Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 575
Reckoning with depression
Overall rating 
 
4.7
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
In a small, very white town, Morgan is trapped in the expectations and assumptions of everyone around her. She hasn't found a place to fit in, and her head is full of a pain she can't shake. Learning to live, learning to thrive, with depression is no easy task in any circumstance, let alone hers. But as Morgan finds new people and music, she discovers how to put her mental health first and how to flourish in the world she's in.

WHO PUT THIS SONG ON is a fantastic addition to the list of YA books that tackle mental health in an authentic way. Depression looks different for everyone, and marginalized identities alongside that create unique experiences. Morgan's depression involves tears, feelings of isolation, and loneliness. It also involves people second guessing her mental health and doubting her experience, something that is unfortunately all too common. Those who have experience with depression will likely find a strong connection with Morgan and those that don't will get an authentic glimpse into what living with depression can look like.

Morgan Parker has a distinct voice that makes these characters feel real and immediate, though the story is set in the 2000s. Young readers will get to view what it was like being a teenager, and specifically a Black teenager, as the Obama era was just starting. Music also plays a huge role in WHO PUT THIS SONG ON, highlighting the power of connection to discovering music that fits exactly what you feel, as well as the connections that can be formed when you share music with others.

Morgan Parker's WHO PUT THIS SONG ON pairs well with books like Tiffany D. Jackson's LET ME HEAR A RHYME and Cindy L. Rodriguez's WHEN REASON BREAKS.
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