* As some of you who regularly read my blog know, I suffer from depression and anxiety and have done since childhood. I have shared a few posts about it on this blog and plan on sharing more in future. It can be difficult discussing something so personal that for some reason still holds so much stigma, so when someone does discuss it, I have so much admiration for them. Brent Williams new book is brave, unique and very much needed.
Brent begins by detailing his initial feelings of helplessness, hacking his way through the heart of a dark, overgrown and overbearing forest, trying to find his way out to freedom again. Brent really nailed the descriptions of what it feels like to have depression and anxiety. As I initially flipped through it on arrival I found myself nodding along and agreeing with what he had written. I related to it so much.
I don't normally enjoy graphic novels, but this one really appealed to me because of the subject matter. Within a couple of pages I was totally hooked. I've included some photos of the pages as I wanted to show you how amazing these illustrations truly are. As an illustrator myself, I can only imagine taking on the huge task of hand drawing and painting 700 illustrations. Korkut Oztekin's work is so moving, expressive and perfectly compliments Brent's words. I recommend checking out Oztekin's other work.
I don't want to spoil the book for you by revealing too much of what happens, but I will say you go on a real journey with Brent in this book. At times I wanted to cry, not only for the unfairness of his story but for the unfairness for all of us who suffer from mental illness. It made me think about my own journey and how far I've come and how far left there still is too climb.
Not only would Out Of The Woods appeal to book lovers but also to those who struggle with big blocks of text, it can be hard to focus on heavy going books when you are suffering from depression, sometimes you just can't concentrate. Something else that I think is great about this book is that it could be read by both older and younger audiences. I discovered I had depression at a very young age and I think this book would have really helped me understand and explore the feelings I was having as opposed to some of the heavy going books I read at the time.
As well as being the perfect book for those suffering, it would also be great for friends and family to borrow or buy to better understand the feelings and actions of having a mental illness. The images almost make the words sink in better.
I highly recommend this book if you are suffering from a mental illness or just want to clue yourself up. It's a beautifully designed hardback book and is an interesting, deeply personal, fresh take on the usual books about depression. I feel very lucky to have been given the chance to review this for my blog and I shall treasure the copy that was sent to me.
Out Of The Woods is out now! You can buy yourself a copy Here
* This book was kindly sent to me to review. All opinions in this post are my own!
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