Sometimes you come across books so gripping, you literally cannot get rid of them. The book is lying next to me and every now and then, I pick it up and go through it again, reading a passage or two, and thinking about how the book made me feel, what it made me feel and how it made me rethink my current position and how lucky I am to have such good friends, and to be healthy!

Solacium is about Sophie and Jay, who used to be best friends. One day, Sophie finds out Jay has been sentenced to 20 years in Solacium, a psychiatric facility just outside Berlin. As a grown woman herself, happily married with children in London, Sophie cannot understand how Jay could have been a killer, the guy she knows, after all, was definitely the opposite! Sophie takes the reader back through their long and difficult friendship to look at schizophrenia and that might have caused Jay going off the rails.

As I have indicated before, this is a book that makes you think about the world and about your position in it. I have quite a carefree youth and the book made me reconsider my past and especially my future. It also gave me a great perspective on schizophrenia and what it does to people, friends, families and relationships. I feel that this book is trying to break the stigma and to portrait the illness as best and as true as possible.

The characters are beautifully portrayed in this book and even the illness, the drowning out of the voices in his head and the forgotten friendship of these two people, once so alike and now incredibly different, make that this book will keep having a prominent place in my book case for a long time to come.

Proceeds from the book go to a mental health charity, so if you are looking to read a great coming of age, young adult book, I wholeheartedly recommend Solacium.

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