Get Well Soon

Get Well Soon

4.5 47
by Julie Halpern
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Anna Bloom is depressed—so depressed that her parents have committed her to a mental hospital with a bunch of other messed-up teens. Here she meets a roommate with a secret (and a plastic baby), a doctor who focuses way too much on her weight, and a cute, shy boy who just might like her.

But wait! Being trapped in a loony bin isn’t supposed to be about

Overview

Anna Bloom is depressed—so depressed that her parents have committed her to a mental hospital with a bunch of other messed-up teens. Here she meets a roommate with a secret (and a plastic baby), a doctor who focuses way too much on her weight, and a cute, shy boy who just might like her.

But wait! Being trapped in a loony bin isn’t supposed to be about making friends, losing weight, and having a crush, is it?

In her fiction debut, Julie Halpern finds humor in the unlikeliest of places, and presents a character whose voice-and heart-will resonate with all of us who have ever felt just a little bit crazy.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Based on Halpern's (Toby and the Snowflakes) experiences, this first novel begins as a run-of-the-mill story about a 16-year-old girl's short stint in a suburban Chicago psychiatric hospital: think sterile hallways, dysfunctional group therapy sessions and foul-mouthed, pissed-off adolescents who have been committed against their will. Before long, however, it evolves into an upbeat story that offers a hype-free, realistic look inside a teen ward. The narrator, Anna Bloom, actually enjoys Lakeland by the end of her stay. She feels more confident in her thinned-out body (although her loss of 12 pounds in 11 days seems a stretch), has opened up to her peers and even had a reciprocated crush on the lanky boy down the hall-none of which would have befallen the pre-Lakeland Anna. The talk about kissing and playing cards could make some forget they're reading about time spent at the loony bin, as Anna sometimes calls it, but Halpern balances these sorts of discussions with Anna's reactions to fellow patients who hear voices or claim to worship "the Dark Lord" and to rules forbidding all physical contact. As the novel progresses, readers will get a kick out of Anna's snarky sense of humor and her capacity for self-renewal. Ages 12-up. (Oct.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
VOYA
Anna's panic attacks have become so bad that her parents have taken her to a mental hospital. She has to learn the rules-stick out two fingers when you want to speak, commend others in Community meeting, behave nicely so you can be promoted to Level II, and go to the cafeteria for your meals. For the first time in her life, she has a roommate, who is pregnant. The other teen patients struggle with pyromania, drugs, violence, seizures, or suicide. Slowly Anna comes to grips with her own troubles: parents who do not support or understand her, never having a boyfriend, and being anything but a Victoria's Secret model. Told by Anna herself through a series of letters to her best friend back home-written but never mailed-this novel explores the critical issues of body image, relating to the opposite sex, and developing a positive self-image. Over her twenty-one days of treatment, readers see Anna evolve into a more self-confident person (enhanced by weight loss but notably not caused by it). Anna's voice will ring true for teens, although her lack of experience with guys might be hard to swallow (she has never been kissed). Patients are not allowed to touch each other, and the heightened senses (including enforced quiet and no natural sunlight) become palpable to the reader. Although there are no redeeming adult figures, by novel's end Anna is able to stand on her own without their help. There are some readers who need this poignant yet hopeful tale. Reviewer: Melissa Moore
VOYA - Erin Wyatt
Anna records her twenty-two days in a mental institution through a series of letters to her best friend. Dealing with depression and panic attacks upon her arrival at Lakeland, lovingly referred to as Lake Shit by the residents, Anna goes from a confused teen on suicide watch to someone who looks forward to living her life. The people Anna encounters-handsome, mysterious Justin; Sandy, the roommate with the plastic doll baby; longtime resident Mike O.; and Lawrence, the follower of the Dark Lord-are fodder for observations that range from amusing to profound. Although Anna gets stronger, she definitely worries about continuing to feel normal in the real world. This coming-of-age story just happens to take place in a mental institution. Anna becomes more confident and comfortable with herself during the course of her stay. There is a lovely sweetness in the blooming relationship between Anna and Justin, one that would not have been possible for the Day One Anna. Halpern creates a narrative that reflects the changes in Anna with each passing day that includes self-reflection and a good dose of humor. Readers will cheer for Anna as she gains confidence in herself, dares to rebel a little, and gets well as she goes back to her life.
Children's Literature - Naomi Milliner
Meet sixteen-year-old Anna Bloom: "Life sucks. I am fat. Nothing interesting ever happens to me." When her depression and panic attacks cause repeated truancy, Anna's parents reluctantly follow her therapist's advice and place her in a mental hospital. Smart, cynical and insecure, Anna initially resents being trapped there, but soon begins to fit in and feel almost comfortable. Told to document her experience, Anna chooses not to journal but to write letters instead. She says she prefers the letter format because then the recipient has them, and the writer does not have to look back and feel pathetic. Ironically, she writes letters every day but never mails one—because she enjoys reading them herself! During her three-week stay, Anna participates in various activities, including relaxation, group therapy, and play therapy. She gradually loses the panic attacks as well as some weight. She finds her voice, her self-confidence and, most of all, acceptance. Perhaps most unexpectedly of all, Anna even finds her first boyfriend, a sweet boy named Justin, with whom she shares a sweet and bittersweet forbidden romance. However, even when things are going well, Anna wonders whether her new-found happiness will carry over to the real world. While her phobias are extreme and her cynicism sometimes off-putting, teen readers will most likely relate to Anna's insecurities and self-consciousness and root for her to get well soon.
Kirkus Reviews
In funny, easygoing prose, 16-year-old Anna writes letters while spending three difficult, involuntary weeks in a mental institution. Anna's parents placed her there because she stopped going to school due to panic attacks, crying jags and death wishes. Socially insecure and self-hating, Anna sardonically notes the hospital's arbitrary rules and "sticky, slightly padded" walls. Very slowly, she makes friends and even manages a romance (despite a strict no-touching rule). The staff seems useless and harsh (responding to tears, her therapist says, "Shut up, and stop being such a baby"), but Anna's immense improvement over the three weeks may imply that the doctors help more than she reports. Alternatively, the change could be from anti-depressants and time away from her parents. She develops from an overly obliging bundle of nerves to someone who gets angry. Muddled textual messages about attractiveness portray weight loss as both an unfair (and non-feminist) requirement and also an exciting accomplishment; otherwise, this is an appealingly comic cousin of Carolyn Mackler's The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things (2003). (Fiction. YA)
From the Publisher

