Review : Strong Medicine by J.K. Hogan

July 12, 2016 Review 0

Review : Strong Medicine by J.K. Hogan

Two men who meet in a psychiatric institution couldn’t possibly find happiness together—could they?

The world seemed to be telling disgraced former child star and singer Cameron Fox that he would never be happy again. A drunken car accident gets him sentenced to a work-release at Riverbend Behavioral Health Facility.

Reclusive, traumatized writer Jonah Radley has an entire graveyard of skeletons in his closet. Jonah regularly hospitalizes himself for psychotic episodes caused by a horrific childhood trauma, his biggest secret—one he refuses to speak about in therapy.

Jonah and Cameron form a bond inside the hospital, forged in mutual pain and hope for a better life. Once they leave the hospital, they must decide if they are brave enough to explore the intricacies of living with mental illness—and find a new normal together.

Title: Strong Medicine
Author: J.K. Hogan
Other books by this author that we've reviewed: I Survived Seattle, Love and the Real Boy
Published by Wilde City Press
Source: Publisher
Published: 05/11/2016
Genres: Male Male Romance
Pages: 278
See the title at Goodreads
Purchase your copy: Amazon
Visit the Author's Website

Stars: five-stars
Flames: four-flames
I received this book for free from the Publisher or Author in exchange for an honest review, or I purchased it with my own funds. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
300 Review

Strong Medicine is the best book I have read so far in 2016!!  It is not a Bubble Gum happy story, au contraire, we mostly found ourselves navigating between darkness and brokenness.  I also want to give a fair warning  that this story might be sensitive for some people.   It is dealing with mental illness and childhood abuse, if those elements are triggering  some intense emotional response from your part, you might want to pass up this book.  It is a tough read, it taking us in the heart of 2 broken young men and we are agonizing with them.  It took  4 days to finish it, which is unusual on my for me. Why it took me so long to finish it you will ask yourself, well the answer is simple : I did not want it to end.

I found myself in a space that I don’t visit that often (I usually prefer Unicorn and lollipop ),It might be because my brokenness met the one of Cameron and Jonah in this story.  Let’s do a quick summary of the story, you will see why it is so good!! Cameron Fox is a former child/teen star that is now singing in his family band.  One night he had an accident and was convicted of DUI.  Instead of going to jail, he has to do community service for a year at Riverbend Behavioral health Centre and enroll in an alcohol counseling program as well.  He is struggling with the fact that he is gay.  His late mom knew and now only one of his brother knows about it.  He is definitely not ready to come out to his family, nor can he accept that he has a problem with alcohol.  While working at Riverbend he met Jonah, and he is feeling attracted to him.

Jonah is checking in and out of Riverbend on a voluntary basis twice a year.  He has a psychotic breakdown and is unable to sleep for weeks at the time.  He is also dealing with hallucinations and he is losing touch with reality.  Growing up he lived through traumatic events that are eating him up alive.  When everything is under control, he is a prolific author writing under different pen names and different genre (suspense, romance, poetry, etc.).  He is an artist but a recluse a the same time.  The story is following Jonah and Cameron in their journey to heal themselves and each other.

This is an intense story that is leaving me with some foods for thought.  It may sound as  if it is a dark story and not enjoyable, but there are hope and light in it.   Cameron and Jonah  have faith in their abilities to heal each other, to be there for one another.  To accept themselves completely and their willingness to move forward is what is changing their life.  I also liked the fact that the 3 doctors at Riverbend were not on the same page in regards to Jonah problems.  It is  reflecting a problem that is often encountered in the mental health field.  This story is also showing us the judgments that we hold against the people that have mental health issues and put it right in our face.  It is also a tale of acceptance, faith, love and the strength that each of us is owning in ourselves.  When we have the willingness to change, the sky is the limit.

This was my first read by J.K. Hogan and you can be sure that I will read her other books soon.  If you have one book to read in 2016, it must be Strong Medicine! Now would be a good time to do so!!

 

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