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Reviewed by Maria Victoria Beltran for Readers' Favorite
Searching for Serotonin: When Hardship Makes Happiness Hard to Find is a compelling memoir by Mali Millie. The story unravels as Millie finds herself in a cold hospital room, wondering why she ended up there. A heart-wrenching scene follows when Millie’s mother dies at home, and her life is never the same again. Millie eventually faces the trauma of death, alcoholism, poverty, and bullying, leading to her mental illness. She finishes school and lands a job analyzing violent death data on suicides and homicides. This triggers her mental illness until she is admitted to a psychiatric ward. She finally addresses the effect of her traumatic childhood in search of the happiness that has always eluded her.
Mali Millie’s Searching for Serotonin is a powerful and thought-provoking memoir that chronicles a life faced with childhood adversity. It is an inspiring read, especially for those who have experienced childhood trauma. It is written in the first-person perspective, making it an intimate and compelling read. Citing statistics that reveal the high number of people with adverse childhood experiences, the story is timely and relevant. Millie’s writing style is engaging, and her honesty shines through. This story stands out because it offers hope for people with mental illness by inspiring them to seek professional help. Ultimately, it shows that experiencing childhood trauma and having a mental illness should not stop one from pursuing a better life. It is highly recommended.