Blog tour and Review: Her by Felicia Johnson

Title: Her
Author: Felicia Johnson
Series: Standalone
Genre: YA/Fiction
Publisher: 8th Street Publishing
Release Date: June 2013
Edition/Formats Available In: eBook & Print (Soon to be a Movie)
Trigger Warnings: Borderline Personality Disorder, Eating Disorders, Depression, Child Abuse, Self-Harm
In many ways, Kristen Elliott is a normal, seventeen-year-old girl. Kristen loves her family. She works hard academically, and tries to please her mother. She takes on the additional responsibility of caring for her twin siblings, Nick and Alison. She idealizes her best friend, Lexus, who not only seems to lead the perfect life, but also catches the attention of John, the boy Kristen secretly loves. However, as is the case with many teenagers, Kristen feels frustrated, isolated, and confused.
In other ways, Kristen is not like other kids her age. She knows something is wrong with her. Kristen feels like an utter failure. She is unable to please her abrasive mother, and scared to confront Jack, her abusive stepfather. She is also unable to protect Nick from Jack, making her fell all the more helpless. Adding to her problems, she knows she will never be as beautiful as her best friend Lexus. Kristen finds solace in self-injury, and the company of Mr. Sharp, her imaginary friend who encourages her feelings of self-loathing.
After a failed suicide attempt, Kristen is placed in the Bent Creek mental hospital, where she is diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. While in the hospital, she meets a group of peers suffering with their own mental illnesses, and a compassionate staff of doctors and counselors. From there, Kristen begins her journey to survival. She discovers the circumstances that brought her to this breaking point, struggles to understand her mental illness, and fights to be a survivor against her own worst enemy: her self-blame.
Kristen’s tale of endurance illustrates the complex illness of Borderline Personality Disorder. Readers – including those suffering from BPD and their friends and family – can glean insight into the illness from Kristen’s humanity. Her story is an example of how, if we try to push the past away, we are either doomed to repeat it or let it haunt us to our graves.

This was a touching story beyond what I thought it would be for me.

I have never personally experienced anything like this so I was in awe at how well the author described the treatment center of Bent Creek. I always thought you were put into a mental institution they gave you medicine and hopefully you got better. I was very impressed that this isn't the case. You actually get the help you need and if it doesn't work you go to long-term.

Let's start off with why Kristen went to Bent Creek, she tried to kill herself.  Once I learned why, I could understand and feel her guilt. She is close to her siblings especially Nickyroo as she likes to call him but his name is Nick. Kristen has been slowly going downhill especially since the monster has taken her father and we hear this repeated. But when she catches her step-father abusing his own child that is when Kristen hits the bottom of the pit so fast.
Kristen in broken and she doesn't have a support system to help her. But in Bent Creek she learns that there is help for her she just has to open up. Something she hasn't been able to do, except to Mr. Sharp. Mr. Sharp has been there with her for everything. While in Bent Creek Kristen learns that she is suffering from BPD which is Borderline Personality Disorder. While in there, she gets to see that there are other teenagers going through things just as bad as her. She even sees death happen while she is there. I think in a way it was a real eye opener. We watch as Kristen grows and faces her demons and we see hope and light for her at the end of the tunnel. I can say I felt so much emotion within this story it felt real, it felt raw.

Kristen's mother oh my word. I don't even know if I want to even write a few sentences about her. While her husband was being abusive she turns a blind eye. When her daughter is trying to tell her something she is so quick to slap her, which just made my blood boil. Then when confront on how everything has gone wrong in her life she constantly blames Kristen, who does that? I think her mother is unhappy with her life and what went wrong and  that Kristen is suppose to be strong for her mother instead of for herself.

The author has done an amazing job with this story. She did great with giving us back story as to why Kristen did what she did. We got to see her progress, and own up to her demons. She did great on describing scenes, how treatment centers work, the characters felt real and not just something in a story. She has done her research on BPD and cutting.
This is a book that I would recommend to any and everyone. Just be prepared for harsh scenes, and heartache.
The only problem I had in total was the constant use of home school. It was home school this, home school that.
I did enjoy the ending, I thought it was a powerful message saying You can overcome this. It takes support and love and time to heal.
I would have enjoyed finding out about Kristen's roommate in Bent Creek, Janine she left at a point in the story to where I just kind of wondered did she get the help she needed.

I want to write more but I am going to end up giving so much away.

Stop and think, and you’ll discover that you probably know someone who is going through this right now. Yes, 1 out of every 4 people struggles with mental illness – the dark secret so many live with.