“I completely fell in love with Anna Bloom's voice--it's wry, romantic, and so, so true.” —Gabrielle Zevin, author of Elsewhere

“An upbeat story that offers a hype-free, realistic look inside a teen ward . . . As the novel progresses, readers will get a kick out of Anna's snarky sense of humor and her capacity for self-renewal.” —Publishers Weekly

“[Anna] is endearing as a caustic damsel in distress. With Anna down the hall, landing in the ‘loony bin' just might be a whole lot of fun.” —The Chicago Tribune

“A funny novel about depression. That's the welcome, endearing product Julie Halpern offers readers . . . a never-didactic message about emotional growth and psychic healing.” —Kirkus Reviews Best Young-Adult Books 2007

“Debut author Halpern drew from her own teen experiences with depression, and Anne's voice, filled with spot-on musings, sarcasm, slang, and swearing, is uproariously funny and authentic . . . Many teens will connect with the vague anxiety that lands Anna in treatment as well as her subtle, realistic sense that her life is her own to value and shape.” —Booklist

“Funny, easygoing prose . . . an appealingly comic cousin of Carolyn Mackler's The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things.” —Kirkus Reviews

“There is a lovely sweetness in the blooming relationship between Anna and Justin . . . Halpern creates a narrative that reflects the changes in Anna with each passing day that includes self-reflection and a good dose of humor. Readers will cheer for Anna as she gains confidence in herself, dares to rebel a little, and gets well as she goes back to her life.” —Voice of Youth Advocates

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780312367954
Publisher:
Feiwel & Friends
Publication date:
10/02/2007
Pages:
208
Product dimensions:
5.87(w) x 8.02(h) x 0.96(d)
Lexile:
850L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

