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For Better or For Worse

   (15 reviews)
Genres: General Fiction
Sub-genres: Drama, Coming of Age

Shay is a normal kid, just trying to figure things out. Year after year, his mom makes it hard. 

*Trigger Warning*

Please be aware, this story deals with mental health issues, including involuntary hospitalization and suicide. 

Copyright © 2022 kbois; All Rights Reserved.

Story Recommendations (21 members)

  • Action Packed 12
  • Addictive/Pacing 17
  • Characters 21
  • Chills 13
  • Cliffhanger 1
  • Compelling 20
  • Feel-Good 6
  • Humor 8
  • Smoldering 1
  • Tearjerker 16
  • Unique 18
  • World Building 10

  • Like 1
  • Love 26
  • Wow 1
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Table of Contents
  • 1. Chapter 1
    • 19,678 Words
    • 1,566 Views
    • 74 Comments

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Rkench

   3 of 3 members found this review helpful 3 / 3 members

It took some time to allow myself into this story past the prologue. I’m glad I did. I feared I’d struggle relating to a non-binary protagonist. Instead, I left rewarded for opening myself up to their journey. As usual,  @kboispresents layered main characters. Shay’s relationship with their dad was especially nuanced, and allowed to grow as both navigate years with a loved one in a spiraling mental crisis. Yet the tale plays out with heart and humor. I hope many of you will enjoy. 

Response from the author:

Thank you for hanging in there and sticking with it. I'm glad you found the positives in the story. Shay's struggles are real. They're something many can relate to. I'm happy you found the story worth reading. 

  • Like 1
  • Love 4
Link to review
Dan South

   3 of 3 members found this review helpful 3 / 3 members

Imagine being just thirteen years old and completely uncomfortable in your own skin. Discomfort created not by the growth and other physical changes accompanying that age but by being an anomaly, being unlike the other kids. 

Shay takes us through the twists and turns of their world as only they, Shay, can.

If it’s not hard enough for someone so young to struggle with gender identity, Shay has the added challenge of a mother slipping further away into mental illness.

Held steady by the loving hands of her father and friends Shay more than survives, they thrive. 

Heady and heavy topics are woven with laugh out loud humor throughout. This is a beautifully balanced narrative, start to finish.

I’ll borrow the title to say that for better or for worse this is a must read.

Response from the author:

Thanks so much for the comments and review, I really appreciate it!

  • Like 1
  • Love 4
Link to review
CincyKris

   6 of 6 members found this review helpful 6 / 6 members

I will parrot the other reviewers and call this a "must read".  You don't want to miss out on one of the best looks at self-discovery, living with mentally ill family members, and perseverance!  Don't let the heavy material scare you off, this is life affirming.

  • Like 1
  • Love 4
Link to review
Story Reader

   5 of 5 members found this review helpful 5 / 5 members

Here is a heartbreaking story of a non binary person who struggles to find out who they are. It's a up and down struggle with a mother who has a mental problem that puts down their child in every way. The father is the one that keeps trying to keep the peace and at what expense? His struggle with loving his wife and his child and trying to keep his sanity intact is hard. The child finally figures out their struggles and tries to get on with life. A heart breaking story of mental depression  that is out there even though no one really wants to go through that! Kbois is a true story teller in her own right. I gave it 5 stars!

  • Like 1
  • Love 3
Link to review
chris191070

   5 of 5 members found this review helpful 5 / 5 members

A truly remarkable story from @kbois.

It's a story that is very difficult to read in parts as it deals with mental health, Suicide and hospitalisation.

Despite all of that, it's a gripping tale from start to finish.

We follow Shay as he grows up, trying to figure out who he is. But his Mother doesn't want to let this happen.

This is a story that must be read, one of the best I've read on GA.

  • Like 1
  • Love 4
Link to review
W_L

   5 of 5 members found this review helpful 5 / 5 members

Simply an amazing emotional story depicting self-discovery and acceptance with who you are. The author did an amazing job with the non-binary main character and narrator, Shay. They are not perfect, not selfless, and it's a testament to see the character grow despite the pain of having a parent with mental illness. 

In terms of narrative, the first-person narration and the midwestern setting of Illinois were perfect settings for such a complex backstory that draws the reader in. I think fans of personal narratives and coming-of-age genre readers should not miss this story.

  • Like 1
  • Love 4
Link to review
raven1

   5 of 5 members found this review helpful 5 / 5 members

This compelling short story is a memorable tour de force of a family in crisis.  Writing about gender identities in an intolerant society as well a mental illness is beyond difficult.  To keep the story from turning dark is almost impossible.  The author has written it love and care to succeed where most would fail.  The characters are written so well that you quickly empathize and bond with them as they face the hate and idiocies of ignorance.  They triumph through love, understanding and personal strength.  I am so happy that I read this enlightening story.  I hope you take the risk to read it too.

Response from the author:

Thanks raven! It was a challenge to write this story for sure. I'm glad I was able to portray my characters just as you described. 

  • Like 1
  • Love 4
Link to review
drsawzall

   6 of 6 members found this review helpful 6 / 6 members

Life isn't a TV sitcom like Leave it to Beaver or any other similar show.

