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Losing Adam by Adrienne Clarke
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Losing Adam

by Adrienne Clarke

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Losing Adam is an emotional and heartbreaking story about mental illness and how it affects not only the person suffering through the disease, but also how it affects the people around you.

Adam and Jenny have been dating since the 9th grade. They have the perfect teenage romance and they both can’t wait to leave their dysfunctional homes and attend college where they can be together and on their own. It should have been a happy time for Adam and Jenny, but when they arrive at college, Adam’s grip on reality slowly starts to crumble. Jenny does not understand what is going on with Adam, but she knows he has changed and it scares her. Adam is her whole world, but he has become moody, gets headaches, starts to hear voices, stops taking care of himself, and becomes emotionally detached. Jenny does not understand what is going on, but she will do everything she can to get Adam back. Will one tragic night change the course of Adam and Jenny’s life for good?

While I loved Adam and felt he was a relatable and sympathetic character, I didn't always get the same feeling for Jenny. I think a lot of it has to do with how young she is and not really having an understanding of what a mental illness can do to a person. I do believe she wanted to help Adam, but in a way I also think she was a bit selfish as she wanted her Adam back. The Adam she fell in love with in high school. I just found Jenny to be a little naive in trying to keep his secret instead of telling someone so Adam could get the help that he so desperately needed. In a way, I think the decisions she makes during the course of the story has a lot to do with her feelings of being abandoned by the one person she thought she would be with for the rest of her life. I get it that Jenny is young and this is her first serious relationship and she would do anything to hang onto the hopes and dreams that she and Adam both shared. For a long time, Adam was her whole world and when things started to change, fear started to set in. But, I do think Jenny finally had that moment of clarity where she was able to finally grow as a person and accept that change is a part of life regardless of how much we try to control it.

Adrienne Clarke lends an air of compassion and understanding to a disease that has been kept on the hush hush for so many years. I am so grateful that there weren’t any of the typical stereotypes associated with a mental illness such as schizophrenia. Clarke takes us through the depths of the onset of someone suffering through a horrible disease and shows the loss of control over your own thoughts which is frightening and yet so realistic in its telling. I could relate to the story and understand what was going on with Adam because my aunt also has schizophrenia and when she would go off her medicine she often times exhibited signs of paranoia and voices in her head. It is really sad and heartbreaking to see someone suffer through this disease.

Losing Adam is such a touching and heartfelt story that shines the light on mental illness in a caring and compassionate way. I found myself thoroughly engrossed in the story right from the beginning and through it all, hoping that Adam could pull himself out of the darkness and learn how to accept and love himself regardless of such a devastating disease.
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  RobynReo | Aug 15, 2018 |
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