GET WELL SOON

Day 1
I AM SITTING AT A DESK IN THE MIDDLE OF A HALLWAY, and all of the lights are off. No one will tell me what they're going to do with me or how they're going to help me or how long I have to be here. They just plunked me down in this freaky place, told my parents not to worry, and now I'm stuck.
They told me to write. Write down your feelings. It'll help you. Have some paper. Have a pencil, they said. I don't like pencils, I told them.They smudge. I once kept a journal all in pencil, and when I went back to read all of the depressing stuff that I wrote, it was gone. Smudged away. I wrote it all down, the stories of my life, my feelings, all of the crap you're supposed to say in journals so you can look back and see what a big loser you used to be. But it was all gone, mushed together as if none of it mattered in the first place. Which it didn't. Because I still wound up here.
Screw journals. I don't need a journal to tell myself what I already know: Life sucks. I'm fat. Nothing interesting ever happens to me. I don't want to deal with that shit anymore.
So I'm not going to keep my thoughts around. I'm going to send them away. I'm going to write my thoughts in letters, like I did when my sister went to overnight camp. That way they're gone. Someone else has them, and I don't have to look back and see how pathetic I once was. I will write letters and I won't feel so bad. I won't feel so bad that I'm depressed. I won't feel so bad that I'm fat. And maybe, just maybe, I won't feel so bad that my parents had me locked up in this fucking mental hospital.

Friday, Day 1
Dear Tracy,
By the time you get this letter, you'll probably know where I am. I can just picture you calling my house after you got off of work at the mall and my mom trying to answer the question "Is Anna there?" What did she say? "Oh, sorry, dear, she's at the nut house. Try back in a few months." I can't imagine she'd call it a nut house, though. She probably said something like, "emotional rehab." Maybe she didn't even tell you the truth. Shit. Did she tell you I went to a fat farm? I'll be pissed if that's what she's telling people. I'd rather be considered crazy than fat any day.
But I'm not crazy, Trace. I just can't believe I'm here. I can't believe that things got so bad that my parents sent me to a mental hospital. It's weird here, T. Right now, it's like, 10:30 at night and they have me just waiting in the middle of some hallway at one of those school desks (where the seat is connected to the desk part and there's that little book holder basket where the person behind you can stick their feet. Remember when Joe Shafton used to torment me in junior high by shaking my desk incessantly? Bastard. I finally started crying in class and the teacher let me change seats). All I have with me right now are my pillow from home (my mom packed it), and this gummed pad of paper and a suckball pencil (annoyingly without an eraser) that they oh so generously gave to me. I'm embarrassed to say that I've been crying since the moment I got here, and I think the lady at the desk is sick of hearing it. I told her you weremy best friend and that I'd kill myself if they didn't let me write you a letter. The writing is helping me feel a little calmer, so that's good. I wish I could have talked to you before my parents dragged me here, but I didn't want you to freak out while you were ringing up some big thong purchase at work (do you get less commission when you sell thongs than granny underwear 'cause there's less fabric?). Sorry--I'm trying to be funny so I don't go completely insane due to the fact that I AM WRITING TO YOU FROM A LOONY BIN!!!
[Pause to note that a group of teenagers just passed me in the hallway. They were totally staring at me, so I just shoved my face into my pillow so they wouldn't see how horrid I look from all of the crying I've been doing. At least I don't wear makeup, so I don't have freakish mascara running down my cheeks.]
Lakeland Hospital. Why am I here, you ask? I don't know. I know I haven't been at school much lately, and I've been a little weird to talk to (sorry about that). I don't know what my problem is. For a while now I haven't been feeling very normal. Like, I can't sit through classes without getting antsy and claustrophobic and having to get up to go to the bathroom (so embarrassing). My mind starts racing and racing, and I can't concentrate on things at all. I just start thinking about how I might get a stomachache and won't be able to sit through class, and then it makes my stomach actually start to hurt and I just have to get out of there. And sometimes I worry that my stomach will make a grumbly noise, and some jerk guy will say something like, "Lookslike it's time for your ten o'clock feeding, Fat Ass." I even start thinking about what would happen if (yes, you may laugh) I fart in class! Nobody forgets a class farter. I mean, I totally remember when Johnny Stran ripped one in 7th-grade history, and everyone simultaneously scooted their desks away from him--SHROOM!--so he was left alone in the middle of the classroom. I would be mortified if that happened to me. That psycho bitch therapist I saw over the summer claimed that these are called Panic Attacks, but I don't think I've ever read anything in scientific journals about fear of farting (not that I've ever actually read a scientific journal, but, whatever). Just because it supposedly has a name doesn't help the fact that I can't sit still or be near anyone. Not you, of course, but it's just nice and mellow when we hang at your house. And you wouldn't berate me if I farted in front of you (well, you might, but then I'd just remind you of that time you let out a turbo one at a slumber party while we were doing Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board, and everyone thought it was some evil ghost fart and they dropped you).
Anyway, these panic attacks are the reasons why I'm never in class anymore. Either I ditch and hide in the bathroom, go to the nurse and lie on one of those nasty lice-proof vinyl couches and chew Pepto tablets, or convince my mom to call me in sick. That last one was getting much harder to pull off. You know how nice my mom is, but she was starting to hate lying for me. She told me she was afraid I'd never go to school again (which doesn't sound too bad to me). But she started making me feel guilty, likeI shouldn't force her to make the choice between my truancy and my happiness. And she and my dad have been fighting a lot (what else is new) because he thinks she's being too passive and should just make me go to school. I guess she kind of is being passive, but in this case I like it. Plus, if he wants me to go to school so badly, why doesn't he make me go? Not that I want him to even talk to me, but isn't that hypocritical? Mom's all worried that since it's my junior year I won't be able to get into college with all of these cuts on my record. I try to tell her that at least they're cuts from honors level classes, but that doesn't seem to help. That's why I started seeing that skag of a therapist. My mom found her by recommendation from one of her mah-jongg friends. She's kind of perverted (the therapist, not the mah-jongg friend). Everything I say she relates to sex. The other day she said I liked The Clash because, get ready for this, "Clash is a slang term for a vagina." She actually said that. What a total freak! It's not like I would listen to them for their music or anything. And since when is that a slang term for a vagina? She totally made that up. Plus, she's always telling me how I need to lose weight. Like I didn't know that. And how is making me feel more like shit about myself therapeutic? She analyzed this dream I had where I was pushing a shopping cart with a floppy wheel, and she said the wheel represented my "spare tire." I thought only men had spare tires. And there she is sipping on her Diet Coke the whole time. She probably goes and throws it up after each therapy session. If she doesn't sound sucky enough already,she's the one who recommended to my parents that I get hospitalized. I mean, just because I wouldn't go to school. And I want to die. But I don't remember telling her about that.
I will now describe this place to you, just in case you have to spring me and need to draw a map. To the right of where I'm sitting is an elevator with some intricate key system instead of up and down buttons, no doubt so I can't escape. In front of me is what looks like a check-in desk at a doctor's office. The hall lights are dimmed, but from what I can tell, I'm at the cross of a T-shaped series of hallways. Someone is coming. More later ...

