Just Meg

When no one knows you exist it's hard to keep track of who you are

Young Adult - General
Kindle Edition
Reviewed on 06/28/2009
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Anne Boling for Readers' Favorite

I am the youngest patient in a mental institution...

Gunya is well-known psychiatric hospital for the rich and famous.  We meet four young girls who are patients here.  Noelle-an underage pornstar, Hope- a junior Olympian, Hannah-a drug-addicted criminal, and Meg-just Meg.  Meg has no memory and she isn't sure why she is here.  We follow these girls as they try to heal through the group sessions.  Their stories of how they got here are shocking.  The ending has a major unexpected twist.

This book was good.  The beginning was a little slow.  About midway through till the end is where I couldn't put the book down.  I wasn't expecting it to end the way it did.  Seeing what the girls were going through was really heartbreaking.  Kate Russell did a fine job of putting me in the mental institution with these characters.


Simply put, this is a tremendous book. It has everything I look for in a novel. Excellent character development and I good story line. There are some words of caution that I would like to give before you start to read the book. To those of you that like to read the ending first, DON'T. The ending caught me from behind like a silent freight train. I never seen it coming.

The story is about four girls who are institutionalized at Gunya, an Australian institution for the mentally ill. The main characters are Hannah- Who has anger management issues, Hope- Who suffers from anorexia, Noelle- Who suffers from schizophrenia, and Meg- Who suffers from memory loss.
You will enjoy reading about how these girls fight there mental issues, and perhaps best of all, how they learn to rely on each other. Throughout the story the girls try to solve the mystery of the missing girl that they read about in an article in the paper. This is a very good read.

B. Meister

This was an interesting read. One that I think many young adults would enjoy reading for the mind bending twists in the plot. The characters are quite well developed and the language while flowing easily is robust. I quite liked the mixing of the main characters storylines and the bit of mystery that is there to be solved.

I will say this is not an altogether easy book to read but then I don't think any book dealing with young adults in mental institutions would be easy. Once you step into the world of Gunya it is not difficult to stay there. The story progresses at pace that keeps you turning the pages!

G. Reba

"Just Meg" is powerful story of the evil which "man" is capable of, the lengths to which some go to disguise it, and the glimmer of hope that lies in us all. Welcome to Gunya, a psychiatric hospital in Australia for the rich and famous; a place for those with money to hide their "problems" from the world. Here we meet our four key characters. Meet Noelle, a "self-assured" red head that believes in aliens and, on her off days from her medicine, that she is Winona Ryder's sister. Next, we have Hope, the quiet, seemingly depressed athlete that has trained and monitored all of her life for competitions, only to lose the race that is life. Continuing with our meet and greet, we see Hannah, the licorice black haired, aggressive girl that seems to both lash out and curl in upon herself for reasons unknown. Then there's Meg, our silent narrator, ever watchful of the happenings, but never partaking in the action. This "motley" crew seems to make an unlikely band of comrades and indeed at times their interactions are strained almost to violence, but throughout the dialogue they form a bond beyond friendship. They work together, albeit like oil and water, to uncover the real reasons they are each there. In one of their daily therapies, they are to distract themselves from their current situations and in doing so are introduced to a mystery straight from the headlines. A powerful man is found dead, shot in the head on the side of the road, and his daughter is missing. The only clues they have to go on are her works of poetry, and some still shots in a camera from her room. The girls work on their investigation to piece together what they believe may have happened, while unbeknownst to them, they are much closer to the headline than they know.

"Just Meg"....the title is stated so simply, as if a bashful soul is counting itself among the living, yet the message at its heart screams forth a declaration of "I AM HERE". There is no "just" about Kate Russell's story....it truly reaches out to the reader, taking you into the darkest corners of mankind and shining the light of truth. All of the characters are welcoming, interesting, and memorable, but Meg stands out as a voice to be counted, to be remembered. I would highly recommend this book to young and old alike.

Nicole Leon

I found this book to be a surprisingly good read which I believe many young adults or teens would enjoy reading. The book was well-written and insightful at the same time. I was able to learn more about the characters individually and where they are coming from within the story. I must admit I was a little hesitant about this book due to the mental institution factor however through reading the book and learning more about the characters it seemed to suit the book and fit well into the story.


I am a big fan of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" so I had to read this book. This book, by Kate Russell, did not disappoint me!

I thoroughly enjoyed reading about each character. It was intense to "watch" how each of the four female main characters got along with each other. All of this drama going on inside of a psych ward and add the dilemma of a mystery makes for one fantastic book.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a page turning book.

Cassie Mae

Just Meg is about four girls in Gunya, a psychiatric hospital in Australia, for the wealthy. Listening to all four girls talk is so vivid, you feel like you are sitting right there with them. Along with each deep story, you will wonder about the mystery girl brought into the story. A mystery girl who no one knows who she is...but the girls try to figure her out as she is missing.

Just Meg is very well-written, you care about the characters and cannot wait to see what will happen next.