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Neel Burton
Growing from Depression: A Gentle Self-Help Guide
Neel Burton, author
This is a book about how depression can have benefits as well as costs, and how to reap those benefits while making yourself feel better—better, in fact, than ever before.

Semi Finalist

Plot/Idea: 10 out of 10
Originality: 8 out of 10
Prose: 9 out of 10
Character/Execution: 10 out of 10
Overall: 9.25 out of 10


Idea: Burton, who is an expert in working with supporting those with mental illness, has graced readers with an informative, spirited, and overall uplifting book regarding depression, both in its pain and its gifts. This book is likely a little heady for some, as he does not shy away from eloquent, erudite verbiage that would be comfortable in journal articles, but for many readers this writing style may be a breath of fresh air.  Burton speaks matter-of-factly without being cold, and offers up ample suggestions and data to assist those who are depressed, or even those who merely want to learn more about the affliction. It is a lovely, fascinating, and introspective read!

Prose: Those well-versed in psychology or who are experienced in analyzing scholarly journal articles will be right at home with Burton's writing style. For more casual readers, Burton's writing may prove daunting.

Originality: Although depression self-help books abound, it is rarer to see one that speaks of growing through depression, rather than conquering it. Readers who have struggled with depression will find this book comforting; depression can be a useful tool in one's life, allowing a person the time necessary to slow down, take stock in their life, and make needed changes to be more comfortable in their existence. Burton offers up countless strategies for improving one's situation, and gives honest, thoughtful feedback about the efficacy of these interventions.

Character/Execution: The book is organized well, with relatively brief chapters, which Burton states was intentional, as he did not want his book to be overwhelming for those in the throes of depression. It is pleasant to look at, and the reader can easily pick up the book and turn to any page they like and find valuable insights.

Date Submitted: October 01, 2021