... HOURS LATER
This place sucks. I want out of here so badly. I am now sitting on a bed at the end of the hallway near the check-in counter wearing nasty blue hospital pajamas. You know how I told you I said I'd kill myself if they didn't give me this paper and pencil?
"We called your doctor," a desk lady told me.
"What doctor?"
"Your hospital psychiatrist. Until he can meet you on Monday, you're on PSI II."
Who is this "doctor" anyway? He can't even come in on a weekend to meet me to see if I'm actually suicidal or not? Probably because of his golf game, or whatever it is that those in the psychiatry business do with the overabundance of money they make not helping people. So now I'm on PSI II--Possible Self-Injury Level II.Meaning, I could kill myself at any moment, so someone has to watch me constantly. I think the only thing worse is Level III, and that would have me tied up and sedated. But, oh joy, I'm lucky to only be on a bed in the hallway, instead of in a room. I miss my bedroom at home already. It was my favorite place in the whole world. I even miss the babyish clown wallpaper border my parents put up before I was born but never bothered to take down. And I totally miss my clothes because they won't give them back to me until I have proven that I won't kill myself (I'm not naked--just in a hideous blue hospital frock). How would I even do it, paper-cut my wrists until I bleed to death?
Before they gave me the PJs they made me go into a room with two big women with mustaches and thick German accents (I may be making up the mustaches and accent parts) while I took my clothes off. Thank God they didn't have to search any further than just looking at me, if you know what I mean. They gave me all of these psychological tests, too. I had to sit at a desk while some blond-bunned woman asked me twelve billion questions. The way she spoke to me was like I wasn't even a real person. The whole time I was crying and hugging my pillow, and she showed absolutely no sympathy. I'm sure these fools think I should be in this loony bin, with the way I'm acting. They even gave me a Rorschach test--you know, the ones where they show you blobs of ink and you have to say what comes into your head. I think I may have messed that one up, though, because each inkblob looked like the same thing to me--that piece of evil from the movie Time Bandits. Remember when we watched that? And there was that devil guy who exploded at the end into little pieces that all had to be collected up and contained, or else something really bad would happen? But one of his pieces (that looked like a burnt turd) was found in the little boy's toaster oven, and he kept yelling at his parents not to touch it because it's evil but they do touch it and then they blow up? Well, all of the ink blobs looked just like that piece of burnt turd evil to me, so that's what I told them.
I'm never going to get out of here, am I?
GET WELL SOON. Copyright © 2007 by Julie Halpern. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews. For information, address Feiwel and Friends, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10010.

