Every Last Psycho by Zarina Macha
First published, July 2018
⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
This book is a collection of two novellas, Every Last Thought and Psycho Girl, both of which feature young, female protagonists with very dark thoughts.
I found the descriptions of mental illness, as experienced by Tess, the teenage main character in Every Last Thought, really interesting. I felt very deeply for her, especially with all the horrors and trauma she goes through. And I liked the character of Ed, best friend of Tess and the love of her life. I enjoyed the unrequited nature of the love story at the centre of Every Last Thought, and felt it balanced some of the darker themes pretty well.
In Psycho Girl, Evelyn is a spoilt brat who thinks she’s better than everybody, feels entitled to an Oxbridge education and a selection of men to use for her own entertainment, and I couldn’t bear her. She tries to tear down a rival by manipulating the girl’s intellectual insecurity, and I thought, although unlikeable, Evelyn was really well-drawn.
As much as I liked the writing, particularly in Psycho Girl, I did find some of the themes – schizophrenia, sexual violence, substance abuse and rape – very harrowing. Although I’m pleased I read the book, the gravity of the subject matter makes it a difficult one to recommend in general terms, without reference to the trigger warnings.