Customer Reviews for

The Dark Side of Innocence: Growing Up Bipolar

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 39 Customer Reviews
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  • Posted October 29, 2011

    The "Black Beast"

    Terri Cheney recreates her childhood memories in this novel to shed light on the hardships of growing up bipolar. Throughout the novel Terri struggles with containing the "Black Beast" inside her. While showing the positive characteristics of being bipolar (the popularity, intelligence, creativity), it also portrays the never ending darkness that someone with bipolar disorder goes through. This novel provides a groundbreaking insider's look into the world of a bipolar child, an illness that affects around one million children.
    This novel is eye-opening about how a child with bipolar disorder views the world. How they are always on the edge between mania and depression. The reader gains valuable insight from seeing how a child with bipolar disorder views themselves and the immense amount of pressure they feel around them. This novel showed how children with bipolar disorder are hostage to their roller-coaster moods, and can veer from perfection to paralysis, from hyper-sexuality to episodes of alcoholic abandon and how they feel ashamed of what is happening inside of them.
    This book is very interesting to read and there is not a dull moment in the whole book. Terri Cheney kept you interested with her memoirs, while keeping out the unnecessary details. Although the accuracy of this book might be a little skewed because it is only told from Terri Cheney's point of view of growing up bipolar - and I'm sure many people with bipolar disorder have had drastically different experiences from hers. However, it does give the reader quite a tour into the general workings of a child's mind with bipolar disorder. If anyone was interested in gaining greater insight into how children cope with bipolar disorder then this would be a great book to read. This book allows you to sympathize with children who have this disease, but also gain understanding and respect for what they endure every day.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 10, 2011

    Cheney's mastery of the language lets us feel her inner turmoil on an emotional level

    n "The Dark Side of Innocence," bestselling author Terri Cheney draws us into the tumultuous inner world of a bipolar child. Like her first book, "Manic," "The Dark Side of Innocence" is an important resource for those interested in understanding manic-depression. Also like Manic, the power of this book ultimately derives from the beauty and honesty of the writing. Cheney's imagery sparkles. Cheney writes that the monster (which she calls the "Black Beast") that controlled her moods left "little room for hope or joy or any emotion lighter than sorrow." At other times, the Black Beast brought "Disneyland days," when "one minute the prick of a tag on the back of her sweater would make [her] writhe and scream, and the next she'd "be roaring at laughter at [her] own private jokes." Cheney's mastery of the language lets the reader feel on an emotional level the gut-wrenching, hidden turmoil that she experienced as a child. Because of the remarkable writing, "The Dark Side of Innocence" is more than an essential resource for those seeking to understand the disease (and it certainly is that). It's also an outstanding work of literature.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 1, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    THE DARK SIDE OF INNOCENCE (REVIEW)

    TERRI CHENEY'S "THE DARK SIDE OF INNOCENCE" (REVIEW)



    This book is more dark with only a splash of innocence. It's not hard to understand how a child could be inflicted with such a horrible disease as being bipolar though, and Teri's words make you understand just how hard it can be for a child in which this condition has not been recognized. This book gave me chills, and made me realize how a hidden monster like this could exist among innocence. Terri's story was written with acute honesty which I found refreshing. There are too many times that authors put a cap on their words and don't let their words flow.

    I found the truth of her story interesting, compelling, and full of good information that will help other children around the world.
    This book is one you don't want to miss out on, it's haunting but in a good way, a story you won't soon forget.

    -Kitty Bullard / Great Minds Think Aloud Book Club

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 6, 2011

    Must read

    The Dark side of Innocence

    In the Dark side of Innocence By Terri Cheney is about a girl named Terri who has a "black demon" that controls her life. The book starts off at the dinner table and her older brother takes her seat where she normally sits. This doesn't end well as he goes to reach for a roll she stabs him in the hand with her dinner fork.
    Next, when Terri is just seven years old and she tries to commit suicide by taking all of her mother's pills. She does this because she thinks she will go to heaven because she isn't accountable for her sins before she is eight. As she goes through her life she tries to fit in well but takes a lot of days out of school because she doesn't want people to see the black demon control her. When she becomes a teenager the demon keeps her form doing the things she wants to do such as have a boyfriend. When she is graduating the demon takes over and controls her speech but every one loves her and claps and cheers anyway. When she gets on her plane to go to collage she swears she won't let the demon take over her ever again.
    I would recommend this book to a teenage girl. This book kept my attention well but doesn't seem like it would entertain a boy as well as a girl. Also a girl would she the entry of the book not the fact that she stabbed her brother or anything elce. I really liked this book it kept my attention well and it only took a couple of hours to get through. This book is a great representation of a child with Bipolar disorder.
    Terri Cheney wrote this book as almost like a diary of her childhood. This is a memoir of her child hood. She wrote a book before this as an adult with Bipolar disorder. This one looks back to show how this could have been picked up as a child. Terri believes that if she knew what she does now then she would be able understand what was going on with her as a child she felt like she didn't know what was wrong with her and she couldn't explain what was wrong with her making her childhood difficult.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 13, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Another Must-Read from Terri Cheney

