!!> Reading ➳ The Million Pieces of Neena Gill ➬ Author Emma Smith-Barton – Larringtonlifecoaching.co.uk

The Million Pieces of Neena Gill How Can I Hold Myself Together, When Everything Around Me Is Falling Apart Neena S Always Been A Good Girl Great Grades, Parent Approved Friends And Absolutely No Boyfriends But Ever Since Her Brother Akash Left Her, She S Been Slowly Falling Apart And Uncovering A New Version Of Herself Who Is Freer, But Altogether DangerousAs Her Wild Behaviour Spirals And Out Of Control, Neena S Grip On Her Sanity Begins To Weaken Too And When Her Parents Announce Not One But Two Life Changing Bombshells, She Finally Reaches Breaking PointBut As Neena Is About To Discover, When Your Life Falls Apart, Only Love Can Piece You Back Together

10 thoughts on “The Million Pieces of Neena Gill

  1. says:

    As someone who has suffered mental illness throughout my 38 years on this earth, I have found The Million Pieces of Neena Gill inspiring Had I read this book 25 years ago, I think it would of helped me so much.I saw alot of me in Neena and I can t help but love the amazing character that she is I think this book should be read by every teenager to highlight that things can be an uphill battle, the struggle is real but you are not alone Mental illnesses are alot common then most people realise and there is help out this Thank you Emma for such a wonderful book.

  2. says:

    This is such a poignant book about grief, loss, depression, anxiety, romance and fundamentally psychosis.It s so nice to read a book that deals with a mental health subject that is not talked a lot about in literature or really at all, and when it is talked about it is often misunderstood and stigmatised I loved the writing style, of this book It was so easy to read, I flew through it in just a couple of days This book manages to deal with such delicate subjects while still being a heart warming read and having a cute romance This book really got to me while reading and madd me tear up.There is not just rep for psychosis but depression, anxiety, taking antidepressants and therapy It s also intersectional, as Nenna is Pakistani and the book talks about how culture can impact your mental health.I highly highly recommend this book, it s so sad but is such an important book, everyone should read

  3. says:

