Re: Borderline

Date: 2017-04-20 01:07 pm (UTC)
justira: A purple, gender-ambiguous unicorn pony in the style of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. (lady business)
From: [personal profile] justira
Thanks so much for talking about this! I'm going to go ahead and say outright that Mille is ultimately likable at least. As for her being a good person... I have a hard time fitting "kinda sorta a racist" and "good person" in the same place in my head but... I do think she's a good person in the end? Maybe? What I want to get out there for you to take away is: It's not about how awful someone like you is. That's not the thrust of the book at all. It's about how someone with borderline can (like all other humans!) make mistakes and do her best to fix them and meanwhile be the hero of cool and creepy adventures.

Millie's flawed, but the book... how to put this. Being borderline is not really her flaw? It would be pretty insulting if it was, I think. She is flawed in how she deals with being borderline sometimes, but I think the book comes from a place of compassion (and personal experience!) when depicting that, emphasizing that dealing with BPD is hard by the very nature of the disorder. I'm not sure what it would be like for someone who actually has BPD to read about the internal mechanics of it, because the book does go into some detail on that. Since the author is borderline, I assume these speak to her experience. It's portrayed as a hard thing to deal with but not like... having it makes you bad, or anything?

As I said in my review and as the comment from theillustratedpage said above, Millie is kind of an asshole, but that seems to be at least partly a personality trait, not a disorder thing. She's a bit of an asshole in the same way that 99% of urban fantasy protagonists are assholes, and while I didn't get into this in the review, Borderline is having a whole conversation with the urban fantasy genre and how it works and what kind of people are allowed to play a role in them. See also: this entire essay about mentally ill women in genre stories, courtesy of Jenny from Reading the End (I'll be adding it to the post, too). To me, at least, as a reader with mental illnesses but not BPD, Millie's flaws felt like things that made her a believable human, not like an indictment of people with BPD (nor a fetishization of them, nor putting them on some sort of pedestal). Her white-liberal racism, as far as I was able to tell, has nothing to do with her BPD. It was just another thing about her.

I'd definitely be interested in hearing your opinion of Borderline, if you do decide to give it a try! If not, I totally understand. I'm not sure how many books about depressed or bipolar people I can handle, myself. Also! For what it's worth. I'm autistic as well, so if you have recommendations of books (or any other media) with good autistic characters, I'd be very interested!

Finally, this is just an admin note, but we do have a comment policy that asks anonymous users to sign with a name, so we know who we're talking to. Thanks!
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