BOOK REVIEW: Tuesdays Are Just As Bad by Cethan Leahy

Short Review

Tuesdays Are Just As Bad is a fascinating book, from the vibrant eye catching cover through to the very last page, the book sucks you in and doesn’t let go. It’s a young adult book that explores and enables its readers to feel that they are not alone, that depression is not the end. I hope it will help young adults to talk and share their wellbeing with peers of family members, it truly lifts the lid on depression and suicide and how you deal with this as a young person.

The book follows Adam who has failed to commit suicide using a hammer to smash his skull in and who is now haunted by his own ghost. Who in Adam’s desperation and depression becomes his only friend in the truly dark, isolated and depressed world that he exists in; but can ghosts be trusted? Who knows…you need to dig in to find out!

Long Review

I have to take my hat off to Cethan Leahy on producing such a thought provoking, deeply moving story for young adults. The theme of which is a very tough subject matter to tackle but Leahy does it with ease, blending perfectly the harrowing experiences of suicide and the complex workings of a depressed young adult mind.

Tuesdays Are Just As Bad is a book that has so much heart beating within its pages I can only dream that this book reaches the audience it so desperately needs to, for those struggling with depression and the choices this brings, to hear this message of hope that clings to every page as you read.

The story follows Adam, a troubled young man who was unable to fulfil his plan of committing suicide using a hammer, an interesting choice you may think, but judging by the scar that tells everyone around Adam what he did, it was also not as foolproof as he thought. When Adam awakes in hospital we find that through this traumatic experience he has another reminder of that night, he is being haunted by his own ghost.

‘The room was littered with the clues to the events that had led up to this moment; a pool of red staining the carpet, a note on the nightstand with some closing remarks and a hammer lying useless on the floor. It was pretty obvious what had happened, even to me who had only existed for three minutes.’

Word gets out about what Adam had attempted to do, of course it would, he’s at school and people love to gossip, he finds himself in an even worse situation than before, people  now see him, but they see the scar first, he has become the boy with the hammer. He spends his time hiding within the school toilets trying to see out the day, with his ghost – who is starting to learn about life on earth and what this whole peculiar thing called school is. Also Adam’s ghost is trying to find out why he is here, why he can’t leave Adam’s side, and why life is so dull.

Adam by chance meets a group of friends, none of which attend his school and begins hanging out with them, they know about his past but keep that out of their conversations, they start to see Adam as Adam – which has a transformative power on Adam as he begins to start enjoying this new found friendship group.

I used to work in a school as a community worker, building and engaging with communities around schools; and it’s sad to say but the tragic act of suicide is a lot more common than you might think. Whilst working with children and families from the fallout of suicide – it struck me how often these incidents are occurring in society today and how far reaching their ramifications are.

What leads someone to thinking that suicide is the only option? This is where Leahy works masterfully to uncover the all encompassing loneliness and depression that drives people to this point of no return, revealing the dark underbelly that young people are facing today and how easy it is without help to find themselves in such a predicament and how easy it is to slide into the pit of consuming despair with devastating outcomes.

‘In making my perfect plan, I had failed to consider the fact that I had only known him on the way up. This was the way down, and it was dark at the bottom.’

Tuesdays Are Just As Bad is not as depressing it may seem, Leahy has woven a thread of black humour throughout the piece which at times was a refreshing caveat to the themes discussed within. With characters that jump out of the book, which will have many readers drawing parallels with their own friends, there is certainly enough here to keep readers engaged in the delicate matters of the novel whilst also giving them an thrilling read. Leahy also proves himself as a writer, conducting the whole affair with an assured skill all the way through to the stories brilliant conclusion. I for one am looking forward to what he follows this debut up with!

I also wanted to say how brilliant it is to see a publisher releasing such an important book, with a theme that might not see the book on any best seller list, but nevertheless it is such an important book, a book that shines a light on an issue many try to hide away from and I am thrilled that Mercier Press has had the balls to published such a book – may it go into the world and reach young adults, hell anyone that may be going through similar circumstances!

Tuesdays Are Just As Bad is a book that needs to be read…and I challenge you all to answer that call!

Tuesdays Are Just As Bad is published by Mercier Press and is available here.

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Cethan Leahy

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Cethan Leahy is a writer, filmmaker, and editor of Irish literary magazine ‘The Penny Dreadful’. His short stories are published in ‘The Looking Glass,’ ‘Wordlegs’ and ‘Five Dials’ and he has written two Fiction Express eBooks for Middle Grade, ‘The Chosen One (and his mum and his dad and his sister)’ and ‘Prince Charming and his Quest for a Wife’. Cethan’s animation short ‘The Beast of Bath’ was broadcast on national television. His short film ‘The Amazing’ appeared in Cork film anthology’Cork, Like’ in 2013. His radio programmes, including children’s drama ‘Tales from the Fairy Fort’, have appeared on LifeFM and RTÉJnrdigital radio. He has also contributed illustration work to Cork comics press Turncoat Press.

Reviewed by Ross Jeffery

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