• Book Reviews

  • A Story About Discovering Freedom and Life

    At first when I picked up this book, I was expecting the whole story to be about depression and suicide, but this book turned out to be so much more! This is a story about freedom, love, and ultimately, about LIVING. I truly appreciate the vulnerability Kerri practices as she shares very personal moments of pain, shame, love, and joy. I highly recommend this book for anyone who would like an inside look at the life of someone who, after truly experiencing darkness, was able to discover light and LIFE!

    When you read the book…you learn that the title to the memoir is Perfect! Beautiful story!!!

    This memoir is absolutely amazing! Reading the entire book in about four hours, I felt a ton of emotions. The author takes us through a journey of emotions, which lead from a very dark place in her life-towards healing, peacefulness, love and happiness. I would recommend this book to anyone. For youth, it teaches to be patience with and that there is so much more to come. For adults, it teaches how to talk to our children and be positive role-models as they grow and evolve. There is so much more to say....but overall, this is a great read. You will laugh and you will cry!

    What little there was was always resolved by a good fight in the school playground

    Kerri"s book was passed to me by a friend and to be honest it's not a subject that I would normally have thought about. Firstly I am a guy in his mid 60's who grew up in a generation that considered suicide as a taboo subject. Maybe because it was hidden or maybe because we were told that only "nut jobs" tried to kill themselves! In my day, as a young boy, we weren't subject to such bullying, what little there was was always resolved by a good fight in the school playground.
    I have sons and thankfully, wonderful daughter in laws, one of whom has been through a similar experience. I didn't understand nor realise this at the time, as it was one of things that "you don't discuss".
    It is apparent that this is a major issue in society today and is something we as parents and grandparents need to understand so that we can both recognise the symptoms and then offer the support that is needed. Our children are the most precious gift that we have and we should always be there for them. Kerri's book shows what can happen when that devotion is redirected elsewhere.
    Thankfully she met her "knight in shining armour" and the story has a happy ending, True love always prevails.
    This book took real guts to write, it is honest and I hope that it will help others recognise when things are going wrong in their children lives. we mustn't bury our heads the sand. Ignorance can have fatal consequences.
    To sum up, I cried, I laughed and I cried again, the last time over the happy ending.

    Loved this book

    Loved this book! I couldn't put it down. I laughed, cried and was inspired by Kerri Gardner's story. This is a very important message for all young adults - it's about love, hope, courage and determination. By focusing on the positive and never giving up your dreams, anything is possible. Thank you, Kerri, for sharing your story with the world.

    I connected with Kerri on Facebook a while ago and …

    I connected with Kerri on Facebook a while ago and she informed me when the book was launched. We agreed on a signed copy and I was more than impressed that Kerri has sent another version to me, because my order ended up at my former address. Exceptional customer service.
    I read the book in one day:-) yes. Her life mission is BIG and I feel this memorandum is very powerful. Thank you Kerri for helping others around the Globe to live out loud, to always believe in themselves and to live out loud.

    Terrific read for emotional and spiritual support.

    Such a fantastic read! I was so mesmerized by what Kerri went through, feeling such an emotional bond, realizing I'm not alone in this world. I was in middle school when I had my first suicidal thoughts at the age of 12. I've struggled with it ever since, reliving the pain on my 30th birthday this year. I could never really put my feelings or experiences into words, but Kerri has and it's phenomenal! This should be in every guidance counselors office in schools all over the nation, if not world! Thank you Kerri for being such a great light for so many kids and adults! I will definitely feel better explaining my experience to my children with the help of your book. God bless!

