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by Bev Cobain
Free Spirit Publishing, 1998
Review by Judith Carlson on Sep 3rd 2004
When I read in the foreword that
the author was a cousin of the former rock group Nirvana's lead singer Kurt
Cobain, who she had not even ever met, I expected this to be a case of someone
capitalizing on a relative's name by writing a meaningless book. I am pleased
to inform you that I was wrong. Although author Bev Cobain focuses on him and
his suicide at the very beginning of the book, she quickly gets away from him
and that's when the book and her valuable insights on teen depression and
suicide begin to shine through.
I found a majority of her subjects
descriptions of what they were going through easy to identify with and loved
how she gave survival tips at the end of each chapter. I also liked how she
packed a lot of information into each chapter without going on and on and
The book was broken into two
sections: What's Wrong? and Getting Help and Staying Well. I liked how she
still gave suggestions throughout the first section rather than keeping both
parts completely separate. The way she used quotes and bullet points and
sprinkled suggestions throughout the book kept me engaged and interested and
made me think more while as I was reading it.
I felt some
of the simplest advice Bev gave resonated most with me like: If your friends
drop you when you need them most, they are not your friends, or how we are
often harder on ourselves than anyone else and need to give ourselves a break
or a pat on the back more often. I also liked how she emphasized the importance
of setting small goals over short periods of time like four-weeks and then
setting new goals every four weeks to help you feel in control of your life.
My favorite part of the entire book
was where Bev pointed out that how you think about an event is more important
than what happens or even the event itself. This is a lesson I only recently
learned and has been of more benefit to my growth and happiness than anything
else. The story she used to illustrate this point about a boy breaking his leg
really drove the point home about things often being more than they seem on the
If you like light informative
reading (and who doesn't?), I think you will like this book. It is full of
resources and suggestions that are sure to help many suffering teens.
© 2004 Judith Carlson
Judith Carlson writes about
I'm a senior
in high school. I'm on the soccer team at my school and take several honors
courses. I have lived with my foster family since I turned nine. I plan on
attending a good college after I graduate and would love to continue playing
soccer in college (but I need to improve some more first). I have battled
anxiety since I was very young and did not even realize it for a couple of
years but I think I have it under control now. Everyone thinks I'm shy but I think
I'm just naturally quiet.