Meet the Author

Julie Halpern is the author of Into the Wild Nerd Yonder and Don't Stop Now, as well as the picture book Toby and the Snowflakes. In addition to writing, Julie is a middle-school librarian. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, lived in Australia for six months, and created a couple of zines before she started writing books, and realized she was and always has been a writer. She is married to the artist Matthew Cordell, and they live outside Chicago with their daughter and gloriously large Siamese cat, Tobin.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Get Well Soon 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 45 reviews.
YourEverydayReader More than 1 year ago
You’ve Got to Read this Novel This book is about a depressed girl named Anna Bloom. She gets sent to a mental hospital by her parents, there she meets a cute boy that likes her. The author Julie Halper does a good job on putting the book together, she wrote the story as if Anna were writing a note to her best friend, Tracy who is a caring and loving friend. The author Julie Halpern did an amazing job putting the book together, she is a very talented writer. I wish I could tell you more about this awesome book but I don’t want to spoil it for you. I would not mind reading this book again it was great.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is DA BOMB. Why? Because it has reallh amazing mixed feelings. It tells about a girl who APPARENTLY has mental problems because of her weight! Her parents are eighter worried about her or doesnt care about her. But you must read the book to find ojt. Of course people make fun of her b/c of her size. Hen jer parents send her to the mental hopital her eye caught a boy chich is cute and seems sweet. But she dont understand why he is at the mental hospital. Later when they talk to each other more they actually are falling in love with each other. Cant tell you more. But you should read it really its very good.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Omg i freaking loved this book!!! i rate this book 10 million stars out if 5!!! :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was absolutely refreshing
irideon More than 1 year ago
First off, the idea of a giant yellow frowny face on the cover was genious. My copy curently is sitting on the front of my bookself, just screaming 'LOOK AT ME I'M YELLOW'. And Second, I love this book. The main character, Anna, has the best personality and thought process for mental patient, and it wasn't at all sad. I found myself laughing at least tree time a chapter. That's another thing I liked, the chapters were in a letter/journal entry format, making it feel more like a personal telling rather than a narrative say-so. So far, I've read it about nine times, plus some parts over. If you're looking for a short, quick, yet funny read, this is definately the right choice.
Audrey-Galina More than 1 year ago
I picked this book up at a used book shop for a quick, light read. I received that, though I was a bit disappointed by the ending. I suppose it was just too much to ask for it to continue a bit longer (once you read it, you'll understand). Overall, good read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A true look into the mind of a teen in need of some help
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just love it, I've read this before and I'm definitly reading it again <3
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Funny yet emotional. I love Justin!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book i just absolutly positivly LOVED IT best book i have ever read i love it and recommend it to EVERYBODY CUZ ITS SO GOOD! fav book rating 5 stars
CatsInSpace More than 1 year ago
Having never been in a mental institution, I don't know exactly what they're like. However, having suffered through depression and considered going to a mental institution, "get well soon" describes it much as I imagined. At least the main character's experiences and feelings are much how I imagine I would feel in the same position. Teenager Anna's parents send her to a mental institution after she can't make it through a class without a panic attack and so stops going to school. She is admitted as a "PSI II - Possible Self-Injury Level II," which she describes as "meaning I could kill myself at any moment, so someone has to watch me constantly." After a rough start, Anna soon finds a bunch of misfit teens to befriend and help her survive her healing time. Though she starts to feel better, she holds the very real concern, will I still be okay when I leave this place? Julie Halpern has created a likable character in Anna, who keeps a good sense of humor throughout her ordeal and genuinely seems like the type of person you'd want to befriend. This story could appeal to anyone who is wondering what it's like to feel depressed, as well as to any teen looking for an underdog tale where the ignored become popular and personalities trump outward looks.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
OMG this book is madd good ihts like funny cute and sadd =]] i would recomend this book to somebodyy if yu need some cheering uhp wen yur sadd
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
HOW MANY PAGES??????? HIHI
wolfie70 More than 1 year ago
I read this book a year ago and really enjoyed it and now I'm reading it again. Its a book about a mental hospital and depression but it makes me happy and laugh. Anna is a unique character that is so honest, I love it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutely freaking adore this book. I must first admit that I myself was in a psych ward as an adolescent for close to the same reasons as Anna. This book though funny is very true to the atmosphere in there. You really have to make your own fun. And the no contact rule is spot on! I love that this book told the story so that people might relate with people that have gone through this. I &lt;3 this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved Get Well Soon. I thought it was a great book and reccomend it for everyone. It really makes you think and wonder. I loved it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wow, I couldn't stop thinking about this book once I read it. MY summer was very boring, all I did was sit at home. I found out that I loved to read. All summer I went to the public library and checked out books. I started to check out five books in one day and read them all in one week. One day I saw Get Well Soon. It caught my eye but once I read the teaser it caught my attention. There was no way that I could turn down this book.

