor, her son, Trey Swift. At first glance, it is obvious to Tally that he is incredibly handsome and unbelievably caring. But what she learns through her second glance, and many thereafter, is that there is much more to Trey than he ever lets on. It is during these daily visits that Trey and Tally build a friendship far deeper than either of them truly realize. With Trey, Tally feels for the first time since being admitted that someone is looking at her as a person and not as a disease. Trey begins to make it clear that he wants more than friendship, but she knows that she can never give him more. How can she, when she won’t even give him the truth? Tally doesn’t tell Trey that she is a patient at Mercy, and she doesn’t ever plan to. Her plans go up in flames when she finds out that Trey is a new student at her school, the school where her brokenness was found out in the floor of the girl’s bathroom in a pool of her own blood.
I usually like to do my reviews straight from reading, when my mind is fresh from the story. I have had to sleep on this one.
I have to tell you this story is unlike anything I've ever read, it literary knocked me on my ass. I sat staring at the screen of my kindle for at least 30 minutes, I couldnt speak, think or formulate any form of anything in my mind. It blew me away.
The story starts with Tally Baker a seventeen year old girl in high school and her best friend Natalie. One day whilst in class Tally loses her temper with the teacher and storms out of class into the bathrooms, where she starts to cut herself to alivate some of the emotional pain she is going through. At this point I thought the story was going to be about a girl who has a history of cutting herself, how wrong was I.
Tally is admitted into Mercy Phyicatric facility for two months were she is diagosnosed with Bipolar Disorder.
Mental Illness: A psychological pattern or anomaly, potentially reflected in behaviour, that is generally associated with distress or disability, and which is not considered part of the normal development of a person's culture. ~ Wikipedia.
While coming to terms with her bipolar and receiving help from Dr Stacey through therapy. Tally meets 60 year old Candy who is a long term patient, who does not tell Tally why she is there. One of Tally's thoughts of Candy is
"I can't help but laugh at her. Candy, a sixty year old woman, whining like a ten year old. Shouldn't be funny, but it was"
Tally and Candy help each other through it, Candy by causing all kinds of mischief, to help Tally live, and Tally helps Candy live.
After a few weeks a new patient is brought in a native american woman Lolotea Swift, who is suffering from schizophrenia. Lolotea has a seventeen year old son Trey. When Tally firsts spots Trey she hides behind a pool table, Trey is intrigued but concerned for his mum. One of my favourite quotes is
"Hold on to what is good, even if it's a handful of earth. Hold on to what you believe, even if it's but a simple tree that stands alone. Hold on to what you must do, even if it's a long way from where you are. Hold on to your life, even if it's easier to let go. Hold on to my hand, even if someday i'll be gone away from you" ~ Native American Prayer
I love this quote, I think for me this quote is so relevent to this story.
Tally doesn't tell Trey she is a patient in Mercy, and the beauty of that is that Trey doesn't know anything about Tally so takes her for who she is aiming to be, a fresh start. Tally thinks once Trey finds out about her Mental illness he will leave and then she will really fall apart. What Tally doesn't realise as time goes on is that Trey gets her, like really gets her.
"She is mine. She always has been, but now she has admitted it. With all the darkness and ugliness in my world, all my pain, and anger, she is my sun. She shines on me and warms the coldness that has slowly seeped into my body over time. If she is my sun, then I am her storm, washing away the stains with my rain, deafening the lies with my thunder, and crushing any who would hurt her with my lightening. She is mine as she has always been. " ~ Trey
Tally's parents aren't very supportive and find it hard to accept her bipolar. Even when she comes home, nothing changes, she still is left on her own all day. And its not until Tally faces more sadness, that her parents start to come round.
Tally and Trey's story is a love story like no other. They don't meet in the circumstances like other high school students. They see the bad first in each first or is it bad? How would it feel to meet someone and they find out everything you dont want to tell them, things you hide until you know them really well no never tell them. How different would it be if they found this out first warts and all, and they still want to stick around, so after that you can start knowing that the only bits are to come are the best bits.
I love everything about this book. Quinn has a magical ability when writing, the ablilty of transporting you right into the pages, so much so that you feel like your there, you experience what the characters are feeling. Everything about this book was right, I could say the pace was right, the story line. Like i usually do. But I dont need to. Because as a whole it's right.
This book touches you in a profound way, my heart broke for Tally going through all of that on her own with no support, except from Nataile and then Trey. I wanted to be in there with her saying Ive got your back.