    First I would like to say…

    First I would like to say, I find it amazing that someone can retell a story in detail for so many years in the past and be determined to take the time and effort that this book took. I remember in the early days of writing seeing on facebook, how much time and effort it was taking and I thought to myself, "no way could I do that!" It would drive me crazy. While reading this book, I must say I had several mixed emotions. By no means in a negative way but it was an emotional roller coaster because it was a true story and being connected to the author brought flashbacks of many memories. I very much enjoyed it and found myself not putting it down. I do think that you would have to be at least a "young adult" in age to read it. I knew Kerri growing up as a young girl in our high school years. I found several times reflecting back to many memories that we had and felt horrible that someone could ever feel her pain and have the extreme depression and negative thoughts that made her attempt suicide. When I reflected back, I remembered certain conversations that we had and I wondered back then, why she thought about things in some ways but I thought it was just the way she was and we would carry on with whatever we were doing. My heart ached in the beginning when she was so troubled and thought that no one cared how she felt. I almost had to put the book down and couldn't finish reading it because I was so emotional. Then being the person that I am, I had to continue with my reading. Certain parts warmed me and made me laugh about the ferrets and how they drove them crazy while they were trying to "sleep". I also knew that my sister and I were in the book so I was also curious when that part came up!!! I wish that I knew how difficult she had it because I may have been able to pay more attention when I thought I was too busy or help in some other way. By the end of the book, knowing Kerri then and now, this was a perfect example of the special message we all hear sometimes, things happen for a reason. Anyway, I am glad that everything worked out for the best in so many ways. In addition to being a survivor, she continues to live each day growing with her beautiful family providing encouragement and motivation to others no matter how good or bad she may feel. I am glad that you continue to live your life to the fullest each day and hope this book gives you many opportunities and opens many other doors. xo

    Full of sadness, happiness, tears, love and laughter. Fantastic memoir and incredible story of a wonderful lady. Inspirational!

    Wow! What a truly and wonderfully inspiring story I have just read. Kerri is an incredibly strong lady who bravely shares this very personal, very difficult but crucially important story in a bid to help others in similar circumstances suffering from mental health illnesses to find hope and reassurance. She takes us through the heartbreaking, dark and painful days that she experienced at such a frightfully young age. She describes her experiences of family relationships, her thoughts and emotions, her whole perception of people and the world which led her to make such a terribly difficult and irrevocable decision. Thankfully, her story takes a turn for the better and shows us how her life was saved and she was taken on a new path of joy, love, peace and enlightenment. Kerri's story brilliantly focuses on hope, on rebuilding your life from the darkest and lowest of places and slowly creating the building blocks that lead to the life and dream you always envisioned but never thought you could attain. I personally LOVED this memoir as I'm a sucker for love stories and Kerri not only shares her recovery from such a deep depression but tells us an unbelievable love story in which she unexpectedly finds true and honest romance that she has managed to hold on to to this day, against all odds. I have had the honor and pleasure of getting to know Kerri personally through her book and can honestly say what a lovely, wonderful, inspirational and positive spirited lady she is. Kerri, thank you for sharing your story. I wish you luck in all your future adventures and endeavors.

    I love this book!

    I love this book. It's a story about courage, strength, happiness and true love :) I couldn't put it down!

    Outstanding memoir well worth a read.

    This book is a memoir of a suicide victim. It was written with deep courage and desire to help her fellow people. I found it inspiring and easy to read. Kerri did great justice to how we don't communicate well with listening skills for survival victims. It is my hope that this book be collected as necessary reading for school children and teachers all to help individuals understand mental illness and it's effects. It was superbly written with a love interest that has lasted 29 years and 20 of those years happily married, living on another continent and raising 3 beautiful children. I highly recommend this book to anybody being bullied, harassed or contemplating suicide as you are wanted on earth for bigger things.

    Fast Paced, Raw, and Honest

    Kerri Gardner is a tenacious woman. You can tell from the get-go that her memoir is a labor of love. Her attempted suicide was kept a secret most of her life until one day she got a call from her daughter's school about a 13 year old girl in her daughter's class that had ended her life. Kerri knew, after that, she could no longer keep quiet about her story.

    Early in Kerri's teen years she gave up on her life thinking it did not matter if she was on this earth or not, but after surviving an attempted suicide, she made the decision to live, and to live a good life. Right out of the starting block, "Out of the Darkness Into the Light", is a fast paced read, The first four chapters will keep you on the edge of your seat, and the following chapters will show Kerri picking up the pieces of her life and pressing through the hard times. Ultimately, this memoir is a love story.