    In 2008, I interviewed Terri Cheney about her book, MANIC: A MEMOIR. It was only my second interview and I was quite nervous, but that recording remains one of the most listened-to in the series. And it's certainly not because of me. It's because the book is remarkable. Of all the books I've lent or suggested over the years, this is the single volume that has brought back to me the most commentary and the most heartfelt thanks for the recommendation. For many, it is a life-changing read. And now it has a companion volume. THE DARK SIDE OF INNOCENCE: GROWING UP BIPOLAR, is Terri Cheney's riveting new memoir. It draws back to her furthest recollections of the destructive force inside her, now framed in the context of her diagnosis. This is no weepy account of a broken childhood. There are certainly occasions that call for pure sympathy, and tragic memoirs are a valuable gift from their authors. But what sets Ms. Cheney's work apart is the words. She is a writer first, a bipolar patient second. Through the employ of just the right language to explain her inner world, Terri Cheney switches our track from sympathy to empathy. And the difference is profound. THE DARK SIDE OF INNOCENCE is a hard course over ground opened by insight and clarity. I would say it was unflinching, but I imagine she flinched quite a bit in the writing and remembering, but she clasps the reader firmly - for her fortification, and for ours. If you are affected by bipolar disorder, personally or peripherally, I cannot recommend this book enough. If you're not, I recommend it even more.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 7, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Most Powerful Read for 2011

    I walked into Barnes and Noble three days ago and started looking at the new non-fiction table. This book caught my eye in seconds. I intended to only read the first chapter and before I knew it, two hours had gone by and I read over half the book. For the next two days I went back, finished this one and picked up Manic, also by Terri Cheney.

    Having a ten year old sister who so closely resembles the author in the first two chapters, kept me on the edge of my seat with tears silently streaming down my face. At times, my inner voice was screaming wondering why in the world no one would help this child. It was starting to drive me mad.

    Bipoloar is a very serious mental illness, treatable, but always sitting right there inside you. This book really brings the "Black Beast" to life and makes you go where he goes.

    I highly recommend this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 21, 2011

    Enlightening! Beautifully written!

    Like "Manic," Cheney's best seller, "Dark Side" is wonderfully written and a vivid tale of growing up bipolar. It was a very enlightening look into the life and mind of a bipolar child. It's an incredible experience to be taken into a mind with such lucidity and depth and honesty.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 18, 2011

    Cheney writes tremendous prose!

    Terri Cheney's second book is a remarkable piece of literature. She writes with amazing imagery, beautiful rhythm and phrasing, and an honesty that simply inspires. Cheney's willingness to explore her vulnerable moments of childhood unearth a gift for all of us to share in and learn from. Her voice gripped me from the beginning and carried me through, helping me to see my own negative patterns in clear light. This book is for everyone; it reveals the ups and downs and twists and turns of our own psyches, and helps us better understand what it means to be human.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 15, 2011

    Crackerjack Prequel to MANIC

    What a beautifully written prequel to MANIC! Terri Cheney brilliantly shows us the horror and loneliness of growing up as an undiagnosed bipolar child. Now I look forward to the sequel to MANIC.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 14, 2011

    highly recommended

    Terri Cheney's new memoir, The Dark Side of Innocence: Growing up Bipolar, skillfuly envelopes the reader in the intimate world of bipolar disorder before very much was known about the disesse. As a child Cheney invents a mythical and pervasive alter-ego she calls The Black Beast who malevolently controls her urges and impulses. The book is a psychological revelation that approaches poetry as it nudges its victim by subtle turn and sharp jab into damaged womanhood. It offers a perfect complement to her brilliant 2010 best selling memoir, Manic.

    Ms. Cheney's writing is deeply personal, emotionally grippihg and intellectually astute -- a must read for the phsychologically curious.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2014

    Ms

    I feel for people with this kind of problem. Must be reallyhard to deal with. Interesting.

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  • Posted September 6, 2013

    Excellent I also read Manic. Riveting well written!

    Great personal story about living with the challenge of mental illness. I enjoyed Terri's writing and reading her books is like being told a story by a good friend. It is always a happy story to read such good books written by people who are overcoming significant challenges. Such an inspiration.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2013

    Can i read this

    Im 12 can me read dis

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2012

    Scarstar

    Nursery

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2012

    Much of this was not me. Much of it was. I know now I was undi

    Much of this was not me. Much of it was. I know now I was undiagnosed far longer than my original doctor thought.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 16, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    FANTASTIC JOURNEY

    I was hesitant about buyig this book found MANIC a bore! But I would have really missed out. The Dark Side of Innocence is an amazing read and I cannot put it down only halfway thru and had to comment. It's helping me to understand why my own dad and older brother have been so cruel to me as undiagnosed bipolar runs rampent in my family and it's very hard on everyone. People with this disorder suck the life out of the room whenever they enter. Thank you Terri for your candor and for telling such a riviting story of your childhood.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2011

    Beautifully Written!

    A learning experience, inspiraton, and page-turning story all in one.

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  • Posted March 17, 2011

    Highly Recommended

    Terri Cheney's "Dark Side of Innocence" is a beautifully written, compelling account of growing up bipolar. She is able to get inside the mind of a child suffering from this illness and to convey in an accessible and gripping way what the illness feels like to a child. a 'must read" for families of bipolar children, for people who have the disorder, or for anyone who simply wants to know more. A great job!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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