Title: Strong Medicine
Publisher: New Wilde Press
Author: J.K Hogan
Two men who meet in a psychiatric institution couldn’t possibly find happiness together—could they?
The world seemed to be telling disgraced former child star and singer Cameron Fox that he would never be happy again. A drunken car accident gets him sentenced to a work release program at Riverbend Behavioral Health Facility.
Reclusive, traumatized writer Jonah Radley has an entire graveyard of skeletons in his closet. Jonah regularly hospitalizes himself for psychotic episodes caused by a horrific childhood trauma, his biggest secret—one he refuses to speak about in therapy.
Jonah and Cameron form a bond inside the hospital, forged in mutual pain and hope for a better life. Once they leave the hospital, they must decide if they are brave enough to explore the intricacies of living with mental illness—and find a new normal together.
This author is new to me, and while I enjoyed the story, I feel I need to let readers know right off that this is a story full on angst and that Strong Medicine touches on several topics that could trigger some readers.
From the very beginning the author throws real life into the readers face. Cameron is a former child star. He’s moved from reality show star to singer in the family band that parroted what the fans saw on the show. Both his personal and professional life is under the strict thumb of his father. Cameron’s inability to be who he really is leads the young man to alcohol and soon he finds himself at the mercy of the law. This is actually a good thing for Cameron and I liked that the author has him getting help in the manner she does. I also could not believe that Cameron’s father and siblings treated the situation the way they did instead of standing by Cameron more. I was also discussed by his father’s actions later in the story. More than once I wanted smack Cameron’s father and love how Jonah handles him later in the book.
Jonah is one of those special characters that I think readers will really take to. To say he comes from an abusive background would be an understatement. I also do not want to give too much of this part away but I will say that Jonah should have been forced into treatment from the age of 5, if not sooner. Jonah admits himself to the local mental facility on a verily regular basis but since he refuses to really talk about his problems letting help is given. This is where Jonah and Cameron end up meeting, and while you would think that they would have nothing in common, these two young men see something in the other that no one else does, and that allows them to start to come to terms with their various issues.
A lot of this story takes place in a mental facility, and having worked in one at one time I found parts of this story very realistic. One such area concerns the doctors that run the facility. They all reminded me, in one way or the other, of doctors I have known, and it was easy to understand why neither Cameron nor Jonah thought the doctors could really help them. I did find it funny that both men finally chose different doctors to confide in.
The most shocking part of Strong Medicine, in my opinion, comes later in the book. I could not help worrying that this was going to turn out bad. Yes, I know you have no idea what I am talking about, but if I told you it would ruin the in pack of the event when you got to it.
I will be keeping my eyes open for more from this author and urge others to do the same.
Reviewed by: Lydia
Click HERE to purchase Strong Medicine