Cover Image: Life Support

Life Support

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Member Reviews

TW: self harm, child abuse, eating disorders, bullying, anxiety, depression, fatphobia, body shaming and homophobia

This was definitely a book that took me a long time to process and i’m glad i read it as i could in my own time, as it does touches into subjects that are extremely heavy but nonetheless needed to be talked about.
Life Support follows five teenagers that are each going through different issues in their life and with a touch of Breakfast Club their paths cross developing a friendship.
I can’t say this was a favorite read for me, I was expecting the topics to be worked on of course, but those are subjects that carry so much pain and trauma that I think they need to be handled a bit more carefully. The author did add the TWs in the beginning of the book (much appreciated by the way) however it was still very painful to see the developments of their issues and line of thinking turn problematic and sometimes even unrealistic. 
I must say i did wish them all well but for the most part i was only attached to Kendra and Alex. The others won my heart at different parts of the story (Rosie in the beginning and Tyler at the end) but Ricky… Ricky was… he was definitely Ricky?
I must say for most of the time i truly understand Ricky and could relate to much of it but the way he handled anger was unhealthy and toxic to everyone around him (including his mom…) and it felt like everyone just enabled it? 
Most of the conclusions felt a bit rushed and some of them came out of nowhere to me (except for Kendra’s, even though i can look past Alex’s as well) but with that said I’d definitely say the highlight of the story was how beautifully the author wrote their friendship. It was my favorite thing about this book and it definitely made the final scene be special.
With that said, I didn’t hate this book but i didn’t love it as much as i thought i would. I wouldn’t recommend it as i’m scared about the effect it could have on different people from different background (specially the fatphobia/domestic abuse) parts, but if u decide to read it, please proceed with caution!

Thank you NetGalley for sending me the ARC in exchange for an honest review!
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Please note before you read this book, it is NOT a light read. This is a heavy book with heavy and dark content and themes and it is not an easy book. Everyone has their own issues going on, between eating disorders, homophobia, self harm, child abuse and more.

What I like about this book is it’s nice how all these teens with issues of their own make their own friendship group where they’re all there for each other when they need; I found that quite sweet! I didn’t so much like how much pressure these teens are putting on themselves to solve everyone’s issues on their own, as opposed to getting adults or professionals involved, as I think this could be a potentially harmful message. Yes, as friends be there and support each other, but also you don’t have to be the person that cures your friends mental illness or fixes their problems. Sometimes just being their friend is enough. 

The writing style is easy to read and makes this book quick to fly through (in theory. Due to the content, I did have to take frequent breaks).  And I liked how seeing these people with issues who were all so alone at the start, found solace with each other, and how they did help each other and change each other for the better. 

There is plot points that move the story forward, but overall the book is more about the characters and their development and relationships. 

I wouldn’t say this is an enjoyable read, due to the extremities of the content, but it’s definitely a thought provoking one!
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This is one of the most moving and deepest books I have read in a very long time.  These teenagers could have been our own children, friends, nieces or nephews.  Their individual stories will just grab you by the heart strings and you will be holding on tight trying to prevent any of them from slipping through. 

A young adult could red this book, and they all really should read it, but adults should also read it as an eye opener to what is going on with kids and how some of the basic problems are still out there and still very real. 

If these were actually people they would be hero’s in my book.  I just can’t find the words to describe how moved i was and how wonderful a job the author did creating these characters and their storylines.  Thank to to NetGalley and the publisher for sharing the ARC of this book with me.
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The teenage protagonists in this story all have some issues to contend with in their personal lives - anorexia, body image, sexuality, abuse, poverty - which makes it quite triggering in places but what I appreciated most about the book is the strong emphasis on friendship and the encouragement to feel empathy with others. None of these teens are 'saved' by the adults around them - they save themselves with the help of the random bunch of fellow students they fall into a friendship with. There's an important message about toxic masculinity too and a real understanding of the trials some young people have to go through whilst growing up.
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4.5 stars!

Check trigger warnings before you read this.

I liked stories with themes of mental illness. I find them intriguing and immersive. I find most of them relatable and that's what makes this vividly raw and close to my heart. To sum it all up, it's heartbreakingly beautiful.

Massive thank you to Netgalley for this arc!
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I want to start by saying that the content warning at the beginning of the book was perfectly written. The author makes it clear that there are sensitive topics in the book that may upset and trigger some readers. Not only that, she makes a point in saying that she cares about the reader more than book sales, so if you are not in the right mental state to read about the issues in the story that is okay. I love the sensitive way the message was written.

This story has a lot going on: an over weight teen, a teen with an eating disorder, lgbtqia, self harm, abusive and alcoholic parents, financial struggles. Basically this book covers any and, just about, every struggle a teenager may go through. What I loved about it is the struggling teens, somehow find each other and form strong bonds  and give each other the support they need to work through and face their issues. I feel this is a book that teens and especially parents should read. We can all learn a lot from it.
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An uplifting story of a group of troubled high-school kids who find each other to form a support system. The book deals with a host of heavy topics—domestic abuse, eating disorders, poverty, fat-shaming and homophobia—but does so with a light touch through the friendships that are forged. Is it a realistic story? Heck, no, it needs a suspension of disbelief. Is it a timely and welcome story? Absolutely! I am, however, taking one star away because of the fat phobia. The fat girl does lose a lot of weight to finally feel good about herself. 

