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Get Well Soon Paperback – September 1, 2009


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 - 17 years
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Square Fish; Reprint edition (September 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312581483
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312581480
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #120,421 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“I completely fell in love with Anna Bloom’s voice—it’s wry, romantic, and so, so true.”—Gabrielle Zevin, author of Elsewhere

“An upbeat story that offers a hype-free, realistic look inside a teen ward . . . As the novel progresses, readers will get a kick out of Anna’s snarky sense of humor and her capacity for self-renewal.”—Publishers Weekly

“[Anna] is endearing as a caustic damsel in distress. With Anna down the hall, landing in the ‘loony bin’ just might be a whole lot of fun.”—The Chicago Tribune

“A funny novel about depression. That's the welcome, endearing product Julie Halpern offers readers . . . a never-didactic message about emotional growth and psychic healing.”—Kirkus Reviews Best Young-Adult Books 2007

“Debut author Halpern drew from her own teen experiences with depression, and Anne’s voice, filled with spot-on musings, sarcasm, slang, and swearing, is uproariously funny and authentic . . . Many teens will connect with the vague anxiety that lands Anna in treatment as well as her subtle, realistic sense that her life is her own to value and shape.”—Booklist

“Funny, easygoing prose . . . an appealingly comic cousin of Carolyn Mackler’s The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things.”—Kirkus Reviews

“There is a lovely sweetness in the blooming relationship between Anna and Justin . . . Halpern creates a narrative that reflects the changes in Anna with each passing day that includes self-reflection and a good dose of humor. Readers will cheer for Anna as she gains confidence in herself, dares to rebel a little, and gets well as she goes back to her life.”—Voice of Youth Advocates

From the Inside Flap

Anna Bloom is depressed—so depressed that her parents have committed her to a mental hospital with a bunch of other messed-up teens. Here, she meets a roommate with a secret (and a plastic baby), a doctor who focuses way too much on her weight, and a cute, shy boy who just might like her.

But wait! Being trapped in a loony bin isn’t supposed to be about making friends, losing weight, and having a crush, is it?

In her fiction debut, Julie Halpern finds humor in the unlikeliest of places, and presents a character whose voice—and heart—will resonate with all of us who have ever felt just a little bit crazy.

Julie Halpern is a middle-school librarian in suburban Chicago. She is the author of the children’s book Toby and the Snowflakes. Her likes include road trips, board games, and cake. Her dislikes include traffic, insomnia, and meanies.

Julie lives with her husband, illustrator Matthew Cordell, and their squeezably soft Siamese cat, Tobin. Get Well Soon is Julie’s first novel, and is based on her own depressing experiences during high school. But she’s fine now. Really.

Visit Julie Halpern’s Web site and blog at www.juliehalpern.com.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Julie Halpern lives with her husband, author and illustrator Matthew Cordell, their daughter, and their jumbo-sized Siamese cat in suburban Chicago. She enjoys spending her mornings watching Pee Wee's Playhouse with her daughter and her evenings watching Bravo reality shows with her husband. She also likes to read and do other stuff. You can visit her on the Web at www.juliehalpern.com.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 33 customer reviews
Julie Halpern's first novel, Get Well Soon, is a very, very funny book.
Elayne Shapiro
Some parents might not like the fact that she uses many, many swearwords, but I think her direct language contributes to her believable voice and to the humor.
R. Miller
By the end of the book it feels like Anna was writing to you all along.
Colleen

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By TeensReadToo on October 2, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Anna is fat and depressed. She suffers from panic attacks, and has stopped going to school. Her parents, who are totally clueless, decide to send her to a mental hospital. Will that do any good? Anna doesn't think so! Not in this place. Nobody tells her anything, they have the weirdest rules ever, and she's forced to wear these ugly pajamas all day long with no bra!

But as days go by, things turn out to be not as bad as she originally thought. Anna meets other teens. Matt O. has been living there for six months. Six whole months? Will Anna ever get out of this place? She also spends time with Sandy, her roommate who's eating for two and has to carry a baby doll all day long. Victor becomes the first black friend she's ever had. And finally, there's Justin -- Oh, Justin! -- the cutest guy around who may have even looked at her.

Written in the form of a letter to her best friend, Tracy, Anna describes all of the details of her life at the nut house in a very funny way, with a writing style that is just like... well... that of a teenage girl!

