Cover Image: Survive and Keep Surviving

Survive and Keep Surviving

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Survive and Keep Surviving by Mel Mallory Published Date: April 1st 2022-
This hi-lo written in verse will be HOT in my library. I can't wait to get this one in. 
Mara, your typical achieving, fresh-faced Freshman, attends her first high school party. It is there she meets and is raped by a college boy and her world is turned upside down. She has a breakdown, fearing that she is constantly being watched so that she can be victimized again and again. This is her haunting story of survival, hers, her parents, and her best friend. Her healing is a process. Sometimes she goes forward; sometimes she stumbles back, but that she keeps going is the main goal. 
Easy to read and understand, but deep in content, my high schoolers will pass this one around like candy. 
#surviveandkeepsurviving #netgalley #MelMallory
Was this review helpful?
Mara is a survivor of a sexual assault and of a psychotic break that happened because of it. She’s trying to move on, to hide away in plain sight and just graduate, until she learns she has to pass her public speaking ELA class. When the interview goes terribly wrong, it’s with the help of her therapist that she begins to understand that she’s not psychotic, that her brain was trying to process after a major trauma and that SHE is a survivor, just trying to find a new normal. This was a quick, but powerful read, about finding a new path and coming to terms with a new normal.
Was this review helpful?
I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher through netgalley for an honest review. This book talks about a tough subject. This book is well written and the characters are described well. This ebook will be in stores on April 1, for $19.99 (USD). Would I recommend reading this book to anyone and everyone, yes I would. It tells you how she feels about what happened. It is very fast paced and well written.
Was this review helpful?
This is a fictional yet very personal account from a teen who is sexually assaulted at a party and subsequently diagnosed with psychosis. I enjoyed how emotionally driven this book was; Mara's fears, sense of isolation and feeling silenced were all too real and so heartbreaking.

This novel-in-verse also explores several important issues beyond sexual assault, such as mental illness, the stigma surrounding it and the recovery process.

Overall, it's a straightforward but powerful read that will help many feel less alone. Fans of Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson will enjoy this!
Was this review helpful?
It was the colours on the book cover that first attracted my eye, then the title, it made me curious as to what this character had to survive and keep on surviving. It’s almost as if the cover is a sheet of paper Mara has been asked to write those words on to enforce that she is going to survive and keep on surviving and she has circled and circled the words in her determination to make sure she does survive. The colours of red and purple, anger and bruises, maybe its just me reading things into the cover but these were certainly the things that attracted me to the book to begin with.

Everyone is probably sick of hearing me banging on about Hi-Lo books, but I thoroughly enjoy reading them, and I feel anything to encourage a more reluctant reader is great. I’ll be totally honest there was a time I would have just glossed over reading anything that was labelled poetry, but these books published by West 44 Books have really opened my eyes and changed my mind about poetry and books told in verse.

It's difficult to say overly much about the book without giving the whole story so forgive me if I seem a bit vague. Mara went to a party and was sexually assaulted, since then she has naturally been trying to come to terms with what happened to her as well as attempting to battle her way through the feelings and issues the rape has caused. To make matters even worse for herself she had public. Mara feels like an outsider, always on the side lines, and she ends up preferring this that having to deal with being judged by others all the time. 

I think the book deals with many, some still somewhat taboo subjects in this one short book. It does it all so well and I think this book could easily be used as a conversation starter for subjects such as rape, mental health, and peer pressure within the right supportive environment.

My immediate thought upon finishing the book, that I read in just one reading sitting/session were that this was yet another great, enjoyable read published by West 44 Books.

Summing up I would say this book deals with many heavy issues such as rape, mental health along with peer pressure and the demands and strains of coming of age.
Was this review helpful?
I really wanted to love and enjoy this book, but I was not able to get into it. It was very slow and wasn't super attention grabbing.
Was this review helpful?
trigger warnings: sexual assault, mental health (specifically psychosis), bullying


I was never a big fan of poetry, until I reached high school and really understood what poetry truly was. I remember reading poems during my English classes and being in awe, rendered speechless, by how writers could tell such deep, meaningful stories through a few artfully crafted lines. 

Survive and Keep Surviving reminded me of how and why I fell in love with poetry. 

This book follows Mara, a high school senior, who is recovering from the trauma of being sexually assaulted and the resulting psychosis. Dealing with such a heavy topic, I didn't expect to read this in one sitting, but I did. Mallory's writing was beautiful and captivating. I was immediately taken to Mara's character and I found myself relating to her in so many ways. I loved her so much and seeing her go through her recovery process brought actual tears to my eyes. I rarely ever cry with books, but I was just so, so proud of Mara. She deserves the world and every bit of good it has to offer!! Also, everyone deserves a friend like Ellie! She was so loyal and supportive and caring, I'm so glad Mara had her in her life. 

