Juliet the Maniac

Juliet the Maniac

A shockingly dark, funny, and heartbreaking portrait of a young teenager's clash with mental illness and her battle toward understanding and recoveryAmbitious, talented 14-year-old honors student Juliet is poised for success at her Southern California high school. However, she soon finds herself on an increasingly frightening spiral of drug use, self-harm, and mental illne...

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Title:Juliet the Maniac
Author:Juliet Escoria
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Juliet the Maniac Reviews

  • Scott Mcclanahan

    Uh huh. Get ready.

  • Lori

    Infectiously readable and excellently executed, Juliet the Maniac is a brilliant cross between memoir and fiction. Escoria packs a million little punches, reminding the reader just how much truth is written into these page, sharing some of the most personal moments of her teenage years via scans of the letters she wrote, her initial hospital bracelet, and patient evaluation statuses.

    Cracking the book open, I was worried that I'd focus too heavily on the blending of fact vs fiction, wondering wh

    Infectiously readable and excellently executed, Juliet the Maniac is a brilliant cross between memoir and fiction. Escoria packs a million little punches, reminding the reader just how much truth is written into these page, sharing some of the most personal moments of her teenage years via scans of the letters she wrote, her initial hospital bracelet, and patient evaluation statuses.

    Cracking the book open, I was worried that I'd focus too heavily on the blending of fact vs fiction, wondering which parts were pure memory and which were mostly made up to pull the story along and fill in gaps or dull spots, but honestly, I was so completely absorbed in the story of Juliet that it barely crossed my mind. If you really get down to it, mental illness aside, much of what our teenage Juliet goes through - the self esteem issues, drug use and sexual experimentation - is something many of us can relate to and reflect on. What was our teenage years if not a melting pot of hormones going haywire, the feeling that we're losing our minds and going crazy, questioning who we are and how we fit in, hating how we look and sound, reinventing ourselves a thousand times over until we're reasonable comfortable in our skin?

    It's pretty and devastating and manic and though there's a ton more to unpack here, through Juliet the Maniac, Escoria gives us a tender and safe way to explore all of that through the lens of troubled and drug addicted young girl who wishes for nothing more than to be normal.

  • Theresa

    I couldn't possibly do this book justice by reviewing it. It was SO incredible and so accurate in all of her descriptions from the way that she felt to psychiatric hospitalization to the effects that the different drugs have. I found pieces of myself in Juliet's story, frequently snapping pictures of certain pages or jotting lines down in my notebook. Honestly, I'll have to buy a copy so that I can highlight the crap out of it (I don't think the library would appreciate that much). Beautifully d

    I couldn't possibly do this book justice by reviewing it. It was SO incredible and so accurate in all of her descriptions from the way that she felt to psychiatric hospitalization to the effects that the different drugs have. I found pieces of myself in Juliet's story, frequently snapping pictures of certain pages or jotting lines down in my notebook. Honestly, I'll have to buy a copy so that I can highlight the crap out of it (I don't think the library would appreciate that much). Beautifully done.

  • Bud Smith

    A really great novel. It’s about a teenage girl who loses her mind and goes looking for it in an institution. Reading this reminded me how great art can be when it’s wounded and weird and funny and strange where the heart is. Takes place in the 90s, back blurb compares it to the Bell Jar and Girl, Interrupted. I thought it was its own beast. I thought it was wild and fun, and devastating, and cool.

  • Sara

    This book made me uncomfortable in the best way possible. I usually find it challenging, at this point in my life, to read books from the teen daughter's perspective. This book was so well-done my skin was crawling and I had to take breaks to get my breath. What I often find challenging is understanding the cross-section of teenage behavior and mental illness. Escoria did a brilliant job by clouding the issue of agency. The confusion of the narrator, Juliet, was wrought so well that I had to ima

    This book made me uncomfortable in the best way possible. I usually find it challenging, at this point in my life, to read books from the teen daughter's perspective. This book was so well-done my skin was crawling and I had to take breaks to get my breath. What I often find challenging is understanding the cross-section of teenage behavior and mental illness. Escoria did a brilliant job by clouding the issue of agency. The confusion of the narrator, Juliet, was wrought so well that I had to imagine how frightening it must have been for her character to be at that stage of development.

    People are using the words brutal, and raw a lot in their reviews . . . there is the brashness of youth unfettered in here. The characters are allowed to speak freely. However, there is a tenderness shown to the narrator that I found quite touching. The softness is subtle, and all the more powerful as a result.

    Escoria's poetic talent is in full display with the excellent chapter titles. They are great. I loved the inclusion of photos, artifacts, and reflective voice from the present. Can't say enough about the structure.

  • Aga Durka

    4 Haunting Stars!

    “ …I truly felt like I had a broken brain. Except it wasn’t even my brain. It was a brain of a homicidal maniac. She was trying to kill me…”

    A story told by a 14-year-old Juliet, is a story of drug addition, mental illness, and teenage rebellion. This is an unapologetic, raw, and ruthlessly honest account of a young girl’s struggle to fight the demons of mental illness. It was a heart-wrenching, dark, and horrifying read for me, but I admired Juliet’s ability to distance herself

    4 Haunting Stars!

    “ …I truly felt like I had a broken brain. Except it wasn’t even my brain. It was a brain of a homicidal maniac. She was trying to kill me…”

    A story told by a 14-year-old Juliet, is a story of drug addition, mental illness, and teenage rebellion. This is an unapologetic, raw, and ruthlessly honest account of a young girl’s struggle to fight the demons of mental illness. It was a heart-wrenching, dark, and horrifying read for me, but I admired Juliet’s ability to distance herself from some truly disturbing and painful events in her journey to recovery.