    Blog Post I was provided with an ARC of this book by the publisher, in exchange for my honest opinion.I think that there is a great need for discussion around mental health in young people And for those who don t have the means, or simply don t feel capable of reaching out, books serve as a great comfort and education when they tackle mental health issues The synopsis for Neena Gill made it clear that it would be tackling mental illness and so this is what grabbed my attention, however, I wasn t prepared for how honest, realistic and ultimately clever an account of a young British Pakistani girl experiencing psychosis it would be I don t think I ve ever read a story focused on mental health that had a British Pakistani protagonist, so that in itself is one of the reasons why this book is so important, as sometimes the voices of poc seem to be lost in discussions about mental health Representation means everything I also like how the author also touched on cultural identity and how that could be affecting one s mental health.Neena lives with her old fashioned Pakistani parents in a modern thinking Western society Her parents have always been traditional and strict, but this seemed to double when her brother went missing Neena has adopted modern ideas, instead of her parents old fashioned ones and this is putting great strain on their relationship Neena s not coping with her brothers disappearance well, she s acting out, sneaking out, drinking, talking to a boy and she knows all of these things go against her parents beliefs, but it is her only method of coping Her parents only response to this is to become stricter and make her go to church At the end of the day, parents are parents and teenagers are teenagers and so it s not surprising that there is a lack of communication between them, with her parents not even considering that there could be something very serious driving her actions I think the biggest factor that blinds her parents is that their dealing not dealing with their own grief It was interesting to see how what happened with Akash was affecting each of them so differently It was even interesting to see how Neena could see what was going on with her parents, but not with herself.This was a truly unique reading experience, as it s told from Neena s perspective through a first person narrative, the unique part, is that as the novel progressed, we learnt that Neena is an unreliable narrator As the book progresses, Neena experiences huge cases of memory loss, where she s loosing hours at a time, waking up to empty whisky bottles and completed paintings that she doesn t remember finishing She then comes to the conclusion that the whisky and the finished paintings are Akash s doing Then there is the complete opposite, where she is remembering things differently from others and seeing Akash everywhere I don t have any personal experience with this myself, but it seemed very realistic and was crafted with great care in order to show how her mental illness developed over time I could truly feel the confusion and devastation that Neena felt when she couldn t make sense of her days any It was heartbreaking to see her going through this, as I can t imagine how scary that must be.As much as this book would be great for those experiencing similar things to Neena, this would also be incredibly beneficial for anyone to read, as it definitely puts emphasis on mental health issues and how people don t spot the signs in someone For example, there is a great focus on how those around Neena react to her Like I said before, her parents just think that she needs prayer and are angry and disappointed in her All her dad really cares about is making sure her grades don t suffer and pushing her to work harder And then on the other hand, her mum has immersed herself in cooking to help her cope and she s hellbent on getting Neena to eat They were both so used to Neena being the good one, before Akash s disappearance, that they are frightened that she ll go down the same path as him, feeling betrayed in a way, that she can t just go back to how she was I truly felt for all of them, they love her, there s no question about that, but through their grief , they re not really seeing her or what she s going through She s also lost her childhood friend, clinging to her brother s ex girlfriend Fi instead, who s also coping by drinking and partying, encouraging Neena to live her life to the fullest, as that s what Akash would ve wanted, even if that means disobeying her parents It s sad, because both her parents and Fi, in their own way, think that they are helping her Even Josh who sees her going through a particularly bad episode of irrational paranoia, doesn t even think that she may need serious help, until something physical happens I think it s particularly noteworthy that her dad immediately calls in professional help in the form of her teacher s for her work, but doesn t think to do the same for her general behaviour I think that this is an important reminder that not even school should come before mental health, as Neena even goes to an extreme, studying at ridiculous hours, managing to pull her grades up, but she s still suffering mentally.This was a very moving story about one family s journey in dealing with the fallout of one of the worst situations anyone could experience I particularly like that this was set 10 months after Akash s disappearance I believe, with mentions of how they all were shortly after it occurred This showed how grief can affect people for a substantial amount of time and how it changes them over time I am so pleased that the author showed just how mental illness can affect your relationship with those around you and with yourself It was also particularly poignant and important that the love interest didn t cure the illness and there was recognition that the reliance on them was becoming unhealthy, I also really respect how things ended up between them This was my first book by this author and I m so excited to read of their work in the future and would definitely recommend that everyone pick this one up, it was extremely informative, honest and ultimately hopeful.

  4. says:

    Neena s life hasn t been the same since her older brother left Her Pakistani parents are strict than ever Neena drinks, sneaks out and dates a forbidden boy But she s losing her grip on reality, thinks her brother is sneaking into her room, doing her homework Her life spins out of control and only her brother can help.Emma Smith Barton gives Neena such an authentic voice, her anxiety and distress is palpable The writing in THE MILLION PIECES OF NEENA GILL is simple gorgeous Lyrical and filled with passion, I felt like I was inside Neena s skin Smith Barton does a good job describing the disorganized thinking that accompanies psychosis I knew from early on Akash had died, assuming suicide was the cause I wish Smith Barton had explored Akash s mental illness and the self medicating behavior associated with substance abuse I think she missed a golden opportunity to bring his story full circle He apparently fell and didn t commit suicide but his behavior seemed suicidal which is why the missed connection felt so glaring to me.I love the Pakistani representation and the cultural inferences surrounding mental illness and medication THE MILLION PIECES OF NEENA GILL is a story that needed to be told and I hope it gets the exposure needed.

  5. says:

    4.5 stars What a beautiful yet heart wrenching story I think this book is very important but it did sometimes hit a bit too close to home and I shed a few tears whilst reading this Overall, I m very glad I received an ARC of this book.

