PH Blog Tour: 4 Important Messages From Are We All Lemmings and Snowflakes? by Holly Bourne + Giveaway


I admire and respect Holly Bourne for tackling topics of mental health in her YA books. She did it with aplomb in “Am I Normal Yet?” and she’s done it again with her newest title, “Are We All Lemmings and Snowflakes?” It cannot be stressed enough how books like these are so relevant for diverse representation and oh so helpful in breaking the the stigma surrounding mental health issues.

As a participant of Are We All Lemmings and Snowflakes? PH blog tour, I'm super lucky that I've already read an advance copy of this book, hitting the shelves TOMORROW! In my stop for the tour, I would like to share the lessons that I have learned and have been reminded of from reading the book.

Mad props to Erika @ The Nocturnal Fey for organizing the tour.


About Are We All Lemmings and Snowflakes?


Synopsis:
Welcome to Camp Reset, a summer camp with a difference. A place offering a shot at “normality” for Olive, a girl on the edge, and for the new friends she never expected to make – who each have their own reasons for being there. Luckily Olive has a plan to solve all their problems. But how do you fix the world when you can’t fix yourself?


Series: Standalone
Publisher: Usborne Publishing
ISBN: 9781474933612
Publication date:   August 9th, 2018
Purchase links: UsborneAmazon | Kobo | iBooks | Book Depository | Waterstones | (Also locally available at National Bookstore)


About Holly


Holly Bourne writes YA novels and blogs about feminist issues. Her favourite things to complain loudly about are: the stigma of mental health, women's rights, and the under-appreciation of Keanu Reeves' acting ability.

Holly's first two books, Soulmates and The Manifesto on How to be Interesting, have been critically acclaimed and translated into six languages. The first book in the 'Normal' series, Am I Normal Yet?, has been chosen as a World Book Night book for 2016 and has inspired the formation of Spinster Clubs around the country.

Before becoming a full-time author, Holly was editor and relationship advisor for a charity website.

Find out more: Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

4 Important Messages From Are We All Lemmings and Snowflakes?


So. This is a really important book with really important messages. Everyone should go read it. Let me convince you by sharing the lessons that I've learned from reading the book:
  1. Mental illness is illogical. People suffering from it may think, feel and do illogical things.
    In the book, Olive has an aversion to noise. "I just want it to be quiet. To not have to listen to the damn noise." In reality, the things that she considers noise are simple sounds of everyday lives, like the scrape of a chair being pushed back or a creak of a footstep on the floorboard.

    That’s just one of the many examples of how mental illness is illogical. Mentally ill people see the world through distorted lens. "People looking out of the window and always seeing rain no matter the weather."

    But that does not give anyone an excuse to treat people with mental illness as "others".

  2. If you are clueless on how to approach a person with a mental health problem, start from having a kind mindset.
    People have been mean to Olive in school. They put negative labels on behaviors that were the results of her disease. These malicious comments aggravated her mental condition. This happens in real life too, mostly because of people's lack of awareness and sensitivity to mental health issues. A lot of people assume that meltdowns or sudden mood swings are just drama or for attention-grabbing purposes only. But what if it’s not? What if it’s already a cry for help?

    Choose kindness over judgment if a person you know had an emotional breakdown. If you are clueless on how to deal with other's mental illness, reading and researching about it are good starting points to understand and support them.


  3. But first, self-care
    "I hate humans. I hate that they’re everywhere. But the human I hate most is me." This is the heart-crushing truth of Olive because of her mental illness. She has an extremely skewed perception of herself. And although later on, Olive genuinely starts wanting to be less mean and more kind to her fellow camp clients, she also realized that an emotionally unwell person cannot fully help others.

    I couldn’t have said it better than Holly Bourne herself in a letter to her readers at the back of the book: "...kindness starts from within. You have to be kind to yourself first. So, please, if you take anything away from this book, may it be the lesson to be less hard on yourself. To forgive yourself for being 'the way you are'."  

    The Internet is not scarce with different self-care tips. But I’m really fond of a camp exercise scene in the book, that I want to apply it for my own mental wellness. When the camp teens were given a list of negative core beliefs and instructed to identify the ones that apply to them, Olive chose, "I’m a bad person." Then the facilitator asked them to switch the negative core belief into a more positive statement like so, "I would prefer it if..." Then the teens were asked to recite their new positive statement to themselves over and over until it becomes their new truth. In Olive's case her positive personal affirmation eventually becomes "I am a good person who tries my best."

    I want to give this a try. I want to make my own mantra that I can tell myself in the mirror every morning, hopefully to lift me up and eventually shut down my overthinking. You know that nagging self-critic that makes you doubt yourself? Yeah I have that sometimes... (Oops, I didn't mean this to be overly personal. Let's proceed before I start pouring it all out here.)

  4. Kindness is contagious. 
    When Olive realized that the world is a shitty place because of people’s general apathy to the humankind, she decided to launch a massive kindness campaign and enlisted the help of her camp friends. Together, they held clandestine meetings over heaps of alpaca muck, made thousands of pieces of origami and planned to sneak out of camp. I won’t blabber here if Olive’s merry band of misfits did succeed or not in infecting the world with the kindness virus. Just read the book yourself to find out.

    For now, I leave you with this nugget of wisdom from the book: "Together, snowflakes can form avalanches."


If you or someone you know is going through a mental health crisis, please don’t be afraid to ask for help. In the Philippines, you can call 804-HOPE (4673) or 0917-558-HOPE (4673). For international suicide prevention hotlines visit suicide.org.

Giveaway


Tour Schedule

Don't forget to follow the tour and hop on these blogs on their designated stops:

August 8th:
Erika - The Nocturnal Fey
Desyerie - Tesairie's Book Reads

August 9th : 
Bianca - The Ultimate Fangirl
Fay - Bibliophile Soprano
Eira - eirareads

August 10th: 
Mervilyn - Merv Reads
Imogene - Amidst the Pages
Avy - The Reading Fangeek

August 11th: 
Shealea - That Bookshelf Bitch
Shaine - Wanderer in Neverland
Rafael - The Royal Polar Bear Reads

August 12th: 
Areli - Diary of an Avid Reader
Jon - Wander with Jon
Joefel - Novel Thief

I'd love to hear from you!
Have you read any Holly Bourne books? Let us know what you're most excited about "Are We All Lemmings and Snowflakes?"

Have you ever received any act of random kindness before? How did it make you feel? Tell me all about it in the comments. :)

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