Mental Illness is an invisible illness that people don't understand or want to understand. It's just that person who people say acts a bit strange, who puts on an act, who needs to snap out of it, its not even an illness. This is were people are wrong. We are all a bit strange in our own way, no ones perfect. So the next time we all see someone who maybe acting a bit strange think about it, they may need a friend.
This book is different to anything Quinn has wrote before. And I loved it.
I Love Quinn Lofis. I have read all of her books. The Grey wolves series and Elfin. And I Loved all of them. As a child i was a huge Enid Blyton fan reading books about elves, fairies, gnomes and enchanted woods in stories such as The Magic Far Away Tree and The Wishing Chair. For me Quinn loftis is my adult Enid Blyton. My secret pleasure. Reading a Quinn Loftis book feels like I've come home.
I am going to leave you with another one of my favourite quotes
" Smile for me and i will know that my life has meaning. Smile for me and I will see that all is not lost. When you smile for me, I am complete; I am found. " ~ Unknown
If there is only one book you buy this month its this one.
I cant tell you how freaking excited I am to do this interview thank you so much.
Tell us about you?
I'm 33, mother of an amazing 6yr old boy, and have been married to my best friend for almost 14 years. I was a nurse for 6 years and then started writing two years ago. I was able to quit nursing January of 2012 and have been writing full time ever since.
You have been writing awhile now, what was your inspiration behind writing your first book?
2 years. I love were wolves and love paranormal books. I have always love to write and had wanted to try my hand at a book for a long time but never tried. I had been reading teen paranormal like crazy and then one day just decided to give it a try. I never expected to be where I am today and I am so thankful to God and to the readers.
Do you have a "thing" you do to get you into the zone when writing?
Sometimes I might do a random writing story of something really silly like The Life of a Jelly Belly or just something to get my brain in the creative mode it needs to be, but usually I sit down and read the last 3 chapters I have written and just dive right in.
With the 7th book in the Grey Wolves series coming out soon, how many more books can we expect in that series? And what about Elfin?
There will be 8 books total in the GWS although book 7 will be the last one with all of the characters we know. Book 8 will be Vasile and Alina's story of how they met and came to be who they are.
Elfin I'm thinking at this point is going to be a trilogy. I originally planned for more than 3 but as the story evolves I just think stretching it beyond 3 will be beating a dead horse and we all know that beating a dead horse starts to stink over time.
Your new book Call Me Crazy was Amazing, Fantastic. What made you decide to write this story and share it with your fans?
Thank you! Well, I have struggled with Bipolar disorder since I was 20. It at times was a very dark road and other times it was chaotic beyond all reason. I guess part of the reason I wrote it was for myself, and the other part was for those who may not understand mental illness and the way it affects the person with it and those around them. It was a very difficult to write and i spent most days very depressed as I wrote it.
What age were you when you were diagnosed?
I was 21 when I was diagnosed, but it took several years to get me on the right meds to control it.
Is the book based on you and what you experienced ?
Most of the book is based on my experiences, the places and the relationships I developed in the book were fiction
Are the characters bases on people you have met?
No and Yes. Candy was not anyone I have ever known in my life. I think she was a manifestation of an alter ego (she totally says what I wish I could some days). Trey shares a lot of the same character (meaning moral fiber and strength) as my husband, who is my Trey essentially.
In the book Tally is encouraged to write in a journal, does writing help you?
Very much so. Writing is a way for me to get the words out that I can't speak. I am a much better communicator through the written word than I am vocally. (though I do like to talk...about anything really)
Who is your favourite character?
Candy, I mean seriously, she's freaking hilarious, but offers a lot of insight as well.
What are you reading at the moment?
I'm reading Raine Thomas's Daughters of Saraqael series (and it's awesome)
What was your favourite book as a child?
A Wrinkle in Time
Whats next for you?
Finish Book 7 in the GWS and then on to book 2 in the Elfin series.
Favourite tv show?
New Girl/ Big Bang Theory
Favourite paranormal creature?
Werewolves (duh right?)
Werewolves or Fae?
What is your pet hate?
Love triangles (not trying to hate on any authors, you know I love you all)
Ice cream (hey it's a food, it's in the dairy category)
If you could go anywhere in the world or do anything what would it be and why?
I would love to go to the Holy Land and walk where Christ walked. I would do and be just what I am now, a wife, mother and writer. I'm blessed beyond measure and have all I could ever need or want.
Quinn Thank you again for taking the time to answer my questions.