March 6, 2017

EDGE OF BRILLIANCE by Susan Traugh {Guest Post/Giveaway}

The Edge of Brilliance

Genre: YA Contemporary Realistic Fiction

Release Date: July 19th 2016

Finch Books

Volatile and unstable, Amy stands at the precipice. Will she fall into the chaos and despair of insanity or ascend into brilliance and redemption?

Amy Miles is fifteen and crazy. Or, at least that’s her greatest fear. Her severe bipolar disorder, with its roller coaster manic and depressive episodes, is ruining her life. Yet in Amy’s mind it is accepting the pills and therapy—not the disease—that will brand her as ’crazy’. 

When Amy lands in a residential psychiatric program, she befriends take-charge Mallory and the two create family and try to salvage the shards of their broken minds. There, Amy discovers that her illicit drug use has robbed her of her ability to dance and she is forced to weigh how hard she is willing to work to reclaim her lost talent and potential. But, despite a promising beginning, when Amy falls back into denial, the tragic consequences cannot be undone.

Amy is left to decide whether to give up altogether or accept her diagnosis and the tools she needs to battle her disease, to learn to dance again and forge a new and improved version of herself. Will she step up to the edge of her brilliance and shine?

Reader Advisory: This book contains strong language and also includes scenes involving drug use, rape, violence. This book also includes a frank exploration of mental illness and loss of autonomy. 

 Buy Links: Amazon | Finch Books 
Spotlight on Mental Disorders

Did you know that 21% of teens have a diagnosable mental or addictive disorder?* That’s more than one out of every five people. One in five. So, in any typical high school classroom, about six kids are struggling.

Because treatments were inadequate, there was a time when the mentally ill were just hidden or locked away.

But, that time has passed.

Now, with treatment and support, most sufferers can lead full and amazing lives. That’s a message that needs to get out there. It’s a message that more and more Hollywood stars are willing to share as they reveal their own struggles. According to People Magazine** these famous stars all have mental health challenges and yet look at the incredible talent and success represented here. No one on this list has been stopped by their mental illness.

Demi Lavato—bulimia
Owen Wilson—depression
Amanda Bynes—bipolar disorder
Angelina Jolie—depression
Miley Cyrus—bipolar disorder
Ellen Degeneres—depression
Britney Spears—depression and bipolar

I also wanted to add my voice to the chorus that brings the reality of mental illness out into the open. I wanted to show how an ‘ordinary’ girl leading an ‘ordinary’ life could, nevertheless, find her greatness.

First and foremost, The Edge of Brilliance is a story—the story of a girl finding the hero within herself. But, additionally, it is a look into the mind of a person with bipolar disorder and a peek behind the curtain of talk therapy and residential programs available to people today. Because, while the book is fiction, it is based on my daughter’s real-life struggles and scenes in the book are informed by real-life places and events.

It’s time to talk about mental illness. It’s time to see those who struggle with the disease as the multi-faceted, complex, amazing people that they are. And finally, I hope it’s time to acknowledge the wonder of the teens who deal with their disorder, find the hero within themselves and step up to the edge of their brilliance! They deserve our unmitigated admiration.


Award-winning author, Susan Traugh, has been writing for over thirty years. Her Daily Living Skills workbooks are used in classrooms all over the world and her stories have appeared in periodicals nationwide along with several stories in Chicken Soup for the Soul. With husband, Steven, Susan won Learning Magazine's Teachers Choice Award for Mother Goose Brain Boost.

Now, Susan is venturing into the world of young adult fiction. Her latest novel, The Edge of Brilliance is an exploration into the heroes found within struggling young people. The manuscript was a finalist in the San Diego Book Awards.  Today, Susan lives in San Diego, CA with her husband and daughters, a cat, dog, fish and near her grown son who doesn't visit enough.

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  1. I applaud you for highlighting an important issue.

  2. Love the cover of this book.