What do you do when you first realize your different in a world that barely  tolerates differences?

This is a gritty, realistic tale that will hook you from the beginning to end, and clearly among the best this author has gifted us with.

All I can truly say is...Read This!!

 

Response from the author:

Life is far from a sitcom. Mental illness is a harsh reality too many of us have to deal with in some way. 

Thanks for your feedback. I really appreciate it. 

  • Like 1
  • Love 6
Link to review
Headstall

   6 of 6 members found this review helpful 6 / 6 members

One of the most engrossing stories I've read this year. Yes, the subject matter is difficult at times, but the author is masterful in painting a realistic portrait of a family in crisis in an easy-reading style. Mental illness touches us all, and it can turn lives upside down in some truly horrendous ways, but Kbois manages to provide balance in this story. That is a commendable achievement, and I recommend you see for yourself what I'm talking about. Cheers!

Response from the author:

Balance is all any of us can strive for. Thanks for giving this story a go. I'm glad you enjoyed it. 

  • Like 1
  • Love 7
Link to review
Gary L

   6 of 6 members found this review helpful 6 / 6 members

Worth six stars, frankly..

I have read little of this author - except for her exchanges with mrs m which are worthy of being serialised- but what I have read is confirmed in this very challenging story.  Kbois is extremely gifted, writes exquisitely and in this tale  forces her readers to face their own ignorance and even intolerance.  An important story with which to celebrate 20 years of GA

Response from the author:

I'm glad you gave this story a chance. I welcome new readers with open arms. My Korner Krew always has room for one more.

Thanks for reading and reviewing!

  • Like 1
  • Love 8
Link to review
Mrsgnomie

   8 of 8 members found this review helpful 8 / 8 members

Figuring out who you are when you don’t feel like the way you’re ‘supposed’ to, can be incredibly difficult. This story follows Shay as they navigate that very isolating journey while dealing with some horrifically difficult things at home.

this is a very thought provoking and emotional tale that is a must read. 

Response from the author:

Thanks for keeping me on track with this one. I'm not used to writing such a long chapter and keeping track of the right time-line was a b!+<#. Not to mention my little comma problem. 

  • Like 1
  • Love 11
Link to review
Mancunian

· Edited by Mancunian

   8 of 8 members found this review helpful 8 / 8 members

Intense, tension filled in both a good and bad way and filled with more realism than any other story I've read. Get yourself a drink, get the snacks, get yourself comfortable and read. Be prepared to read about real issues dealt with in a realistic and true to life way. This is definitely a recommended read from a very skilled writer.

Response from the author:

Thanks for your comments and review. I truly appreciate it!

  • Like 1
  • Love 12
Link to review
astone2292

   7 of 7 members found this review helpful 7 / 7 members

I'll be the first to add this story to the "Must Read on GA" list. 

This was stunning. Absolutely stunning. Words fail me how incredible this was. The story follows a non-binary teenager going through life. One parent supports them while the other tears it down. 

The humor is spot-on kbois material. From the many names for mental institutions to out-of-left-field exclamations. But along with it is drama that will send your heart and soul down to the depths of Hell, only to be brought up on a hand-cranked pulley system. You see the progress, but there's a long way to go. 

Just stop reading this damn review and start the book. It'll take a bit, but you won't put it down. 

Anthology entry? No. I'm going to be ballsy and say this might be kbois' masterpiece. 

I need a cigarette...

Response from the author:

This was my biggest challenge to date. Tackling a subject I know zilch about. 

Your opinion means a lot. As an author I'm always doubting myself when writing in unfamiliar territory (which is pretty much everything). 

I don't think I'll every be able to write anything without some humor thrown in. It's just not who I am. For me, in real life, humor has always been a coping mechanism. It flows over naturally into my stories. 

Thanks for reviewing! 😘

  • Like 3
  • Love 9
Link to review
weinerdog

   7 of 7 members found this review helpful 7 / 7 members

it's late where I am right now so some time in the future I'll come back and write a more detailed review I just want to make sure this gets the five stars it's deserves.

Very relevant and very powerful .Read this

Response from the author:

Thank you!

  • Like 1
  • Love 10
Link to review
centexhairysub

   8 of 8 members found this review helpful 8 / 8 members

This was a truly remarkable journey of one person figuring out their life and how to live it and where they fit in.  The writing and pacing were spot on and the character development was beyond good.

Can't say much without giving anything away; but this story runs the gamut from some humor, some true hatred, some wit and wisdom, and everything in between.  The trigger warning is there for a reason; and this story is not for everyone; but for those that can deal with the subject matter, it is beautifully done.

Finding out how you fit in when you know you are different is hard beyond belief; but having some support is crucial.  The lead character has one parent and some good friends, and finally a good therapist; but can that overcome true hatred from another parent?  

Have a drink of good whiskey, and try to maybe have some music playing that really helps you center yourself; then read the story and find out...

Response from the author:

Thank you for reading and reviewing!

 

  • Like 1
  • Love 12
Link to review
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