Project Semicolon: Your Story Isn't Over

 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
1532 0
Project Semicolon: Your Story Isn't Over
Author(s)
Publisher
Age Range
13+
Release Date
September 05, 2017
ISBN
978-0062466525
Buy This Book
      
For fans of PostSecret, Humans of New York, and If You Feel Too Much, this collection from suicide-awareness organization Project Semicolon features stories and photos from those struggling with mental illness.

Project Semicolon began in 2013 to spread a message of hope: No one struggling with a mental illness is alone; you, too, can survive and live a life filled with joy and love. In support of the project and its message, thousands of people all over the world have gotten semicolon tattoos and shared photos of them, often alongside stories of hardship, growth, and rebirth.

Project Semicolon: Your Story Isn't Over reveals dozens of new portraits and stories from people of all ages talking about what they have endured and what they want for their futures. This represents a new step in the movement and a new awareness around those who struggle with mental illness and those who support them. At once heartfelt, unflinchingly honest, and eternally hopeful, this collection tells a story of choice: every day you choose to live and let your story continue on.

Learn more about the project at www.projectsemicolon.com.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

A Semicolon Anthology
Overall rating 
 
3.5
Writing Style 
 
3.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
4.0
"Stay Strong. Love endlessly. Change lives." --Amy Bleuel

This suicide and mental illness awareness collection is made up of both survival testimonials and memorial accounts of those enduring the pain of a lost loved one. The range of writing length and ability here is widely variable. Some have contributed as little as a small paragraph—and some up to 3 full pages. Accompanying most of these stories is a picture of each author’s semicolon tattoo. (This being in reference to international movement that has adopted the symbol.)

“A semicolon is used when an author could’ve chosen to end their sentence, but chose not to. The author is you, and the sentence is your life,” explains Project Semicolon’s website.

To be clear up front, I chose this book for review because The Semicolon Project has meant a great deal to me. It’s a supportive, affirming community I would have loved to see available when I was still an early-to-mid teenager—in a very vulnerable and precarious state of mental health. Its message is one I endorse wholeheartedly. So much so, over a year ago I received a semicolon tattoo on my left hand to remind myself and to stand in solidarity. I share this to put in better context what I mean when I say I sincerely wish I had been able to give this collection a higher rating.

I’m afraid I have to concur with those who've pointed out there's not a lot of "hope" to be found in many of these stories. Most do try to wrap up on a positive-sounding note. But there's often just a sentence at the end that sounds like a "hang-in-there" pep talk, without really offering a how-to in that regard. Some close with merely an "I'm still alive" sort of observation. I don't want to diminish anyone's struggle—please don't misunderstand. But I have to wonder if many of these stories weren't a bit premature in their public release.

Even the founder of the Semi-Colon Project, Amy Bleuel, had an incomplete-feeling story (which she shares at the very beginning of the compilation.) In it she alludes to the physical, mental, and emotional abuse she suffered at the hands of her step-mother--after her parents divorced and she chose to live with her father at age 6. At age 8 she attempted to physically defend herself from her stepmother and was taken away, placed in the juvenile justice system. Her biological mother was the one who came for her. She then spent age 13-18 within the Wisconsin juvenile justice system. Yet, she dedicated the Semi-Colon Project and this book to her father—who killed himself while she was still a teenager (further adding to her trauma.) I’ve read her account several times, but am still perplexed as to why she chose to bestow such honor on the man who married an abusive woman and who, from what few details we’re given, seems to have failed to protect his daughter. I’m certain there must be more to her story that could help me understand. But whatever that information may be, it’s not offered in the current incarnation of her autobiographical essay.

-----------------
Content Notes:

*The language use is sometimes raw, but well within context rather than gratuitous.
*There’s such a heartbreaking consistency to so many of these stories—histories of devastating childhood abuse, and of rape-induced trauma. While the details are kept mercifully vague, many of these accounts are still likely to be triggering for those who haven’t yet reached a stable place in their journey toward healing.
*For a large swath of those who seemed to be writing from a “good place,” finding a supportive significant other is marked as the turning point in their personal battle. I’m concerned this crediting may inadvertently serve to encourage more impressionable young readers into seeking out romantic relationships steeped in codependency.
*I'm dismayed at the reviewers who’ve rated this collection poorly because they didn't wish to encounter any stories of struggle or overcoming that make mention of personal faith. For the record, maybe 1/6 accounts allude to a belief in any form of "higher-power," and for the vast majority of those, it's a simple one-sentence nod of acknowledgement.
-------------------

I did want to take a moment to recognize the stories that felt particularly complete, and/or struck me personally as impactful: Jana A., Lisa A., K.T., Cassidy F., Aaron P., Rebecca H., and Kevin S. -- For whatever reason, their writing and conveyance resonated enough to make this reader want to dog-ear. Most contributors, I'm sure, wrote bravely for a cathartic outlet. But these I’ve listed... I wish my younger self had been able to read their works.

