Lottie is happy. Her best friend is Goose and they both work in a shoe shop on Saturdays which is boring but also a source of great fun. Gareth Stingecombe likes her although she’s not so into him. School is good and she is excited about her English GCSE coursework which requires her to write a Personal Account. In fact, she is so into it that her coursework expands to the size of a book full of her thoughts and, increasingly, her worries. As Lottie tries to cope, and tries to persuade everyone around her that she is coping and life is just a laugh, things get out of hand.
The book is told in Lottie’s engaging and funny voice, interspersed with amusing drawings. The reader can’t help but laugh along with Lottie, whilst also experiencing a nagging doubt that something is not right and Lottie needs help. The story is both enjoyable and thought-provoking – readers looking for an amusing book told with an authentic teen voice will enjoy it, but so too will readers interested in how to cope when things get too much. Hayley Long shows the reader that not coping or even suffering from depression or other similar problems is nothing to be ashamed of – the problem is not facing up to your issues and not dealing with them. I loved the line “…I reckon that the best proof of sanity is being able to identify a bit of madness in yourself and be OK with it.”