Review|Begin Again Anthology Part 1

I received this book to review and while these short stories aren’t easy to read, I want to support the cause. Suicide and mental illness are still subjects that aren’t easily talked about and people are afraid of what people may think about them. These are some things that I have experienced in my family, so for me it’s even more important that people feel that they can talk to someone when they need to! This anthology has 21 short stories, so I will be posting a review of a few of them every week for the next few weeks!

*WARNING* This book can have triggers for people. It discusses suicide and other mental illnesses and I can completely understand that this book won’t be for everyone!


A collection of short stories about Hope, Healing, and Love, benefiting the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and NAMI.

Release Date: January 11, 2018


There are times when the Earth stops moving and the weight of its gravity pulls you down, deeper than you ever thought possible. You tumble farther than you ever imagined falling…

And when the sun goes black and your heart feels empty, starting over seems like an impossible feat…

You’re not alone.

Twenty-Two Authors have joined together in this collection of short stories about fresh starts and second chances to help illustrate that even when life takes away everything, and when hope is a horizon you think you’ll never catch, it is possible to Begin Again.

*All Proceeds will be donated to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and NAMI*

Featuring short stories by:

A.M. Johnson

Stephanie Rose

J.A. DeRouen

Ginger Scott

Anne Jolin

Ariadne Wayne

Emery Jacobs

  1. Andrews

K.P. Haigh

  1. Renee

Maria MacDonald

Faith Andrews

K.K. Allen

Mara White

Autumn Grey

Josephine Brierley

Amanda Richardson

Stephie Walls

Jaci Wheeler

Stephanie Alba

L.A. Taylor

Foreword by Rebecca Yarros



Now that I have told you guys some more about this book, it’s time for my reviews of the first three stories.

Before I get to the stories, I just want to say something about the amazing forword Rebecca Yarros wrote. I think she’s incredibly brave for sharing her story the way she did and I can’t imagine how hard it is to put that on paper.

Reprieve – Stephie Walls

We meet Matt who has lost his son and fiance in a sudden way. Before dealing with his pain, he is deployed. To deal with the pain he starts to drink. There are two suicide attempts and with that he also loses his career. After the second attemot he is in the hospital when his nurse gets through to him.

“The moment I went into counseling, the second a doctor diagnosed my depression, my career would be over. I’d lose my security clearance, be stripped of my rank and I’d be a desk jockey at best. I’d never see any action again. That along with the death of my child would end my world.”

Part of me is sad to think how many soldiers are just expected to suck it up, while mental health is so important. I wonder how many would be saved if it got just a little more attention. The beautiful thing about this story is that sometimes all it takes is one person that is willing to listen at the right moment and doesn’t judge.

The Pit – Mara White

Working for the NYPD during 9/11 really does something to a person. Seeing things you will never forget and realizing it will haunt you in more ways than one is not something you realize. Joe is starting to realize this. After two suicide attempts, he is sentenced to reduced duty and is having a hard time dealing. As a cop you’re not supposed to be weak. His wife lied about where he was when he was admitted and since being back his colleagues treat him terribly.

“Cops ain’t coll with mental illness. They see it as a sign of weakness. No one would ever want to be your partner, much less walk the beat with you. Once you crack they try to take you down. It’s like some fucked-up fraternity, or worse, like a second-rate, government-run mafia.”

It’s sad that after doing something heroic in an awful time, he is being treated terribly by people who should understand him the most. Another story that proves mental illness needs a lot more attention. It’s sad that after going through something so traumatic, you’re seen as weak if it haunts you. This is exactly why we need stories like these. So many people need to be educated on what mental illness is!

A Hypochondriac’s Notebook – A.M. Johnson

Amanda didn’t have the easiest childhood. Her father was abusive and she lost faith in herself. She almost lost the battle, but managed to pull herself up, with the help of her best friend. After that life had its ups and downs. There were times she did well and other times there was more anxiety and issues. Meeting and being with Torren helped her though. She learned that she didn’t need a man to lift her up, but herself. Having a husband who loves her is amazing, but she knows she needs herself just as much.

“I’m thirty-eight years old, and my skin is written with so many scars. I’ve chosen to wear them like a soldier wears a Purple Heart. My life has wounded me, but I’ve learned that I am not defined by the marks I’ve gained over the years. I am built by them, beautiful and strong and because of them – the good things – the happy moments – are that much better.”

I can’t imagine how hard it is growing up with an abusive parent when the rest of the world thinks he’s amazing. I can only imagine what that does to how you feel about yourself. I don’t think I would’ve ever gone home with a stranger like that, but in the end I think it saved her. I think it’s amazing and brave she realized she needs herself to be happy, nobody else.

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These are the first three stories. I think it’s amazing that the authors decided to come together and support this cause! Keep an eye on the blog for the next part of the reviews soon!

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