Secrets for the Mad: Obsessions, Confessions and Life Lessons by dodie Book Review

dodieAs I mentioned previously in my last review (which you may or may not have read, it’s cool if you haven’t *breaks inside*) I have been struggling to read books recently. I’ve found it difficult to escape into another world and find myself purposefully picking out the flaws in every single book I pick up, deterring from the enjoyment I normally get with literature. This is what was so great about reading this book. It’s autobiographical with sections of creative poems/songs/pieces strung throughout it. It was so raw and real.

Those of you who don’t know, this book was written by dodie (with a few of her friends’ writing sprinkled through) about…dodie. Dodie Clark is a singer/song-writer on Youtube whose music has inspired plenty of people for multiple reasons. I’ve always found her songs to hit home because they were released at relatable times when I was going through similar feelings and issues. This book was no exception. What was fascinating to read about was the chapters on Dodie’s recent diagnosis, derealisation. A lot of what she described were feelings I’d had in the past. I’m not saying I’d exactly diagnose myself as having derealisation but I could understand a lot of the symptoms from having experienced them myself.

I’ll get the criticisms out of the way first because I feel like those are what a lot of people tend to skim through to find. I don’t have an abundance of them, nor are they directed towards dodie’s writing. It’s more specifically to do with the format/editing of it. There was a typo in my copy, which bugged me as someone who picks out fine details, but, again, this was a reflection more on the editing than the writer. I also found the sections to be a bit messy. Not so much that it distracted my reading but I did find that it would go back and forth between sections. She refers to her two-year relationship a lot and even has a separate section dedicated to it. It would have been a lot more cohesive if it was all grouped in a section together as it was difficult to jump back and forth between different topics frequently. It just needed a stronger structure.

Other then that I was amazed by how beautiful and heartfelt this book was. Each section warmed my heart a little bit more than the last. dodie2I could see things she’s done and felt reflected in my own life. The toxic relationships, the obsessions that can develop surrounding a person that you keep competing with, the tight-knit friendships, the unhealthy relationship with alcohol, I could just connect to it all. She was as beautiful a person to read as she is to watch.

I have been a dedicated dodie fan since I discovered her a couple of years back so to be able to read the inner workings of her mind for a few hours was truly something special.

If you love dodie, or if you’re just someone who enjoys reading autobiographical pieces that allow you to be close to another person’s mind, I could not recommend this book more. The cover, the drawings, the colourful pages, all create such a beautiful little nugget of creative talent, which unsurprising, considering who wrote it.

My previous rating scale doesn’t work as well seeing as this is mainly non-fiction so I’ll just rate it out of 40

30/40

Favourite Quote: My rotting brain had lied to me; of course talking would help. Of course my loving, caring friends telling me it would get better would help. They fed ropes down the hold I’d been digging, and even if they couldn’t pull me up, they at least reminded me that there was a world beyond this, where I’d been before.

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