All in all, this book was wonderful - it told a very important story in a heartbreakingly artful manner, reignited my love for poetry, and gave me beautiful lines I will carry in my heart. My only criticism is that I wish it didn't end *cries* It was terrible saying goodbye to Mara; I want to know more of what happens in her future!! 

But if you're someone who loves poetry and prose, definitely, definitely add this to your TBR!! And if you're not someone who dabbles in poetry, I still recommend checking it out; it might surprise you and ignite a love for poetry!
Was this review helpful?
The Poetry in this book was beautiful. Those who have also experienced SA will undoubtedly connect with the telling of her story. Poetry is always hard for me to rate as it's such a personal experience to the individual. However, with this one, you can feel what she is feeling. She portrays her experiences so well.
Was this review helpful?
Survive and Keep Surviving is a short story written in poetry format (so even shorter).  The description reminded me a little of Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, but I wouldn't say it's nearly as powerful.  

This is definitely a hopeful text, and I admired the protagonist.  I would have liked for some more depth in terms of the development (plot and character), but the way it is now certainly makes it more accessible to younger readers.
Was this review helpful?
I rated this book 5/5 stars! 
I was intrigued by this novel by the cover, title, and the description. This story is very personal to my own personal struggles and traumas. It's comforting to see recovery from other people's perspectives as well. This had moments that made me laugh and moments that completely made me break down crying, remember how it was like for myself... 
This is a story about a girl that has an unforgettable memory that she's trying to shake from her mind. Trying to enjoy life, but due to this sort of mental trauma and distress, it changes her. And she must open up more about her life and how she is feeling, speak up, and talk through things with her family, friends, and her therapist. Realizing that this is just a setback not the end of your story...

TW: Sexual Assualt, Not Being Able To Express Emotions, Psychosis, and Bullying.
Was this review helpful?
Great book of poems, enjoyed reading this one. Great selection, loved the authors writing style and loved the cover.
Was this review helpful?
The story depicts Mara’s life after she’s been sexually assaulted and how that spiraled into her mental health issues. Well written and can depict how someone goes through all of these emotions while others around her either judge her or don’t know how to handle her.
Was this review helpful?
Survive And Keep Surviving
Mel Mallory

Poetry is always hard to rate because I think it’s the most personal form of writing a person can produce. But without a doubt in my mind Survive and Keep Surviving is so perfectly written that each poem flows right into the next.

S&KS is heart wrenching. It tells the pain of breaking down and building up after a traumatic event. Mallory was able to convey so much in words,that your heart would just ache. 

If I had to point out a book of similar status I would say Speak, Laurie Halse Anderson. If you are a fan of Anderson’s writing then I highly recommend Survive and Keep Surviving. 

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Book 7 of 2022
Was this review helpful?
Let me calm down first.

I love this poetry/book in verse so much!

It is exactly what the blurb says: the struggle of the one who's suffering from the mental health condition and the assumptions that surrounds us, even from the closest people who we expect to understand us better. 

The writing is perfect. The emotions are raw, the expressions quite personal and heartbreaking.

Pick up this book. It is one of the best when it comes to understanding mental health.

Thank you,  West 44 Books, for the advance reading copy.
Was this review helpful?
I was initially drawn to the book by both the cover and the title... it was visually appealing and I loved the message of the title - Survive and Keep Surviving. 

The book follows Mara, a high school senior that was sexually assaulted the summer before her freshman year at a party, and then had a psychotic breakdown her freshman year. Now, 4 years later, she is still dealing with the aftermath of how her assault effected her mental stability. 

According to RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), every 68 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted, and 1 in 6 American women have been the victim of completed or attempted rape in her lifetime. 

Like Mara, I fall in that 1 in 6 statistic, so her story, though fictional, reflects a reality that is far too common in our society. Reading Survive and Keep Surviving made me reflect on my own assault, as well as the mental illnesses that originated due to my traumatic experience. Unlike Mara, I did not suffer a psychotic episode, but the way Mel Mallory unraveled Mara's experience clutched my heart. It made me wish I knew this fictional character, so I could give her a hug and tell her that while things feel dark and terrible now, they do eventually get better. 

I applaud Mel Mallory for writing this emotionally raw story, and raising awareness for both sexual assault and mental health. 

The one thing I hope for with the final publication would be for it to include resources for those who have had to endure sexual assault.
Was this review helpful?
A life story in poetry style.  I loved the book because I know what she went and is going through in her life.  A lot of her story is also my story.  Mental illness sucks big time and you cannot ever get rid of it.  It hangs over your head every single day and cannot get rid of it.  Counseling and meds help but like I said it's an ongoing thing.  The author shares her experience and it's healing for her and myself.  Quite possibly other people who can relate.  This book is no joke and I loved it.  You can actually see the depression or whatever she is going thru, through her words.  It's a great book and it's a great read.

I received a free copy of the book and is voluntarily writing a review
Was this review helpful?