The last few years have been a real whirlwind, am I right? While there have been a lot of not-so-great events one after another, there is one positive that stands out to me, shining through the darkness: mental health awareness and self-care are having their moment in the sun. During the pandemic, it was important for all of us to participate in self-care to keep our spirits up. It’s the little things, too, like putting on jeans so the extra banana bread pounds didn’t sneak up on you too quickly, or going for walks to soak up some Vitamin D.
Authors are just like us, and their characters, too. It was only a matter of time before these ideas and habits bled into the fictional worlds we would utilize for escape. Mazey Eddings, author of A Brush with Love and Lizzie Blake’s Best Mistake, delivers her third published novel “The Plus One” that is half a delightful enemies-to-lovers romance combined with what feels like a love letter to therapy, mental health, and self-care.
He is her brother’s best friend. She is the bratty little sister that the boys didn’t want around. Sounds like the makings of a perfect love story, wouldn’t you think?
Was being roasted her love language?
Jude and Indira don’t like each other. They haven’t for years, since they were kids. When pushed together for the sake of Indira’s brother’s wedding, these two make a deal to be each other’s fake wedding dates. Fake dating + forced proximity = delightful disaster of a fake relationship. (There is even an ‘only one bed’ scenario! Jackpot!)
Life wasn’t perfect for any of them, and it never would be. But this moment? Well, it felt pretty damn close.
Mental Health Awareness
Indira struggles with a form of imposture syndrome – she’s a therapist whose life is sort of falling apart. Jude is suffering from PTSD after working in war-zones and facing some of the worst conditions around the world. Both keep their mental health issues close to the chest, not wanting to lay a heavy burden on their loved ones. Through the story we learn more about their coping skills and witness the beauty of letting another person in to see our scars and scary parts.
“We place these expectations that being aware of our brain or emotions lying to us means that we should automatically be able to get over it,” Dr. Koh said, eyes locked on Indira. “That’s simply not how it works. We wouldn’t expect someone with asthma to recognize that they have asthma and then be able to go and spring a mile without needing an inhaler. Healing from those internal wounds takes time. Sometimes a lifetime. But it’s the willingness to work on it that matters.”
There are so many great passages in this book about taking care of ourselves, and I don’t have enough room in this post to share them all. If I need a pick-me-up or a reminder that my mental health is just as important as my physical health, I’m going to turn to “The Plus One”.
Please do your brains and hearts a favor and choose this book, too.
I’m Val, and I’m excited to share my love of books with you! I’m a sassy Sour Patch kid from New Jersey, dog mom to Chance the beagle, and much like the rest of the Hive, I’m a coffee lover (I think it’s a requirement to be here). The first book I remember reading voluntarily involved a boy wizard who lived in the cupboard under the stairs, and I’ve been chasing magic ever since. I love Happily Ever Afters, and I love love. My favorite genres are romance and rom-coms, fantasy, and young adult/new adult. If I’m not reading, I’m probably kayaking, watching the Great British Baking Show, or discovering a new craft beer.