Mental Health Monday–Featuring Transcend by Christine Fonseca

Accurately capturing and portraying psychosis is extremely difficult. In cinema, you can use special effects, sound effects, even CGI graphics to crate hallucinations and altered perceptions.

But how does one do it via writing?

I think a fantastic example of a character’s descent into madness is TRANSCEND by Christine Fonseca. Described as Phantom of the Opera meets Black Swan, this dark, YA, (and I’d add historical) novel takes the reader on a roller coaster ride of emotion, intrigue, betrayal, paranoia, delusion, love, horror, tragedy, and rage.

It’s an intense, quick read, just by its nature–Christine doesn’t let you take a breath! 😉

A unique twist is the alternating point of view–FOR ONE CHARACTER! It’s a bit jarring, but I suspect that’s the author’s intention to keep the reader guessing.

What’s most captivating about it to me is that even after I finished reading it, I still had more questions.

Check out Christine Fonseca’s blog HERE.

What books have you read that capture mental illness particularly well?

If you have a character that needs “shrink-wrapping,” don’t hesitate to ask me a question, here in the comments, on Twitter (see sidebar), Facebook (see sidebar), or email me @

Remember, these posts are for writing purposes only and are NOT intended for medical advice or treatment.

8 comments on “Mental Health Monday–Featuring Transcend by Christine Fonseca

  1. Karen Lange says:

    Congrats to Christine!

  2. Vicki Tremper says:

    Ooh, sounds great! Shattered by TH Mafi was a good depiction of someone who thinks (or is treated as though) she’s mentally ill. I can’t think of any others at the moment. Ack.

  3. Linda Gray says:

    That sounds excellent. Christine is on my radar.
    What I’ve read, probably like everyone else, is GONE, GIRL, by Gillian Flynn. Oh my gosh, the combo of functional psychopathy and excellent women’s fiction/suspense style writing make this a must read.

  4. Sounds like a super interesting read! I Am Not a Serial Killer by Dan wells is a fascinating novel. I couldn’t put it down. But it’s more a novel about a kid trying not to be a crazy serial killer than somebody slipping into insanity.

  5. Donna Hole says:

    Hmm, I’ll have to read that book.


  6. Descent into madness. Like the way that sounds. Must be the writer in me. 🙂

  7. Leigh Moore says:

    omg, this book sounds so great. I love Phantom and Black Swan–must. Read!!! 😀 Thanks, laura!

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