Favorite Quote:

"Sometimes, I feel like a dung beetle.
(I kno, but hear me out.)
What starts out as the tiniest piece of crap gets rolled around in my mind until it's the biggest load of bullshit ever. Sometimes, this accidentally rolls over other people and ruins relationships, but mostly, it stops me from being able to see my way forward." --Kevin. S.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Incredible Animals
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
In this illustrated guide, discover fascinating and unusual information about...
Special Delivery
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
A lovely book to share with children in an expecting...
Eyelike Stickers: Trains
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Hundreds of irresistible, reusable, and collectible stickers to mix, match,...
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
It is twenty years since the events of La Belle...
Heiress Apparently (Daughters of the Dynasty, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The first book in an epic and romantic YA series...
Winter Light
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
WINTER LIGHT is the story of 15-year-old Mary Donahue...
Talent
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Sandee Mason is convinced her life will change if she...
WITHIN THE FOLDS OF A SWAN'S WINGS
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
What if the one element that has always defined you...
The Good Girls
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
One of Us Is Lying meets Sadie in this twisty,...
Frozen 2: Dangerous Secrets: The Story of Iduna and Agnarr
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Sixteen-year-old Iduna harbors a dark secret. On the surface, she...
All our Hidden Gifts
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Maeve’s strangely astute tarot readings make her the talk of...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Twelve-year-old Cassie needs a horse. She’s determined to move up...
A Higher Version of Me (The Destiny Clark Saga Book 9)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Just when everything seems to be perfect, it all falls...
A Happier Version of Me (The Destiny Clark Saga Book 8)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Two guys. One girl. A big confusing mess. ...
A Healthier Version of Me (The Destiny Clark Saga Book 7)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
She broke his heart. Will he ever forgive her? ...
A Steadier Version of Me (The Destiny Clark Saga Book 6)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
He wants her back, but she’s already taken. ...

Latest Member Reviews

 
4.3
"If your expecting the same type of books that you’ve been reading in this series, you’d be wrong. This whole..."
The Kinder Poison
 
5.0
"From start to finish I absolutely adored this story. The opening scene was so much fun to read while Zahru..."
Heiress Apparently (Daughters of the Dynasty, #1)
 
5.0
"HEIRESS APPARENTLY is a YA rom-com with deep themes that make it such an engaging and captivating read. Gemma is..."
The Good Girls
 
4.0
"THE GOOD GIRLS is an enthralling read. The book begins after the disappearance and seeming murder of the police chief's..."
All our Hidden Gifts
 
4.0
"Maeve finds a pack of tarot cards while cleaning out a closet at her school. What starts off as curiosity,..."
Frozen 2: Dangerous Secrets: The Story of Iduna and Agnarr
 
4.7
"DANGEROUS SECRETS: THE STORY OF IDUNA AND AGNARR is a great MG/YA fantasy romance. Based on Frozen, this book tells..."
Hot British Boyfriend
 
4.0
"When Ellie is completely humiliated by her best friend an crush, she decides the best way to escape her jeering..."
The Camelot Betrayal (Camelot Rising, #2)
 
4.7
"THE CAMELOT BETRAYAL continues Guinevere's story as she seeks to find her footing in a world that keeps throwing her..."
Loveboat, Taipei
 
4.7
"WHAT I LOVED: Ever’s pushy parents have already gotten their way by making her apply to medical school, but..."
The Mermaid, The Witch, and the Sea
 
5.0
"THE MERMAID, THE WITCH, AND THE SEA is a lush, beautiful, and romantic fantasy that follows Flora, now living as..."
Super Fake Love Song
 
4.3
"SUPER FAKE LOVE SONG is a YA contemporary romance about siblings, feeling like an outcast, and friendship. Sunny definitely feels..."
The Companion
 
5.0
"Margot is the survivor of a devastating accident in which her entire family drowns in their car. She is taken..."
How It All Blew Up
 
4.3
"Amir is an Iranian American teenager who is gay and in the closet. When another student blackmails him about his..."
Skyhunter (Skyhunter, #1)
 
5.0
"I really enjoyed Skyhunter, another winner from Marie Lu. Talin is a refugee and is mute. She is a Striker,..."
Now That I've Found You
 
4.0
"Evie is a young actress living in L.A. and has a legacy to live up to. Her parents are famous..."
Clown in a Cornfield
 
3.3
"When Quinn and her father move to a tiny town, she's hoping to fit in and finish high school. Kettle..."
Foreshadow: Stories to Celebrate the Magic of Reading and Writing YA
 
4.7
"'Foreshadow: Stories to Celebrate the Magic of Reading and Writing YA,' edited by Emily X.R. Pan and Nova Ren Suma,..."
 
4.0
"Maisie is a young teenage girl growing up in the Bronx. The story takes place during the early 1960s. Maisie..."
Sing Like No One's Listening
 
3.0
"SING LIKE NO ONE'S LISTENING is a YA fiction about grief and anxiety. Nettie lost her mother unexpectedly after a..."
We Are Lost and Found
 
4.3
"WE ARE LOST AND FOUND is a profound historical fiction read that takes place in the early 1980s NYC. Michael..."