A Bitter Pill to Swallow by Tiffany Gholar
4 OUT OF 5 STARS
“The thing we seem to forget about labels is that they can come off.”
Goodreads Description: On the edge of the Chicago medical district, the Harrison School for Exceptional Youth looks like a castle in a snow globe. Janina has been there since she was ten years old, and now she’s fourteen. She feels so safe inside its walls that she’s afraid to leave. Devante’s parents bring him there after a tragedy leaves him depressed and suicidal. Even though he’s in a different place, he can’t escape the memories that come flooding back when he least expects them. Dr. Gail Thomas comes to work there after quitting her medical residency. Frustrated and on the verge of giving up on her dreams, she sees becoming a counselor as her last chance to put her skills to the test. When he founded the school, Dr. Lutkin designed its unique environment to be a place that would change the students’ lives. He works hard as the keeper of other people’s secrets, though he never shares any of his own. But everything changes late in the winter of 1994 when these four characters’ lives intersect in unexpected ways. None of them will ever be the same.
I was sent a copy of A Bitter Pill to Swallow by the author Tiffany Gholar in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, Tiffany!
This book was a bit of a slow start for me, but it ended up picking up and I really enjoyed it. It’s set in Chicago in 1994. It follows for characters (Janina, Devante, Dr. Gail, and Dr. Lutkin) and their stories intertwine. It deals mental illness, which I think is very important for readers to read about. It gives you an insight into mental illness and how it was treated back then and even further into the past. I’m not going to lie, reading about the way mental illness was treated in the past was pretty scary to think about! We have definitely come a long way since then.
At first I found it a little hard to connect with the characters, but that changed once I got further into the story. They are all struggling with their own issues throughout the book. Janina and Devante really grew on me and they grew as characters throughout the story. It was sad reading about them and what they had to go through, but I continued to root for them and hoped for the best. I loved that Dr. Lutkin cared so much about his patients and genuinely wanted them to get better. Gail played a pretty important role in this book and I really liked her.
Overall, I enjoyed this book so much. I liked the characters and I love that their stories intertwined in the end. It was easy to read and even with a slow start, it still kept you wanting to read more and to find out what was happening. I laughed and I even teared up a bit! I would recommended reading this book. I don’t want to give anything away, but I feel like it’s a really important read. I am so glad I given the opportunity to read this book! A Bitter Pill to Swallow is out now, so go check it out! 🙂
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