  6. says:

    I really enjoyed this I was lucky enough to get a physical ARC of this, and may I just say, the cover is absolutely stunning I ll start out with trigger warnings suicide, mental illness, psychosis, depression, and drug use.The story arc begins pretty much as your typical younger YA novel, with a girl who loves to sneak out to parties and get drunk But with pretty religious parents who are still suffering from past griefs, Neena s life is full of secrets and lies This book focuses a lot on Neena s individual relationships, with her friends, her boyfriend, and her parents There s also a lot of attention paid to her relationship with her brother, Akash At times, Neena s character read as quite childish, but I think that s because her character was 15 The themes in the novel make the characters seem a lot older and mature, but I suppose it s an unfriendly reminder that mental illness affects people of all ages The exploration of mental illness was, to my knowledge at least, one of the most real I ve seen in a YA novel for a while There was clearly a lot of thought put into its representation throughout this novel The way depression manifests itself into a person s mind was explored quite well, not just through constant crying and seeing therapists, but by little tells and small changes in behaviour in certain characters It was a genuine depiction, which I m grateful for as a lot of people seem to think mental illness has to be very obviously shown in someone s face for it to be real It s a reminder that there s a lot of stigmatisation around mental health, so a lot of people try to hide their illness to make it seem like they re just like the rest of us.I did really enjoy this book, and would recommend it to anyone who wants a accurate depiction of mental health discussions in a younger YA setting.

  7. says:

    DNF 60%I was provided an e arc by the publishers from Netgalley Generic storyline and characters Strict parents, teenager who just wants freedom , missing sibling, etc The writing wasn t bad, just the storyline was something that has been seen multiple times before if you like mental health books, then this is the book for you.

  8. says:

    As the title suggests, Nina Gill is in fact in a million pieces She struggles with holding herself together when everything around her has been falling apart Every since her bother has left she keeps loosing her grip on sanity This book reminded me a lot of one memory of flora blanks i liked this one better , as flora out protagonist is also very erratic, struggling and all over the place You cannot always tell what is happening in the story because the protagonist is so unreliable.What was most intriguing for me was how everyone around her dealt with her condition Like it was so frustrating because I could see wasn t okay but her parent and everyone around her was so clueless and ignorant.Her parent being typical Pakistani desi parent just wanted her to keep up her grade and her mother wanted to eat And they so tactfully ignored what was in front of them as is in most south Asian families.Her brothers ex, who is her new best friend and she hung around with was also toxic Encouraging to constantly to drink and party , because apparently that was living to the fullest.Although this book bring nothing new to the table but it has amazing Pakistani British rep and deals with the mental health issue in depth Its very realistic and explore how blind people are to mental health and ignore the signs How its not taken very seriously.So yes very much worth the read.My Blog Instagram Twitter

  9. says:

    I got a copy of this book from the publishers via NetGalley Thank you.The storyline didn t feel very fresh the same old problems and misunderstandings with parents, age gap, sibling relationships, a kid who just wants out etc We all have been there and maybe we all have felt like we have mental problems.Books like this is a good mirror to see what it s like for someone who actually does have mental problems.It s a good book for kids with such concerns, and parents who go through doubts about their kids.

  10. says:

    A full review can be found on my blog, Headscarves and Hardbacks Trigger warning for sexual assault and suicide.This is a powerful story about grief and loss that follows a British Pakistani teenager whose mental health rapidly declines throughout the course of the novel and the months following her brother s disappearance.Although I enjoyed the book overall, I had a lot of issues with the writing at the very beginning of the story It felt incredibly disjointed and repetitive but, ultimately, as the novel progresses, the writing ends up reflecting Neena s muddled thoughts and unreliability as a narrator In particular, in the lead up to her psychotic episode in the climax of the novel, the author s narrative style really works to convey what s going on inside Neena s head.This being said, I didn t particularly like Neena as a character or her obsession with her boyfriend, Josh The romantic storyline felt incredibly immature and cheesy but I also have to keep reminding myself that these characters are only fifteen years old so they re going to make mistakes and questionable decisions.The book also deals with a lot of mature themes like substance misuse and alcohol, and it has representation for a range of mental health issues including psychosis, depression, anxiety and agoraphobia Neena s mother, for example, struggles to leave the house following her son s disappearance and, on the rare occasion that she leaves in order to attend a meeting at Neena s school, she experiences a panic attack Although Neena s dad was an unlikeable character, playing into the stereotype of a strict Asian parent, her mother s understanding of mental illnesses was so heart warming to read about because these illnesses are so rarely understood within South Asian communities.Overall, this is a beautiful story about one sister searching for her missing brother and holding on to his memory so that he s never really gone There were certain aspects I didn t particularly enjoy and some loose threads that weren t tied up in the conclusion, but the mental illness representation is commendable, right down to the way it s written onto the page.

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