This story is engaging, the characters sound real, the writing is refreshing and natural, and the descriptions of the situations are hilarious!

Great job for a first time novelist, who's also a librarian and spent time in a psychiatric hospital herself when she was a teen. (She claims to be fine now!)

Reviewed by: Christian C.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By London on November 2, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I really loved this book. The story is not at all what you'd expect from a book about a teenager hospitalized for depression. Halpern doesn't shy away from the darkness that got Ana there in the first place, but this is all tempered by the character's hilarious and witty voice. I enjoyed the crazy cast of characters Ana encounters, and although I haven't been in a situation like hers, the story rang very true for me.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Elayne Shapiro on October 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Julie Halpern's first novel, Get Well Soon, is a very, very funny book. Anna's parents have had her hospitalized for depression because neither they nor her therapist knew how to help her. A teenager, Anna finds herself alone. She is told to write down her feelings and that writing her feelings will help. She rebels, "I'm not going to keep my thoughts around. I'm going to send them away. I'm going to write my thoughts in letters." Her letters are so funny that by page 11 it is impossible to contain the laughter. Halpern has a wonderful ear for dialogue. The voice of Anna rings saucy, true and sweet.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Runa VINE VOICE on August 1, 2010
Format: Hardcover
You all know how much I adore books that address teenagers dealing with mental illness, so it's no surprise that this book struck such a chord with me. It greatly helped that it was also written in epistolary form, and if there's any form of book I love most, it's by far epistolary. I love letters, I love writing letters, I love getting letters (who doesn't?), and I love the small glimpse I get of another person's life by reading letters, even if they happen to be fictional. I had read this book and Ned Vizzini's wonderful It's Kind of a Funny Story around the same time, and they are the only two YA novels I've read that do take place in a psychiatric hospital ward. Vizzini's novel appealed to me more, but I was really glad I got the chance to read Halpern's as well. She brings up some really great points throughout the novel, such as the idea of eliminating stereotypes. Her character, Anna, finds herself in a psychiatric hospital ward, where she has to force herself to step back and stop making snap stereotypical judgements, since she's hit rock bottom and has no point in disliking the people who are sharing the space. Anna gets to know people of all walks of life and all kinds of personal struggles, and along the way, finds out a lot about herself. It's ironic--you'd think a novel set in such a depressing setting about depressed people would, in fact, be depressing, but it's really not! Halpern manages to show the humor in a really bad situation, and you'll find yourself laughing throughout the book. The ending was a little strange, but it does fit with what I've heard, that going home and readjusting to "regular life" after a hospitalization is the hardest part.Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ashley on February 17, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I really enjoyed this book! On the first page i admit i thought the main character was going to be whinny and complain about how she's in a mental hospital for no reason (annoying) but it wasnt, it was actually clever and really funny i found myself laughing out loud at how honest Anna was. The only thing i didn't like was the ending i was sad, once she got out it just kind of ended, i wanted her to be with Justin, but i'm a hopeless romatic like that! I'd recommend it for who likes humor and wit
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Angela Thompson VINE VOICE on November 5, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I came across Julie Halpern's first novel while browsing the offerings over at Feiwel & Friends. I was so grateful they were publishing Long May She Reign that I grabbed Carpe Diem and GET WELL SOON as well because if they're publishing Ellen Emerson White books they not only have superb taste, they deserve my undying loyalty. Plus, both books just looked good. GET WELL SOON tells the story of Anna Bloom, a depressed teenager whose parents commit her to a mental institution when her panic attacks get in the way of her going to school. Alone, overweight, and braless, Anna starts writing a series of letters to her best friend Tracy as a way of staying sane despite being surrounded by drug dealers, Satanists, pregnant cheerleaders, oh my!

Anna's voice is at times bitter, amused, desperate, and uncertain. But it is always matter-of-fact. And it is this quality that is most appealing. I never got the feeling she was sugar-coating the way things were or trying to put something over on her reader. She writes all of these letters describing her experience in minute detail yet she doesn't send a single one. They stay in her room with her, her roommate Sandy, and Sandy's plastic baby Morgan. They seem to be a way of processing the unimaginable thing that has happened to her. By keeping them she can continue to review and add on to the narrative so that when it is time to go home there will be a record of how she survived. In an ironic twist of fate, life in the mental hospital turns out to be more interesting and "healthy" for Anna than it was outside.
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