    The writing was superb and it really allowed me to get inside of Juliet’s mind and experience with her the darkness and pain of her illness and addiction. Even though Juliet’s thoughts and actions were often unemotional and disturbing, I was still able to feel the inner turmoil her body and mind were going through.

    Thank you NetGalley, Melville House Publishing, and the author, Juliet Escoria, for giving me an opportunity to read this haunting and heart-wrenching book in exchange for my honest opinion.

  • Sarah

    I've been struggling for a few days over how to review

    . From reading other reviews on here it seems a lot of people went into this with totally the wrong expectations (either being misled by the cute coloured cover or the apparent YA categorisation on Netgalley) but that isn't what I'm struggling with - it was in fact exactly what I thought it would be, albeit even better.

    This is some stellar auto fiction which (seemingly, it's hard to be sure) draws closely on the author's own

    I've been struggling for a few days over how to review

    . From reading other reviews on here it seems a lot of people went into this with totally the wrong expectations (either being misled by the cute coloured cover or the apparent YA categorisation on Netgalley) but that isn't what I'm struggling with - it was in fact exactly what I thought it would be, albeit even better.

    This is some stellar auto fiction which (seemingly, it's hard to be sure) draws closely on the author's own experiences with her mental health as a teenager. We meet Juliet when she is 14 and starting a new school, and from here things quickly spiral - increased anxiety, self-harm, drug abuse, suicide attempts - while Juliet maintains a collected and coherent voice the entire time throughout the narrative. The effect of this is that we can never quite tell when things are going to get better or worse for her, probably much like Juliet herself cannot.

    When reading this the only book I could think to compare it to was

    , although in hindsight they are really quite different books - however they are similarly great books allowing access into the inner mind of a young woman suffering from mental health issues in an incredibly realistic manner.

  • Jessica Sullivan

    “Not once did anyone ever talk about what it was like when the trauma was yourself.”

    This stark, unsentimental novel puts readers inside the head of Juliet, a teenager in the late 1990s battling bipolar disorder, drug addiction, and suicidal ideation.

    The first-person narrative is cleverly supplemented with reports from therapists and psychiatrists on Juliet’s diagnosis, behavior and condition to juxtapose her internal perspective with the external.

    While it’s a raw and candid account of an adolesc

    “Not once did anyone ever talk about what it was like when the trauma was yourself.”

    This stark, unsentimental novel puts readers inside the head of Juliet, a teenager in the late 1990s battling bipolar disorder, drug addiction, and suicidal ideation.

    The first-person narrative is cleverly supplemented with reports from therapists and psychiatrists on Juliet’s diagnosis, behavior and condition to juxtapose her internal perspective with the external.

    While it’s a raw and candid account of an adolescent in the throes of mental illness, there lacked a sense of freshness or novelty about this often written about subject. Most compelling to me was not the redundant progression of Juliet’s life (get high, self-harm, repeat), but the more introspective insights on the horrors of mental illness: that claustrophobia of being unable to escape your own mind.

    I wouldn’t consider this Young Adult fiction, however I can see it appealing to teenage readers probably more than adults.

    *Thanks to NetGalley for providing an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review*

  • Felicia

    ___________________________________

    "It is hard to tease out the beginning. When I was living it, my disintegration seemed sudden, like I had once been whole but then my reality swiftly slipped apart into sand. Not even sand, but slime, something desperate and oozing and sick. But looking back - I was a slow burn that eventually imploded."

    Juliet Escoria has moments of literary brilliance, I mean just read that opening quote.

    This book, however, fell really flat for me.

    It's a fiction book that re

    ___________________________________

    "It is hard to tease out the beginning. When I was living it, my disintegration seemed sudden, like I had once been whole but then my reality swiftly slipped apart into sand. Not even sand, but slime, something desperate and oozing and sick. But looking back - I was a slow burn that eventually imploded."

    Juliet Escoria has moments of literary brilliance, I mean just read that opening quote.

    This book, however, fell really flat for me.

    It's a fiction book that reads like an autobiography, complete with the main character having the same first and last name of the author. I can only assume this story is rooted in fact.

    I'm not a fan of memoirs. I'm not a fan of straightforward first person stories being told in a chronological order.

    Juliet IS this story.

    The entire book rests on Juliet's character. And as a character she is

    monotone, unremarkable and easily forgettable. She's written in a manner that left me emotionless where I should have felt anything but.

    There are a lot of great books out there that deal with mental illness in teenagers in a raw and unflinching way, this book, however, is not one of them.

    ___________________________________

    I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  • ♥ Kym

    I hate that I have a weakness for

    book covers.

    It’s very

    . Sure, the character is experiencing mental health issues and it's not something light to discuss, it was brave for the author to tell Juliet’s story, how she was able to write what was happening to the character’s mind, and I don’t expect perfection or a good plot because the mi

    I hate that I have a weakness for

    book covers.

    It’s very

    . Sure, the character is experiencing mental health issues and it's not something light to discuss, it was brave for the author to tell Juliet’s story, how she was able to write what was happening to the character’s mind, and I don’t expect perfection or a good plot because the mind or POV of the character itself is a huge web string of emotions.

    I can't relate to Juliet but I understand her issues and worries - I tried to. It was difficult for me to read her thoughts knowing she's a vulnerable teenager and at the same time trying to contemplate her existence. I just want to give her a hug and comfort her.

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