(Review copy from NetGalley)
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An unlikely group of friends comes together to help each other find the light in the darker sides of their respective lives. Mental health is such an important topic that often goes ignored. Sarah McKnight does a great job of highlighting the way words and actions can impact someone, both negatively and positively.
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Life Support by Sarah McKnight is a book about five teenagers that find friendship through their struggles. This book reminds me of a modern day Breakfast Club mixed with the Losers Club from It. There are several trigger warnings for this book: abuse, eating disorders,  homophobia, self-harm and suicide attempt. I found that even with these very tough subjects, the author does a fantastic job portraying the characters struggles. I love that friendship is what gets them through everything. The characters are very relatable and likeable and I found myself wanting to know everything about them. I really enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it to be added to your read list! 
Thank you Netgalley for providing me with an advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are my own.
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I was caught by the premise of the book and the title, it sounded like a modern take on The Breakfast Club, with a lot more themes and mental health representation, the book follows the five main characters who meet by chance and begin to develop squad goals/vibes, as they navigate their own and each other’s problems. 

There are a number of triggering topics covered throughout this book such as anxiety, panic attacks, eating disorders, abuse, body shaming, homophobia, self-harm and bullying, the author has done a great job in approaching these topics carefully and compassionately, this is definitely a good read for young people (maybe those aged 16-18) to realise that they are not alone and that some of the feelings they are likely to experience are valid.

This book does a fantastic job in highlighting the how important it is to have a group of supportive friends, and family, as it today’s society things are much harder for young people to navigate, especially with the developments and ever-growing social media presence and technology improvement/reliance

I like the way that the book alternates between perspective, giving you various chapters from each character, which I feel really adds to the books pace and the characters development, it’s such a fast paced and well-rounded book, that I was invested in, I needed to know what happened to the characters, it’s definitely a great read and one I would recommend
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Life Support was a really good YA story about a group of teens who meet up and talk about what is going on with themselves.  Each has issues in one way or another, two have eating disorders, one is bullied for being gay, one has anxiety, and one is abused by his dad.  I found the characters believable but kind of unlikable (except Kendra and Alex, they were great).  The chapters alternate with each character making for a quick read.  I really enjoyed the book and look forward to reading more by this author.
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3.5 stars

TW: child abuse, homophobia, eating disorder, self harm, fatphobia, bodyshaming 

I found the characters realistic and the story does remind me of the Breakfast Club. Basically, the characters got together due to them not having friends and they bonded over that. This book isn’t about romance. It’s about real life challenges that teenagers do face. The story and the characters were really interesting but I don’t know if it’s just me I wasn’t really invested in it. The story didn’t really get me hooked enough. Anyway it’s a good read but not really a book I would reread.
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My Rating - 4.5 / 5

12am: Finish Book
12:01am: Stare at the ceiling
12:30am: Cry happy tears

My Review:
This is exactly what happened to me when I completed the book. It was fantastic. This book encapsulated all of my emotions into a single volume.
The story revolves around five kids who are all in various situations. This book covers a wide range of mental health topics (including an eating disorder, suicide, and homophobia). This book, in my opinion, discusses these difficult concepts in a digestible manner. I also appreciated that the book began with a disclaimer; it indicated that the author cared about the readers. That is significant.
There were a few punctuation mistakes that I noticed. In addition, the novel was left incomplete. Do Kendra and Alex ever get together? Ricky and Rosie? Is Ricky's father also set free? If that's the case, will he go after the family? Do they disclose the abuse? I really like the novel, however, I wish it had a conclusion.
This book is something I would suggest to everyone who wants to read something important. If you do, I believe this book is ideal for you.
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This book handles some very difficult topics but does it with compassion and understanding, whilst keeping the book enjoyable. 
I really liked this book. It’s my first by this author but it won’t be the last. It’s a great young adult book and is relevant and relatable.
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This book tackles tons of different struggling challenges; and it's handled with perfection. All the characters feel so real, the emotions, dialogue, everything is realistic and works perfectly with the theme of the book. The changing perspectives of the main characters is so necessary, and makes reading much more interesting. Making you able to feel and see their emotions, and be able to know them more in depth.
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If Kathleen Glasgow or Jennifer Niven was briefed to write a Breakfast Club style story that somehow recreates the vibes of those 90s books from the US about real teen issues, this would be the result. 

This book does come with the TW: child abuse, homophobia, eating disorders, suicide attempt, body shaming, self harm. 

It's a lot, but these are all real problems that real teens face. Indeed, like attracts like and I do really like how this is friendship focused rather than everything tying up in a neat romantic bow. It's about resilience and overcoming those awful demons, both internal and external, that rear their heads on the cusp of adulthood.  

I would recommend this to students, but definitely with descretion and appropriate trigger warnings. For mature Yr9 +
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This book is incredible. It is brutally raw and feel incfedibly real, like you are there with the characters - who I loved. There are some hard hitting issues in this book such as child abuse, mental health such as self harm and eating disorders, to name just a few, however I felt these were handled as sensitively as could be and that they are important things to be put in books for teens and young adults as they are very reall issues for many of them. I really liked it.
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TW: child abuse, eating disorders, body shaming, homophobia, self harm

I loved the format of this book. It also reminded me a lot of The Breakfast Club and the Losers Club from Stephen King's IT, which I really enjoyed.

Some of their individual stories were pretty triggering, so I do wanna give a warning in case one of the things I listed above will trigger you.

I could not put this book down. I became so attached to and invested in the characters that I had to keep reading as long as I could so I'd know what would happen to them all. They were all very well-written - as was the whole book - and it just made this a great read. I highly recommend this one!
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The title of the book is spot on.  Breakfast Club meets  Group Therapy.  Five  teens struggling with real problems meet by chance and cling together for support during a year of high school.  They support one another as they  navigate panic attacks, overeating, anorexia, abuse, and bullying.  This book reminds the reader of the weight young people carry in today's society and of just how important it is to have a group of supportive friends.
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