Monday, August 2, 2010

Hannah by Hannah Westberg Review + Giveaway

Hannah by Hannah Westberg and edited by Deborah Reber

Review by: Lauren

Copy Sent from TLC Book Tours

Series Site:

Official Summary: In Hannah, author Hannah Westberg writes, “The psych ward is where you go to get from fragile to shattered. It’s like taking your car to get washed and getting your windshield broken in the process.” As told through brutally honest vignettes, Hannah brings the reader into one teen’s world of dangerous behaviors—from pill popping and excessive dieting to cutting and suicide attempts—brought on by the author’s borderline personality disorder.

Review: The first time I heard about this series, I had a feeling I would enjoy them, and I'm fairly sure I'm right. So far I've only read Hannah's story but I can't wait to continue. Each book is a little under 200 pages and put together in a small portable size. I even read Hannah's book in one day!

Hannah has had borderline personality disorder most of her life, but she didn't realize that's what it was called for a long time. Instead, she felt she simply had depression. She went through moments in her life where she swayed back and forth on her weight, ended up in a rehab center after a suidice attempt, abused prescription drugs, and even dealt with the self-destructive act of cutting.

One thing that stuck out to me was how Hannah mentioned the "emo phase" when it comes to cutting. She started a few years before this really took off but she does have people asking her if that's why she did it. Of course, it's not, and I hate how people think cutting is all about being "emo" or part of a phase. It's a real problem that should not be pushed aside or ignored, so I liked that she mentioned that a bit.

This is definitely a wonderful memoir. It's amazing how someone so young (Hannah is now 19) could have gone through so much personally, in her family, and with her friends. I think this novel and the others in the series would be wonderful for teens to read to see that they aren't alone with their problems and feelings, as well as adults to see that there is more going on in some young adult's lives than they realize.

Hannah read like a book of short stories that have been brought together to form the larger picture. You'll find certain things mentioned early on that won't be expanded on until later, but it works! And since the overall memoir isn't very long and reads very fast, it's not hard to keep up and follow along.

Overall, I'd definitely recommend this memoir. I will be posting a review of Alexis on August 23rd so keep an eye out for that one. There will be a big giveaway if you comment on both reviews where you win Hannah, Alexis, and Rae (Chelsea's book). For now though, read on to see how you can get your hands on a copy of Hannah!

Think you have a story to tell? If you're a teen and want to try your hand at possibly being part of the Louder than Words series, go here!

Author Information:

Hannah Westberg lives in Vancouver, Washington. She earned her GED and plans to enroll in Portland Community College’s drug and alcohol counselor certification program. When she’s not babysitting, she is probably volunteering for political and charity organizations, as well as participating in flash mobs.

Deborah Reber, editor of the Louder Than Words memoirs, is a bestselling author of nonfiction books for teens, including Chill and In Their Shoes.


Prize: A copy of Hannah by Hannah Westberg

Open To: U.S. and Canada (No P.O. Box) Must be 13 years of age or older.

Ends: August 31

To Enter: The Louder than Words series' titles are the author's first names (or in the case of Chelsea, her middle name). But if you could come up with your own title for a memoir on your life, what would it be called?

Lauren's Answer: I'd name my memoir "Tales of a Nursery School Drop-Out"

Amazon Associates: If you purchase the book from the amazon link, I will get a small percentage.


Kate said...

I'm NOT entering the competition (I'm from the UK). But I just wanted to say Hannah sounds like really good read.

LisaMM said...

Hi Lauren! I'm glad you enjoyed it. It sounds intense but hopefully it will help people to understand what some kids are going through. Teen life isn't all rosy and fun.

Thanks so much for being on the tour.

Mrs. DeRaps said...

I'd call my memoir Certain Uncertainties. I'd be about the crazy childhood/ early adulthood that I experienced. Love your title!

Thanks for the giveaway.

mrsderaps @ hotmail . com

Meredith said...

I'd call my memoir something like "Three Steps Forward, Two Steps Back" because it frequently seems like things just won't go in the right direction!

meredithfl at gmail dot com

Deborah Reber said...

Hi Lauren,
Thanks for your thoughtful review! Hannah is the first Louder Than Words memoir in the series that is told through vignettes. I'm so glad to hear that you thought it works... I agree! Thanks again for being a part of the tour!
Deborah Reber
Editor, Louder Than Words

Meredith said...

This sounds like such a powerful book! I'm glad to hear you found it thought-provoking.

Hmm, if I had to title my memoir, I think it would be something like "Tales of a Coffee Addict." Or maybe something less lame :)

Misusedinnocence said...

Mine would probably be entitled Jazz Hands and Veggie Burgers. ;)

Linda Kish said...

Mine would be titled "How did I get here"

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Liviania said...

I've seen this series around (not just because of Chelsea) but this is the first actual review I've seen. I'm glad to hear that the books are actually good.

My memoir would be "An Odd Duck."

inbedwithbooks AT yahoo DOT com

bkobsessed17 said...

This is hard. I'm still a teenager so I don't have too much life experience......Mine would be called "Social Depression". Sorry it's so gloomy

Kailia Sage said...

From the Life of a Book Addict would be the name for mine!

fredamans said...

I actually started my online memoir, and am hoping it will take off. It's called, My Life As A Teenager's Mom.
Check it out!


brandileigh2003 said...

Memoirs of a social phobic

PeechieKeen said...

I guess mine would be called Step Out from Small Town U.S.A.

StephTheBookworm said...

Oh man, I don't even know what I'd call my memoir. "Memoirs of a Wannabe Librarian." Pshh. It's so creative, right? LOL.

Please consider me for the giveaways! I'd love to read the series.

stephaniet117 at yahoo dot com

Kristina said...

I've made a couple of memoirs, to be honest (admitting that was a little shameful, haha). Out of all the titles I've used, "Collections of Another Identity" has always been a favorite of mine, so I'd probably go with that.


Maddie M. said...

The Hard Times of a Average American Teenager.(: