Book Review: The Monster in my Head, Emma Lawson

The Monster in my Head

“This is my life, not some glossed over fairy-tale.” ~Emma Lawson, The Monster in my Head

By: Emma Lawson

Length: 305 pages

Published: September 2, 2017

Ratings: ☆☆☆☆☆


When 17-year-old Gina Taylor is given a writing project as part of her English class, she begins to write down everything and anything. Through her words, she tells a dark story. The story of a secret that she never intended to tell – the story of her secret battle with a monster. A monster that lives inside her head. Gina’s monster is evil and dark, it dictates how she lives and what she feels. It’s called anxiety. Slowly, it’s beginning to tear her apart and there’s only one way out; let the monster win.

As Gina’s life crumbles around her, the mysterious and handsome Flynn McArthur appears in her life. He’s determined to break down all of Gina’s walls and help her fight her monster. But Flynn has his own secrets that are threatening everything that he and Gina have built together.

Can they overcome their demons together?


Sometimes when you read a book you wish you would be a character, just for a few minutes in their lives, just a few. I can’t say that it’ll be the case with this book. Not once did I say I wish I was Gina. Now I know that sounds like a horrible thing to say. But really with the life that Gina lives and the monster she is dealing with, I’ll pass gladly.  I must admit that prior to reading this anxiety was an illness I knew of but never understood how it truly affects a person. Lawson presented anxiety in the most diabolical way to help understand its true meaning.

Whiles this book is stated to be for the age level 12-18 don’t turn a blind eye to it. Because this could be a very valuable resource for parents and counselors as well. Anyone who knows a person who has dealt or dealing with any inner demons themselves will appreciate the fact that it is told as it really it. There is no sugar-coating, patronizing or beating around the bush so to speak.

You watch Gina break down, you watch as anxiety takes over her life. Reading in the format of a diary was hard for me to get into at first but by the time I finished I sat and thought, this is right. This is how this should have been written. From Gina’s perspective. You get that to the fullest. What started out as an assignment for English-class became something much more. I know what you think….This sounds a lot like 13 Reason Why…  Yeah, I can see why you would think that. High school student conversing about her life for others. But really the only similarity stops right there.  This book is in its own league and will cause you to open your eyes to an unseen illness, that many passes off as person being lazy or emotional ( which after reading this I’m pretty sure my oldest daughter may suffer from).

Personally speaking, I’ve never dealt with anxiety, it wasn’t until I reached adulthood when I learn a friend of mine has been dealing with it for so long. And now things make sense. It makes so much sense. Being in high school is hard enough but then topping it off with anxiety, my goodness that takes a strong person to fight that demon along the way.

Gina learns threw her assignment and the meeting of Flynn that she isn’t the only one with monsters. Flynn the new guy comes to scene relatively early. STOP RIGHT THERE. Don’t go thinking oh so this guy just fixes everything for her. What kind of solution is that? Some guy shows up and now it’s all better. It’s not like that in any way. This is not your usual teen drama or young adult. The relationship between Gina and Flynn act as a counterbalance to the relationship between Gina and her mind. Gina has some very high walls and it takes more than a prince charming to help them crumble.

Emma Lawson did an exceptional job at capturing an unforeseen illness and putting it into words. You’ll be mesmerized by the strong subject matter, the debacle of Gina and her monster, but most importantly you’ll be made aware that just because you can’t see an illness doesn’t mean it is not real and affecting those around you.

Hats off to Lawson for creating this masterpiece.


41 thoughts on “Book Review: The Monster in my Head, Emma Lawson

Add yours

  1. Sounds like a very interesting book! I like the comment you made about folks outside of the age range reading it to gain insight on issues. I think that’s a great idea and I wonder if people have ever thought about doing that.


  2. It sounds like a complicated story, a book that you need patience and attention when reading, to get all aspects of the story. Somehow it reminds me of Dexter, have you seen the series? He used to live with monsters in his head as well, brilliant character!


  3. This sounds really interesting. I am so glad to hear that the Flynn coming along doesn’t just ‘fix’ her, thats unrealistic and would give people struggling with anxiey a terrible persception on how to help themselves. This book sounds good, I keep adding to my list with every visit!


  4. Never really thought of reading a book for therapy purposes. Always looked at reading for entertainment or just informational reasons. You are so right though. Some characters you just can’t wish you were them.


  5. I’m going to have to pick this one up! I had controlled anxiety as a kid, and then it peaked again through postpartum anxiety. I have it caged for the most part, but it isn’t something I’d wish on anyone–even if they’d understand better to experience. Sounds like a good book!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love reading books, especially comedy and romantic story. This ” Monster in my Head sounds interesting to read, will check this out.


  7. This sounds like an interesting book I agree with you, we could not know what a condition actually is and what it means unless we know someone or we have read about it in detail. Anxiety is not much known of in detail or in any books, I have read, Emma Lawson has done a great job. Gina and Flynn can counterbalance each other and what happens next, I need to check this one.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I know so many adults and young adults that are dealing with anxiety that think they are alone and don’t know how to cope. I think this should be mandatory reading for everyone, because it gives you a peek into the struggles others face every day and that can only be beneficial to everyone. Thanks for the suggestion.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree, I think this is ideal for any caregiver who has not dealt with anxiety of their own to fully grasp what any person with anxiety is dealing with.


  9. This sounds really interesting. I also don’t know much about anxiety, except that it seems like it can be debilitating and something a person needs to address. I’d be interested in learning more just for the sake of being able to counsel people

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Wow “Monster in my head” I have already head of this, Super love the story, honestly for me I don’t imagine myself to be one of the characters I haven’t thought of that even once. I’m more of imaginative persona and instead I see it as I’m like watching a movie, trying to figure and picture out the face of each characters. Love your post!


  11. This The Monster in my Head book looks so interesting. and based on your rate to this book it looks so good. I will definitely check this out.


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