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Joi-GilletteBy Joi Gillette
H.L. Richards

Tiffany Gholar’s new novel “A Bitter Pill to Swallow” starts off with a young guy named Devante. His parents aren’t on good terms with their marriage. Devante is feeling emotionless after the death of his friend and he attempts to commit suicide, which lands him in a mental institution. Male individuals can relate to Devante by seeing how he blocks out his personal issues and doesn’t cope with them.

In the mental institution, you’ll meet Janina. She has a unique imagination and she seems fond of the mental institution, and she really doesn’t want to leave. Young girls can relate to Janina in some ways. She ends up meeting Devante and they eventually end up becoming friends—or more than friends.

You’ll also meet Dr. Lutkin in the mental institution. To me, Dr. Lutkin is a very understanding man. And lastly, you will meet Dr. Gail Thomas. She is a hard working young woman who wants the best for the mental institution and  the young individuals that are in there.

I like the fact that you can experience different point of views of each character. My favorite character is Dr. Gail because I admire how determined she is, and if something isn’t right she will not stand for it and she will try her best to make things better.

The whole book makes you want to uncover the truth of each character and what’s in their backgrounds, like: Who is Monia? Why does Dr. Gail care so much? I was tempted to skip some chapters to kill the curiosity inside. That’s one thing that I like about this book; reading each page is intriguing and makes you focused on what’s going to happen next. The plot is strong and the plot twist makes your mind explode! It makes you want to jump inside of the book.

Personally, I recommend that you read this book. The author wants to bring attention to the mental institutions. The writing style the author used made this book very descriptive, and the author used a lot of details. I felt everything and visualized everything each character went through; that’s what makes this book incredible.

Rating: 4 out of 4 stars

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The Mash is the Chicago Tribune's newspaper and website written for teens, by teens. The paper is distributed for free every other Thursday at Chicago-area high schools and is written largely by high school students.

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