    Raw and honest, Gardner doesn't hold back in exposing her life difficulties, especially with family and friends. The clear message is that life is worth living and that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Life doesn't guarantee easy times, that's for sure. But suicide, is never the answer. After Gardner's suicide attempt, she still struggled with relationships with the teen boyfriends in her life and had quite a few bumps in the road. But, she didn't let that stop her from pursuing and loving the man who would become her husband. She wanted a different life. A better life. A better one than she had as a child.

    "Out of the Darkness Into the Light" does have adult themes including adult situations, language, and sex. Just something to consider for age appropriateness. I applaud Kerri for pouring out her guts and telling her story. I can tell her heart is to help youth (really anybody!) not give up on life. She has a beautiful letter to the reader at the end of her book. She says:

    "My further wish is that you learn the life lessons that I had to learn the hard way: I would always suggest being honest and open to a trusted confidant, such as your mother, best friend or partner...I love that help is one letter away from hope and talking when in such pain is one of the best forms of healing."

    This letter was so important. Gardner doesn't necessarily specifically address the practical, spiritual, physical, and emotional things she did through the memoir in great detail (she does some of this though), so the letter at the end was vital to those reading this book. Especially, if they have been contemplating suicide. So, don't skip the letter at the end!! It's just as important as the actual memoir.

    May Kerri Gardner help many people see that their life is worth living, that they matter, and that they have value. They may have had a crappy start in life, but they can have a stellar middle and end.

    A must read!

    I loved this book! It is a must read! I have no doubt that it will help so many people! It is written in a way that keeps your attention captivated so that you want to know what is on the next page and all while learning valuable life lessons.

    An absolutely MUST read!!!

    You have given all of us an incredible gift by sharing your story Kerri! Your book was an incredibly fast read as I never wanted to put it down!! Thank you so much for sharing your story as it gives us a very personal account of the incredible struggles going on with young kids as well as people of all ages and HOPE that there IS another way to deal with the most painful of painful situations in our lives!! I could so relate to you in so many ways, having dealt with depression, anxiety and wanting to die much of my life! I agree that it is a permanent solution to a temporary problem...BUT it definitely does not feel that way at the time!!! You have given us other ways of handling this issue as well as helpful tips for friends and family members helping someone who is experiencing these feelings and thoughts!! I believe with all my heart that your book will help so many people!!! I HIGHLY recommend this book to everyone to read as you definitely don't always know who is having those feelings and Kerri's book also gives readers signs to look for as well!!! You could save a life!!! Awesome book!!!

    The book traces Kerri’s arduous courage and tenacity to struggle upwards towards a sense of spiritual well-being and happiness.

    This is an exceptionally well-written book that will appeal to teenagers and adults alike. Kerri graphically portrays herself as someone who has hit the very depths of despair, yet somehow finds the hope, strength, courage and tenacity to struggle upwards towards a sense of spiritual well-being and happiness. The book traces Kerri's arduous journey forward, traverses the murky waters, and bursts forth in a triumph of self-knowledge, self-love, and clear self-expression. In turns harrowing, heart-breaking and joyful, the novel plays with a myriad of our emotions to culminate in a read that is truly inspirational. (Julie Hatton MA)

    A very easy to read book by a talented first time writer.

    A very easy to read book by a talented first time writer. We all had some issues growing up and Kerri was determined to find her dreams. Recommend highly for younger people going through hardships and older readers as well.

    What a beautiful heartwarming book

    What a beautiful heartwarming book! The emotions and story are so real and raw. You truly get to know the author, her pain and her triumph. She is one tough lady with an unshakable belief in her abilities and what she can achieve! She overcame tremendous odds to be the amazing and uplifting person she is today. Her dedication to help others by sharing these most intimate moments of her life shows just how big her heart is and how much she wants to help others know there is hope in seemingly hopeless situations. She beautifully proves in her book that love really can help a heart heal, communication is vitally important and that anyone can reach their dreams when they believe in themselves. A truly brilliant read and a welcome addition to all libraries! Lisa - The Zen of Why Life Coaching

    Great read that’s hard to put down!

