Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Me On the Floor, Bleeding by Jenny Jagerfeld

We took a taxi home. Just like that. "We took a taxi." That was something I could tell someone I wanted to impress. Except I couldn't think who that might be. Enzo saw right through me; he would immediately notice the poorly disguised satisfaction behind the mock indifferent expression.

~pp. 136-37

Me On the Floor, Bleeding by Jenny Jagerfeld is a Swedish Young Adult book (thus, a translation) about a high school girl named Maja. As the book opens, she has just accidentally cut off the tip of her thumb with a saw. She would never deliberately hurt herself, yet most of the kids at school assume that's what she has done and even her father is uncertain. But, her mother doesn't even bother to respond to texts or emails about Maja's accident.

When Maja takes the train to visit her mother over the weekend and she also doesn't show up at the train station, Maja begins to worry. But, something keeps her from calling her father or the authorities about her mother's disappearance. And, then Maja meets her mother's next-door neighbor, a 22-year-old, and things become more complex.

What has become of Maja's mother? Maja sets out to unravel the mystery of her mother's whereabouts by hacking into her parents' email accounts and her father's phone messages. But, what she finds out may hurt even more than cutting off a thumb.

Me On the Floor Bleeding was an award-winning book in Sweden and I can see why. Maja is a great character and it's a very internal book that feels true to the emotion, intelligence and quirkiness of a teen. Upon reflection it reminds me a bit of John Green. It's witty and poetic, very human and fearlessly open about emotion and sexuality.

The only problem I had with the book was the fact that I had a little difficulty understanding why what Maja found out about her mother was so traumatic. If anything, it seemed like what she discovered should have been reassuring because it explained why her parents -- especially her mother -- behaved the way they did.

The bottom line: 

Highly recommended - I really enjoyed Me On the Floor, Bleeding and would particularly recommend it to people who like reading an emotional story that feels authentic to the teen experience. The author is a psychologist, so she undoubtedly understands how and why Maja's discovery about her mother upsets her so deeply.

Cover thoughts:

Hmm, love the cover because it's such a grabber but it is not accurate to the contents. Maja is not suicidal. The fingers to the forehead are misleading in that way. She does have an unusual way of dressing and the outfit on the cover is similar to something she wears, but not precisely accurate to the description. And, she doesn't have pink hair. Her hair is dark and she actually cuts it so close to her head that she's almost bald by the end of the book, perhaps as a sign of emotional stress.


I got Me On the Floor, Bleeding from a friend. I'm not sure if it was sent to her by the publisher or a purchase on her part but, just for reference, the publisher is Stockholm Text.

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  1. That is definitely a misleading cover if she is not suicidal. Also, how does a person not report his/her mom missing? I guess I'll have to read it to find out.

    1. Yes, it really does look symbolic of self-hatred, doesn't it? But, she's actually pretty self-assured. She's confused about some things but who isn't during the high school years? It becomes obvious why she didn't say anything about her mother, in the end. It drove me nuts that she kept her worries quiet but also made the pages fly.

  2. I got this one in the mail a long time ago. Not sure if I'll ever get to it!

    1. It's a quick read and a good one, Suey.

  3. This DOES sound really good! It's funny you made the comparison to John Green because just reading your review, I was thinking "ooooh this sounds like a John Green type YA book" and then you said that :p And those are my absolute favorite types of books. Yep, I'll definitely be reading this one! It is sad that they felt the need to make the cover what they did because it doesn't feel like the book you described. I'd much rather read the book in your review than the one the cover represents!

    1. It's John Greenish in the way she treats the character with respect and allows her to go places and do things that teens really might do because they're still seeking their place, if that makes sense. It's also very unique. Either way, I really think you'll enjoy it, if only for the psychological aspect. It's a fascinating read. I liked Maja.

      Oops, forgot to reply to your thoughts on the cover (2nd attempt, here). She really is a great character. Not sure why someone chose to represent her with pink hair and fingers to the temple. Maybe it was a stock photo and they were just looking for something with a puffy white shirt? Who knows.


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