Book Review: Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig

“An honest account of mental illness, which has the potential to positively impact many lives.”

Rating: 3 ***

Matt Haig is an author I’ve followed for a number of years on Twitter – A platform which I believe he uses incredibly well. It was his use of social media which also encouraged me to pick up this book. However, where my opinions about his tweets are often full of praise, I found myself struggling at times to make it to the end of this somewhat short non-fiction read. And thus lies the problem, and part of the reason I gave the very neutral rating of three stars.

To say that this book doesn’t offer an invaluable insight into the mind of someone living with anxiety and depression would be a lie. In fact, I think this is something that Haig does brilliantly. But where I found myself relating to some of the thoughts and feelings that the author experiences, I also felt as if the short chapters – often less than a page – offered nothing of importance to the book as a whole. And so, the beautifully written passages that I wanted to highlight, and etch into my own mind, were halted by the filler chapters in between.

Overall, I can understand why this book resonates with so many people, and I still believe it is something that people should read, if only to gain a deeper understanding of the impact of mental illness. Yet, no matter how much I’d hoped to love this book,  I cannot ignore the chapters that fell short of my expectations, and thus affected the reading experience as a whole.

Book Reviews

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