    Thank you for turning your life experiences into a beautiful piece of work that will undoubtedly change lives. And knowing you personally I only wish I saw the signs of help and feel bad for not seeing, but I am excited on this book and in hopes it helps others. Thank you for for adding a little more love to this world with the story of you and Trevor. Thank you for reminding me of love and how much I love my own husband. Most of all thank you for being you and I love and miss seeing you.

    The most important book that I’ve read in 30 years!

    What is so gripping about this book is its honesty and its beauty. Its the extraordinary story of an ordinary young american "girl next door" struggling to deal with a set of challenging circumstances. The authors journey is both heart-breaking and heart-warming as she describes the darkest time in her life, her hopeful encounter with an English boy she calls her "Davey Jones" and the incredible twists and turns following her dramatic teenage years.I would recommend this to anyone. I couldn't put it down. I was fascinated by the spirit and determination of the young girl who survived the darkest moments of her life and the young woman who persisted in pursuing her dreams and the life and love she truly wanted and deserved. Such an entertaining read and an incredibly uplifting tale.This is a must read for anyone who needs some insight into suicide survival and suicide prevention.

    Five Stars!

    A story you can't put down.

    Powerful Story!!!

    Once I started reading this book, I had a hard time putting it down! The author shares her experiences in vivid detail that made me feel like I was right there with her. Having friends and family who suffer from depression (some also suicide survivors), it gave me the opportunity to get a close-up and personal glimpse into their heads. Thank you, Kerri, for your candor in sharing your story. I pray your words will fall into the hands of those who so desperately need it - those who feel like life is hopeless and there is no other way out of the pain. They don't understand the pain it will leave others if they chose to end their life. Your journey from the darkness into the light is what I hope for others to follow. Thank you, thank you, thank you...

    An empowering true story that was hard to put down!

    Out of the Darkness Into the Light written by Kerri Gardner grabbed my attention from the very beginning when she described her “why” or purpose of writing her memoir of suicide survival to the very end with Kerri’s letter to the Reader. Thank you, Kerri, for sharing the pain you experienced and how you pulled yourself out of your inner darkness. I believe this empowering book needs to be read by young adults and discussed in high school classrooms and with their family members. Kerri’s writing style helps you to easily create a visual picture of what she was experiencing so that you can feel her pain and then her hope. Kerri ends her book with healing strategies that would benefit all of us; keeping a gratitude journal, exercising and most important: being honest with your feelings and sharing them with a trusted person.
    Kerri’s mission is to share her story to save others from suicide with her gripping, powerful book and also by speaking to schools and other venues. I believe Kerri will be very successful with her mission.
    By Lynn
    5 Stars Highly recommended!

    Well I would like to say thank you!

    Well I would like to say thank you!

    For turning your life experiences into a beautiful piece of work that will undoubtedly change lives. Thank you for giving me something of quality and meaning to feed my mind with positivity whilst I am also going through a tough time. Thank you for for adding a little more love to this world...that love is floating in the ether sure to be picked up by others that will find comfort in it. Thank you for restoring my Faith in love and reminding me that there are good men out there. Most of all thank you for being you and I love you x

    I just finished reading “Out of the Darkness …”. …

    I just finished reading “Out of the Darkness …”. Thank-you Kerri for going to the effort to share your experience. It is a compelling story – one that parents as well as young people would benefit from knowing. I am certain many people will benefit from reading it.

    and yet deep– leaving a lasting impression in each of us– that tomorrow gives us another chance to be better than we are today

