Book Highlight: The Existence of Amy by Lana Grace Riva

book highlight the existence of amy lana grace riva
the existence of amy lana grace riva

Title: The Existence of Amy

Author: Lana Grace Riva

Publisher: Self-published

Publication Date: July 31, 2019

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Amy has a normal life. That is, if you were to go by a definition of ‘no obvious indicators of peculiarity’, and you didn’t know her very well. She has good friends, a good job, a nice enough home. This normality, however, is precariously plastered on top of a different life. A life that is Amy’s real life. The only one her brain will let her lead.

What is it really like to live with mental illness?

An insight into the reality of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), anxiety and depression.

Why This Book

The Existence of Amy is about a young woman with undiagnosed mental health disorders who struggles and fights every day to just show up at work and try to live an outwardly normal life as best she can. There are good days and bad days, but she’s a fighter all the way to the end. Of course I have to pick Amy as a courageous woman to feature this month. Sometimes her symptoms get the better of her, but I loved how she just kept going, kept trying her best no matter how much it hurt her. It hurt a lot of read her story, and it was sometimes disorienting and dizzying since the story puts the reader straight into her head, but she’s undeniably brave for living with symptoms and disorders that want to keep her from life.


My review: “It’s about Amy’s winding journey to learning to understand and love herself, to accept what her life has become and emerge to find a beacon of hope. It’s about her becoming able to give permission to herself to live and love and try to shape life to her terms”

Books Beans and Botany gave this 4.5 stars, saying, “The challenges Amy faces on a daily basis that so many of us take for granted. And, she hid it well. Whether Riva meant it this way or not, I feel this was a nod to all the people suffering from mental health issues that aren’t visible so no one thinks anything is wrong with them”

Bookends gave this a 2.5, saying “This is an uncomfortable book to read, but I also think it’s an incredibly important read. The reader is placed directly inside Amy’s brain. It certainly sheds light on the struggles that people with mental illness face, and I have a new appreciation for their strength after reading this book.”

Dinipandareads gave this a 4, saying “The strength it takes for Amy to do what she does every single day while facing the (infuriating) judgement from those around her, especially those who claim to be her friend, is truly incredible and inspiring

Chapters of May gave this 4 stars, saying “I found that to be very realistic and the concepts of the two different illnesses were honestly and clearly presented. The entire story is from our main character’s point of view, and she speaks very matter-of-factly”

Lucy Rambles gave this a 3.5, saying “Another thing that I loved about this book is that it’s more focused on Amy’s fight for her life and happiness. There are limited adventures and romance, which was necessary to ensure that the m”

Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Bookshop | Walmart | Google Books | Thrift Books | Abe Books

Check out all the other books featured this month on The Curated Bookshelf.

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