This book has a great story and wonderful comedy. My favorite books are about teenage love stories. I am a teenager myself and I love it. I beleive that Halpern should make a second Get Well Soon book. This book touched my heart and made me wonder. It truly gave me great interests on how Halperns other books are. I can't wait to read them! If you like teenage love stories like I do then you would check out some of theese books I have read during the summer!!
Angieville More than 1 year ago
I came across Julie Halpern's first novel while browsing the offerings over at Feiwel & Friends. I was so grateful they were publishing LONG MAY SHE REIGN that I grabbed CARPE DIEM and GET WELL SOON as well because if they're publishing Ellen Emerson White books they not only have superb taste, they deserve my undying loyalty. Plus, both books just looked good. GET WELL SOON tells the story of Anna Bloom, a depressed teenager whose parents commit her to a mental institution when her panic attacks get in the way of her going to school. Alone, overweight, and braless, Anna starts writing a series of letters to her best friend Tracy as a way of staying sane despite being surrounded by drug dealers, Satanists, pregnant cheerleaders, oh my!

Anna's voice is at times bitter, amused, desperate, and uncertain. But it is always matter-of-fact. And it is this quality that is most appealing. I never got the feeling she was sugar-coating the way things were or trying to put something over on her reader. She writes all of these letters describing her experience in minute detail yet she doesn't send a single one. They stay in her room with her, her roommate Sandy, and Sandy's plastic baby Morgan. They seem to be a way of processing the unimaginable thing that has happened to her. By keeping them she can continue to review and add on to the narrative so that when it is time to go home there will be a record of how she survived. In an ironic twist of fate, life in the mental hospital turns out to be more interesting and "healthy" for Anna than it was outside. She makes friends who understand her and who do not send her "Get Well Soon" cards as though she had chicken pox or mono. Despite the absurd hospital workers and a few admittedly crazy fellow patients Anna is able to be herself. Paradoxically, the confining walls give her the space she needs to figure out not only what happened to her, but what she will do with this new-found self knowledge. I laughed repeatedly while reading about Anna and Sandy, Justin and Matt O. I felt about like Anna did when the time came to leave the hospital. I wasn't ready. A little more time in the loony bin, please. The real world can wait. But Anna had to go back home and the book had to end and I'm happy I got to spend this time with her.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Anna is fat and depressed. She suffers from panic attacks, and has stopped going to school. Her parents, who are totally clueless, decide to send her to a mental hospital. Will that do any good? Anna doesn't think so! Not in this place. Nobody tells her anything, they have the weirdest rules ever, and she's forced to wear these ugly pajamas all day long with no bra!

But as days go by, things turn out to be not as bad as she originally thought. Anna meets other teens. Matt O. has been living there for six months. Six whole months? Will Anna ever get out of this place? She also spends time with Sandy, her roommate who's eating for two and has to carry a baby doll all day long. Victor becomes the first black friend she's ever had. And finally, there's Justin -- Oh, Justin! -- the cutest guy around who may have even looked at her.

Written in the form of a letter to her best friend, Tracy, Anna describes all of the details of her life at the nut house in a very funny way, with a writing style that is just like... well... that of a teenage girl!

This story is engaging, the characters sound real, the writing is refreshing and natural, and the descriptions of the situations are hilarious!

