EVOLUTION OF THE FALLEN by MJ GOODNOW
Evolution of the Fallen is about four teens who, after spending some time in a psychiatric facility, go and live at a half way house. Each one has a traumatic event or several traumatic events in their life that brought them to this point. They are all on medicines that are supposed to help them manage their illness on a daily basis. Some of these meds are so mind numbing that, even if they control the disease, they cause the person to become a sort of medicated zombie, if you will. None of them have friends or family to speak of, either because the parents have passed away or because they simply wouldn't face up to the fact that their child had problems.
They do, however, have a wonderful example of humanity in their house mother, Beth. She proves to them that no matter what, she is in their corner and will always be there for them. She sticks with them, even through their bad days, instead of simply throwing them away. She shows them that the only thing standing between them and what they want is them and she loves them through everything.
This book was inspirational and awesome. It made me stop and think about the people I pass on the street every single day and wonder if they need a champion in their corner. It made me angry as it pointed out the capacity that the human race has to do harm to others, whether it be throwing away a child considered to be 'defective' or labeling people with names like 'crazy' or 'nut job'. At the same time, it redeemed people by showing that they also have a great capacity to love and accept others or to be loved and accepted by others.
I am not ashamed to admit that I cried while reading several chapters and cheered those kids on while reading other chapters.
I definitely think everyone should read this book. It can help deepen our understanding of what it means to be "mentally ill" and serve as a reminder that, our actions can have an enormous impact on those around us. When reading this book, you should know that while it was written as fiction, it is loosely based on the lives of real people.
Keep an eye out here and as soon as Evolution of the Fallen is available for purchase, I will post the link here.