Wales High School: First Diagnosis (Authorhouse, J. Peters 2020)

 

 

Wales High School: First Diagnosis

It’s the year 2003. Teenagers are messaging each other online, listening to punk music on MP3 players, and writing blogs on LiveJournal to fit in. One such teen is walking the halls of Wales High School with bright shirts, leather jackets, and blue hair: Jacques Peters. He’s determined to become best friends with one of the coolest guys in school, Davis Mavis. But he soon discovers that smoking, skipping class, and putting up a front aren’t as cool as they seem, particularly when mental health is involved. His friends gossip behind his back, push him out of their clique, and turn a blind eye to the cuts on his wrists. He’s dragged into a life that leads to a long stay in a psychiatric ward he hates, full of therapy, pills, and a strict routine. 

Wales High School, as the new point of departure in the J. Peters book series, calls upon lovers of creative young adult fiction, memoirs, case studies, and autobiography. First and foremost, there’s a lot to appreciate in Wales High School. This book is for anyone anywhere who has been diagnosed with a mental health condition for the first time. For people with serious mental illness, getting the services or treatment needed to deal with mental health symptoms can be even more elusive, and many people in crisis end up on waiting lists before they can begin treatment.

In terms of the relevance of this story to the contemporary reader and the strength of the narrative, which very cleanly builds into a fever pitch culminating in the protagonist’s hospitalization, I cannot emphasize how much I enjoyed reading this new J. Peters book. Specifically, I really enjoyed the glimpses of Jacques’ thought processes and the opportunity to better understand where these types of impulses originate. To me, this story felt very believable and relatable.

There is quite a bit of conflict in this piece, whether it’s emotional, physical, or situational. A teenage Jacques Peters spends most of the book in conflict with himself between what he wants and his own limitations which prevent him from getting that. However, he also comes into conflict with nearly every other character in the book (his grandmother being an important and notable exception) and this is an important part of his journey. This troubling aspect of Jacques life and burgeoning mental health condition becomes increasingly obvious to the reader as the tension mounts that Jacques will do anything in his power to achieve what he wants, which is both exciting and terrifying.

Wales High School: First Diagnosis follows a younger Jacques during his junior and senior years at Wales High School when his mental health disorder first shadowed his young life and his primary education environment. The book will give readers a firsthand look at Jacques Peters’ attitude in the classroom at Wales High School. Interestingly, there is not a clear point at which the conflict ends for Jacques. While his internal conflicts seem to settle a bit in the last few chapters, he continues to have negative interactions with others and even the last lines allude to ongoing conflict.

There is no question that the very same passion that set the stage for J. Peters adult adventure into language is visible during Wales High School in what his youthful and most vulnerable phase of life is, adolescence. Here, the reader will witness firsthand how this iconic literary character gained the transformative power to transgress with such ease, albeit to his own demise, and ultimately, setting the path to his near distant future in New London University. This book also gets underneath the root of Small Fingernails, elaborating on the urgency of J. Peters mission to New London University and new life he sought to establish for himself after his heart-wrenching experience in Wales high school

It was such a privilege to read this story and get lost in the tumultuous life of Jacques – I feel like I know him now (and know myself a little bit better too. This book sheds light on issues of access and stigma, making visible the challenges people with mental illness face in society. People with mental health disorders are more than a diagnostic code or a clinical definition. The authors intent, as indicated in the books dedication, was for the reader to better understand how the mental health system works. In doing so, if people find themselves with a diagnosis, they are more prepared to find the help they will need is abundantly clear within the book. Readers should be prepared for joy, hope, grief, and labored panic-stricken horror as this book unfolds and is prepared for the public at large.

 

 

Wales High School: First Diagnosis

It’s the year 2003. Teenagers are messaging each other online, listening to punk music on MP3 players, and writing blogs on LiveJournal to fit in. One such teen is walking the halls of Wales High School with bright shirts, leather jackets, and blue hair: Jacques Peters. He’s determined to become best friends with one of the coolest guys in school, Davis Mavis. But he soon discovers that smoking, skipping class, and putting up a front aren’t as cool as they seem, particularly when mental health is involved. His friends gossip behind his back, push him out of their clique, and turn a blind eye to the cuts on his wrists. He’s dragged into a life that leads to a long stay in a psychiatric ward he hates, full of therapy, pills, and a strict routine. 

Wales High School, as the new point of departure in the J. Peters book series, calls upon lovers of creative young adult fiction, memoirs, case studies, and autobiography. First and foremost, there’s a lot to appreciate in Wales High School. This book is for anyone anywhere who has been diagnosed with a mental health condition for the first time. For people with serious mental illness, getting the services or treatment needed to deal with mental health symptoms can be even more elusive, and many people in crisis end up on waiting lists before they can begin treatment.

In terms of the relevance of this story to the contemporary reader and the strength of the narrative, which very cleanly builds into a fever pitch culminating in the protagonist’s hospitalization, I cannot emphasize how much I enjoyed reading this new J. Peters book. Specifically, I really enjoyed the glimpses of Jacques’ thought processes and the opportunity to better understand where these types of impulses originate. To me, this story felt very believable and relatable.

There is quite a bit of conflict in this piece, whether it’s emotional, physical, or situational. A teenage Jacques Peters spends most of the book in conflict with himself between what he wants and his own limitations which prevent him from getting that. However, he also comes into conflict with nearly every other character in the book (his grandmother being an important and notable exception) and this is an important part of his journey. This troubling aspect of Jacques life and burgeoning mental health condition becomes increasingly obvious to the reader as the tension mounts that Jacques will do anything in his power to achieve what he wants, which is both exciting and terrifying.

Wales High School: First Diagnosis follows a younger Jacques during his junior and senior years at Wales High School when his mental health disorder first shadowed his young life and his primary education environment. The book will give readers a firsthand look at Jacques Peters’ attitude in the classroom at Wales High School. Interestingly, there is not a clear point at which the conflict ends for Jacques. While his internal conflicts seem to settle a bit in the last few chapters, he continues to have negative interactions with others and even the last lines allude to ongoing conflict.

There is no question that the very same passion that set the stage for J. Peters adult adventure into language is visible during Wales High School in what his youthful and most vulnerable phase of life is, adolescence. Here, the reader will witness firsthand how this iconic literary character gained the transformative power to transgress with such ease, albeit to his own demise, and ultimately, setting the path to his near distant future in New London University. This book also gets underneath the root of Small Fingernails, elaborating on the urgency of J. Peters mission to New London University and new life he sought to establish for himself after his heart-wrenching experience in Wales high school

It was such a privilege to read this story and get lost in the tumultuous life of Jacques – I feel like I know him now (and know myself a little bit better too. This book sheds light on issues of access and stigma, making visible the challenges people with mental illness face in society. People with mental health disorders are more than a diagnostic code or a clinical definition. The authors intent, as indicated in the books dedication, was for the reader to better understand how the mental health system works. In doing so, if people find themselves with a diagnosis, they are more prepared to find the help they will need is abundantly clear within the book. Readers should be prepared for joy, hope, grief, and labored panic-stricken horror as this book unfolds and is prepared for the public at large.

 

 

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  • J. Peters writes on his lived experience, and also brings his story into his work. J blogs daily on his site mentalhealthaffairs.blog and for other sites around the United States and Europe, bringing his passion for mental health to consumers everywhere.

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