    It is not often enough that we as readers get to discover a more raw, organic memoir in which I think, most of us can closely identify with: childhood & family turmoil, questioning our adolescent identity, and our worrisome, laden minds into adulthood. Kerri Gardner delivers with veracity, and reveals her accounts without leaving readers in question-- nor does she suppress the subject any longer. Kerri lays it all out on the line without restraint, captivating her audience, but while also forgiving her past. Her message is clear, and yet deep-- leaving a lasting impression in each of us-- that tomorrow gives us another chance to be better than we are today. Thank you for revealing your story, Kerri. You are resolute in your own convictions, and in how you've motivated others to "live the life you love on your own terms!" Keep up that perseverance in evolving and discovering yourself! This book was tough to put down-- I read it in just a couple of evenings! :)

    Great, touching account of struggle and lessons learned and …

    Great, touching account of struggle and lessons learned and the positive message that only experience can speak so honestly to - highly recommend!

    Kerri did a great job; so honest and forth coming with her …

    Kerri did a great job; so honest and forth coming with her ups and downs. She is very courageous and is so willing to help others; hopefully her story will prevent others for making a life threatening mistake!

    Beautifully written

    This book took two short days to read. I didn't want to put it down. You truly felt her pain, her sadness, and her happiness. Beautifully written, very relatable. She deserves 5 Stars! Highly recommend this book!

    Both a Hero and a Mentor for Her Readers

    We can all learn so much from Kerri Gardner’s brave, authentic, and even funny memoir. With an assured voice that shares her darkest to her lightest moments, Gardner’s clear details and images will stay with me for years. This is especially true when she recounts her suicide attempt and later when she sees the many horrors while in the mental hospital. Some of the light-hearted moments include when she couldn’t understand her British husband-to-be or when she is thrown into a Twilight Zone moment with her new best friend, Sophie (I won’t spoil it here). I’m proud to have shepherded her book when it was an infant, and proud to know this determined individual. She is the epitome of a dreamer and a doer.
    Read this book!

    Love to warrior woman

    Out Of The Darkness Into The Light made me cry, laugh and remember hope. This is a quick read with an important message to share. Being the target of a bully, feeling isolated, feeling different and alone is universal. I trust this book will help many navigate these treacherous waters and see that there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, if only you follow it long enough.

    Mauruuru koutou me te toa, kaha, me te tuwhera ngakau .
    Aroha tinonui ko to wahinetoa.
    Thank you for your brave, strong and open heart. Love to you warrior woman.

    A remarkable memoir!

    After reading such an uplifting memoir- Out of the Darkness into the Light, my first wish is to thank the author Kerri Gardner for sharing her life experiences of surviving suicide attempt, finding love and overcoming depression.
    I loved very much the romantic part of the story, written so vividly, that I kept thinking this would make a great movie. Kerri was unfortunate with her early childhood accident after been tramped by horse that end her up using heavy drugs, which in return crippled her mental health provoking severe depression, and later resulted in decision of ending life at the age of 13. Who would think that such desperate move out of pain would become a step out of the darkness into the light? Not only Kerri survived, she met at the same year her first and the last love of her life, making intercontinental friendship turning into relationship a true success!
    This is a truly remarkable story of love, light and determination.

    A beautiful message of hope for children suffering from depression!

    Wow! This book shows the struggle that some face with severe depression and the aftermaths of a suicide attempt. Kerri's book gives hope and shows her determination to make a life worth living for herself. She tells of the many struggles that children often face, and how her teenage years turned from dark depression to finding light at the end of the tunnel in the form of love! A must read!

    Highly Recommended!

    I had the pleasure of interviewing Kerri before her book came out and was completely captivated by her story. To read about a level of depression that led to an attempted suicide and teenage bullying from someone that lived it, really opens ones eyes to the pure pain and struggle that many people go through. This is a book for any person that is struggling through a dark time, to know that there is hope and light on the other side. Thank you Kerri for your strength, openness and courage to share your story with the world!