One of the most corrosive aspects of living with mental illness is the urge to keep it a secret. Felicia Johnson learned that secrets can be lethal, and courageously shines a light on a diagnosis rarely talked about: borderline personality disorder, or BPD. Your audience will appreciate her candour and this opportunity for insight.
In Felicia Johnson’s book Her, we walk in the shoes of a girl suffering with borderline personality disorder, share her hopes and struggles as she desperately tries to understand what is happening. It is an example of how if we try to push the past away, we are either doomed to repeat it or let it haunt us to our graves. This powerful and compelling story enables those suffering from BPD, and their friends and family, to turn the abstract concept of BPD into a more real understanding.

Meet Kristen Elliott, a normal seventeen-year-old who loves her family and friends and strives for their approval. But Kristen knows something is wrong with her. In her pain and isolation, she finds fleeting solace in self-injury, and the company of Mr. Sharp, her imaginary friend who feeds her feelings of self-loathing.

After a failed suicide attempt, Kristen is placed in a mental hospital and diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD). There, she discovers the circumstances that brought her to this breaking point, struggles to understand her mental illness, and fights to be a survivor against her own worst enemy: her self-blame. It is a story of endurance, survival and finding hope from within.
The story is inspired by Felicia Johnson’s own life of survival and her childhood best friend, Holly who, at fifteen, committed suicide – a silent victim of untreated Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) stemming from the trauma of childhood abuse. While Holly lost her battle with depression and BPD and at 15 years old took her own life, we can make a difference in showing teens that they are not alone on this journey and there is light at the end of the tunnel. Her also illuminates the harsh reality of child abuse in the home and the long term psychological effects it has on everyone involved.”

Through Her, Felicia Johnson helps to bring the understanding of BPD within reach of many young people and families afflicted by it, and continues to help many come to terms with mental health issues they face.
We need help in turning this book into a movie, so we can reach thousands more and change the perception of mental illness and enable those who need the help to get it, help those going through this and also help families of those going through this to understand what their loved ones are facing. My goal is to help put an end to stigma on mental health and provide hope to those who seek help.”

Felicia Johnson is an author of a bestselling novel, speaker, child abuse survivor, and mental health advocate with over ten years’ experience in the mental health field. She works in Atlanta with the Highlands Institute and volunteers with Youth Villages Inner Harbour and Personality Disorder Awareness Network. Johnson was nominated for the Gutsy Gals Inspire Me Award of 2014 and Her has been nominated for Georgia Writer's Association Author of The Year Award. She loves ice cream and seeing her little sister smile.

Book Links

Book Trailers 
The Pain 

The Hope


My father would probably have killed my
mother. Theresa probably would have still killed
herself, and I probably would have done it, too.”
“Were you scared?” “At first I was. When I first got here, I thought I was being punished. Now I see what being a survivor really is. It’s not giving up. It’s not
running away. It’s getting through whatever it is you have to get through to make it. It is allowing you to grow stronger for whatever is coming next. It is being brave and choosing to live through it all so that you can share your story and help others. That’s what a survivor does. I don’t want to run away anymore. I just want to live and make things better. My mom wants to do the same. I tell you, Kristen, Bent Creek may seem like the worst place to be right now, but
you’ll see. It’s not.” He looked straight into my eyes and said, “I’ve
watched you.” My heart started beating fast. He grabbed my hand gently and looked down at my bandaged wrists. His fingers traced the fresh tape that Ms. Mosley had used for the bandages when she’d changed them this morning. I closed my eyes and let myself feel this moment between us.
“You seem so sad and regretful. You can’t just let it out, can you?” I shook my head. My eyes were still closed. I felt tears begin to well up in them. There were no words to describe that moment. His words and the feelings inside of me were just too much. The tears poured out from underneath my
eyelids. He squeezed my hands. I jolted, not afraid, just feeling too much. “Open your eyes,” he said.
I did open my eyes, and his large, beautiful eyes stared into mine.
“You know how the old people in here always have something to say to us? And when they talk, they think they know everything. You know?” He chuckled a little. Then his smile disappeared.
“There are things I keep hearing over and over that I do believe, though. They sound old–fashioned, and they are definitely cliché. But remember this, Kristen,” he told me with his seriously passionate stare. “This too shall pass, and what doesn’t kill you will make you stronger.” He paused. “If you let it. Keep your head up and your eyes open. That’s how you will survive. If what you go through doesn’t kill you, let it make you stronger.”

FELICIA JOHNSON is a child abuse survivor, writer, sought-after speaker, mental health worker, and youth advocate. She loves ice cream, and seeing her little sister, Laura, smile. She is an active youth mentor at Youth Villages Inner Harbour and has been a volunteer with the Personality Disorder Awareness Network (PDAN). Johnson readily engages an audience with the moving story behind her latest book, Her. It is the story of a young woman with Borderline Personality Disorder who courageously peels back the layers of her complex and serious mental illness in a desperate attempt to understand it.

Author Links

Her the Book Website


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