Great job for a first time novelist, who's also a librarian and spent time in a psychiatric hospital herself when she was a teen. (She claims to be fine now!)
Guest More than 1 year ago
As she sees it, Anna Bloom has been carted off to the loony bin. Why? Anna has extremely low self-esteem. She is constantly afraid people will make fun of her for how she looks or what she does. This fear makes her have panic attacks. And apparently, Anna's parents just didn't know how to deal with her, so they sent her off to a slightly crazy shrink (who thought everything was sexual in some way). When that didn't work, she was then sent to Lakeland Hospital, a mental institution. And a strange one, as Anna sees it. The rules and hierarchy at Lakeland are confusing to Anna at first because no one explains them to her. But during her three week stay, things actually start to get better. She starts to lose weight. Her new roommate, who happens to be pregnant, becomes a great friend. And then there's the cutie Justin who just might like Anna back. Get Well Soon was told in diary entries and letters to Anna's friend Tracy over the course of three weeks. It was a very cute book, but one that could be improved. Anna's love of music could've been more developed. Julie Halpern mentions how Anna's music always makes her feel better, but doesn't really go into depth. That's fine thought because music wasn't the focus of the novel. I really enjoyed the cast of characters even the creepy ones were in some way lovable or at least funny to read about. Anna did grow as a person, although not that much, but then again, I don't think she had that many problems to begin with. I also highly enjoyed the romance between Anna and Justin. All in all, Get Well Soon was one of the sweetest books I've read in a while. It left off on a bittersweet note, but one that was hopeful. If you like a lighthearted and short read, check out Get Well Soon.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm serious. This is by far the funniest book I've ever read. It's one of the only books that have made me laugh out loud. Anna, the main character, has been so depressed lately that her parents have sent her off to a mental hospital. Despite Anna's pessimistic look at things in the beginning, things quickly turn around for her. She meets new people, makes friends, and might even have a cute crush. Once the tone is set, it's impossible to put this book down. Anna is quick-witted and funny, and her insecurities (such as body image and what her first kiss might be like) are pretty relatable. The other patients (major and minor alike) are truly outstanding, and never fail to put a smile on your face. While some of the patients' situations are serious (one guy was sexually abused, another attempted suicide), and some downright creepy (one girl thinks she is being possessed by Satan), the upbeat pace of the book keeps everything from getting too depressing. I would definately recommend this book to a friend (or anyone else!).
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read 'Get Well Soon', and I loved it! It's format as a diary/letter form, is a nice twist, just like 'TTYL' and its IMing. It was really fun to read the slight tension between (oh, I already forgot the character's name!) the girl and boy. It's humor got me laughing every other page! I really recommend it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Anna is fat and depressed. She suffers from panic attacks, and has stopped going to school. Her parents, who are totally clueless, decide to send her to a mental hospital. Will that do any good? Anna doesn¿t think so! Not in this place. Nobody tells her anything, they have the weirdest rules ever, and she's forced to wear these ugly pajamas all day long with no bra! But as days go by, things turn out to be not as bad as she originally thought. Anna meets other teens. Matt O. has been living there for six months. Six whole months? Will Anna ever get out of this place? She also spends time with Sandy, her roommate who's eating for two and has to carry a baby doll all day long. Victor becomes the first black friend she's ever had. And finally, there's Justin -- Oh, Justin! -- the cutest guy around who may have even looked at her. Written in the form of a letter to her best friend, Tracy, Anna describes all of the details of her life at the nut house in a very funny way, with a writing style that is just like¿ well¿ that of a teenage girl! This story is engaging, the characters sound real, the writing is refreshing and natural, and the descriptions of the situations are hilarious! Great job for a first time novelist, who¿s also a librarian and spent time in a psychiatric hospital herself when she was a teen. (She claims to be fine now!) **Reviewed by: Christian C.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was lucky enough to get my hands on an advanced copy of Get Well Soon and I loved it. It is not the typical depressed teen in a mental hospital book. Halpern gives her main character, Anna, a unique sense of humor. The really funny moments of the book make you laugh out loud. There are also many interesting oberservations made by Anna about her fellow 'patients', and a romance that is sweet and daring under the circumstances. Get Well Soon is written in letter format, and you feel like you are sharing an inside joke with Anna the whole time you are reading. By the end of the book it feels like Anna was writing to you all along. If you're looking for a book that has a fresh new spin on what it's like to be a depressed teen, pick up Get Well Soon. It is easy to read and it would appeal to any age or gender.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago