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Are We All Lemmings and Snowflakes?

Written by Holly Bourne

Key Stage 4 General Fiction Romance / Relationship Stories

LoveReading View on Are We All Lemmings and Snowflakes?

Mental health | Making friends | Making the world more compassionate

This seminal exploration of mental health begins with an explosion. Olive is on the edge, unable to cope with the volume of noise and people in the world: “I hate humans. I hate that they’re everywhere. But the human I hate most is me”. After a disturbing episode during her dad’s birthday celebrations, she agrees to attend Camp Reset, “the country’s first residential camp for brain wellness”, where young clients are given therapy and encouraged to identify their core beliefs in a plush country setting. Olive knows what her core belief is - “I’m a bad person” - and so a key to her healing will be to switch that into “I am a good person who tries my best.” While struggling with this, and inspired by the “suicide algorithm” the Camp Reset doctors have devised, Olive is struck by her own idea for a cure. She’s a compelling, creative fireball of a character and, though her condition is complex and her journey often dark, she’s also frequently entertaining. After enlisting the help of introverted maths-lover Lewis, it’s not long before Olive’s idea evolves into a wildly big-scale project.

Unflinchingly honest and empathetic, this intense novel demonstrates the primary importance of kindness and compassion, that it’s never a persons fault that they’re unwell, and just how essential self-care is. Ladies and Gents, I give you one of the year’s most important YA novels - an engaging and thought-provoking book with tremendous value. Holly Bourne has done it again. 

Joanne Owen

Are We All Lemmings and Snowflakes? Synopsis

A trailblazing and painfully honest novel about mental health, friendship and making this crazy world a kinder place. Welcome to Camp Reset, a summer camp with a difference. A place offering a shot at normality for Olive, a girl on the edge, and for her new friends, who are all dealing with their own battles. But as Olive settles in, she starts to wonder - maybe it's this messed up world that needs fixing, and not them. And so she comes up with a plan. Because together, snowflakes can form avalanches... 

Are We All Lemmings and Snowflakes? Press Reviews

Praise for Holly Bourne;

“Holly Bourne is something special, she’s got it” – Patrick Ness

“The book every young woman needs on her bookshelf” – Red

“A brutal and brilliant takedown of how we talk about mental illness, feminism, and friendship” – The Guardian

“Takes a hard look at young people's experiences with mental health” – Buzzfeed

“This is Bourne at her outrageous, courageous, necessary best” – The Guardian


Book Information

ISBN: 9781474933612
Publication date: 9th August 2018
Author: Holly Bourne
Publisher: Usborne Publishing Ltd
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 400 pages
Year Groups: Key Stage 4
Topics: General Fiction, Romance / Relationship Stories

About Holly Bourne

Holly Bourne worked as an editor and relationship advisor for a youth charity for six years before becoming a full-time author. Her bestselling YA fiction includes It Only Happens In the Movies, which was shortlisted for the YA Book Prize 2018, and the critically acclaimed Spinster Club series. Holly is an advocate for reducing the stigma around mental health problems and has a keen interest in women’s rights. She lives in Lewes. Photo credit L Bourne

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