I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Quick fire review
This is one of the most poignant and important books I’ve ever read. A book made up entirely of letters written by young adults to their 16 year old selves, you’ll laugh, cry and reflect on your own journey as you read about these individuals dealing with anxiety and mental health issues.
“Keep smiling and being you. Don’t let the world change you”
Hello Me, it’s You is a collection of letters by young adults aged 17-24 about their experiences with mental health issues. The letters are written to their 16-year-old selves, giving beautifully honest advice, insight and encouragement for all that lays ahead of them.
This book was produced by the Hello Me, it’s You charity, set up by the editor, Hannah. Hannah was diagnosed with depression and anxiety whilst at university and found comfort in talking to friends about their experiences, realising she was not alone in her situation. This inspired the idea for the charity and book. Through the creation of materials such as this, the charity aims to provide reassurance for young adults (and their families) who are experiencing mental health issues and give a voice to young adults on such an important topic. The result of that will hopefully be a reduction in the negative stigma surrounding mental health and an increase in awareness of young people’s experiences. All profits go the Hello Me, it’s You charity, for the production of future supportive books.
Trigger warning: Due to it’s nature, the content of this book may be triggering. Contains personal experiences of depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, trichotillomania and other mental health issues, as well as issues such as assault.
Warning: don’t read this in public. You will cry. It will be awkward. You will need tissues.
I love this book.
I love that Hannah Todd thought to do this and I’m so glad so many people felt empowered enough to contribute. This is a book told entirely in letters people have written to their younger selves. Each contributor is dealing with their own mental health issues and I felt so privileged to be able to read about the highs and lows they’ve had over the years.
The book opens with Hannah’s letter to herself. From the get go the tone of the book is clear: having mental health issues is nothing to be ashamed of, we are who we are and that is more than okay.
“I’m collating loads of letters by people to their 16 year old selves…hence this one to you…A lot of people deal with mental health issues Han, and I hate to break it to you, but you’re one of them. And you know what? That’s okay. It’s not the end of the world” – Hannah Todd’s letter to herself
One little element I thought was really uplifting was the little affirmations between the letters. I’ve put a few below for you that were snapped from my ebook (all credit goes to the author and the publisher).
Every letter in this book is uplifting. Each contributor reflects on their own lives with grace and humility and it seems like this process is very therapeutic for some of these young writers.
If you know teenagers dealing with any topics such as depression, bulimia, abandonment etc, this would be a great book to show them so they can see how other young people have been able to overcome their issues and create great lives for themselves.
It’s hard when reading this to not reflect on what you’ve done since you were 16. I’m 27 now and while I’ve never had any mental health issues, I’ve had made my own fair share of glorious mistakes, learnt some tough lessons and had some phenomenal fun. From falling in love, having my heartbroken, travelling the world, drinking too much, dancing in the rain and falling flat on my face many times, there isn’t one experience I would change.
This is an extremely quick read and whether you request it off NetGalley or pick it up yourself, you must, MUST read this book! I’ll be looking to pick up a physical copy as soon as I can.
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