    I believe it is a great story for teenagers who are thinking about suicide

    I just finished reading your book and I found it to be INSPIRING and true that "DREAMS do come TRUE".
    I believe it is a great story for teenagers who are thinking about suicide. I found this statement: "You do NOT have to take a permanent solution to a temporary problem" to be very powerful and one that I hope everyone will consider.
    I loved your WHY! I hope everyone that reads your book will realize that THEY ARE SPECIAL and our Heavenly Father loves them very much and wants a personal relationship with them in spite of their perceived imperfections.
    The book was interesting from the start and kept my attention wondering what the next chapter would hold. In each chapter I kept hoping that you and Trevor were going to have a fairy tale ending.
    I also liked the point that you made that our "thoughts become things" and that we all should be mindful of what we are thinking as that's how we create our tomorrows.
    Kerri, thank you for sharing your story and I too pray that it will HELP OTHERS.
    Wishing you continued success and abundant blessings.

    I am so happy and grateful that you chose to write and share …

    I just read your book and was blown away!!! I am so happy and grateful that you chose to write and share your story. I purchased the Kindle edition and did not have to wait for the mail. I found it hard to put down. I definitely recommend this book!!!

    Great book!

    Oh my gosh, this book stirred up a whole lot of emotions in me because of how relate-able it is. As I read throughout the whole book, I became sad, I became angry, I became happy and I also became hopeful (you know what they say about a silver lining).

    It's the sort of story that most of us, no matter our ages, can actually relate to because these are the things that are happening in our everyday lives. If it hasn't happened to you, then it surely has happened to a loved one. It talks about depression, bullying and family. The author does a great job advising and letting the reader know that with family by your side plus great perseverance and patience, you will pull through. I give this book 5 stars!

    An amazing story that I will read multiple times!!

    I think this is a book that all middle school kids should read. Maybe it would help "bullies" see what they do to others as well as help "the bullied" kids handle what others do to them. I've thought about suicide in the past but never acted on it. I wasn't even a bullied kid, just shy. I enjoyed reading about this author life, what she went though and how she deals with it today. I think this book would be encouraging for kids to realize that it just takes a good hearted person in your life to turn it all around. Patience and family can get you there. This is a book that I will probably read many times, especially when I'm in a mood where I need a little bit of encouragement. Highly recommended!

    Highly Recommend!

    Beautifully written. Recommend highly. Good read for all ages.

    A true story about a teenager surviving suicide!

    This is a true story that most teenagers will relate to Kerri's teen years. It is very interesting and held my attention. Her meeting her dream life's companion was a serendipity experience. Growing up in a dysfunctional family with other relatives I could relate to her emotional struggles. Fortunately Kerri has a happy ever-after ending! I especially recommend this book to teenagers having rough times. You can get through it!:)))

    A Must Read Book

    What an Amazing book! I had so many emotions I experienced reading this book. I can totally see this book turned into a movie. It was amazing and I couldn't put it down. Thank you to the Author who shared her journey with us all. Many more blessings to come :)
    Lisa

    “I felt chilled and vulnerable.”

    I received this novel as a gift.

    First I need to say I have some personal ties to the subject as I myself have tried to committ suicide, so I was all the more critical as to how this novel would deal with this touchy subject.

    I must also say I was moved by the writer's intention of writing this memoir and I enjoyed the style of writing. Somehow I was reading my own teenage experience and I could relate to all of her feelings. We all know that being a teenager is a journey of finding yourself and rebellion which Kerri Gardner beautifully described. This novel will hopefully wake people up to this issue and stop teenagers from making the same mistake.

    Very well-written memoir

    ‘Out of the Darkness Into the Light” is not only a captivating, entertaining, and well-written memoir – but it is also one with a powerful theme and a lesson of strength and perseverance that I’m sure many people can relate to. Kerri may have a background that is much different than my own, but that didn’t prevent me whatsoever from truly connecting with many of her experiences. I must also note that the narration is top quality which had me completely immersed into Kerri’s story within the first few chapters and hooked until the very end.

    This Really Touched My Heart

    Gripping story line. This memoir really touched my heart. It's an important read for anyone who has been through depression or bullying. Focused determination is the life lesson here.