The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer
I put this aside as one of my holiday reads after hearing good things on the interwebz, in particular from Kat. So once sitting comfortably on the plane I got started... and four hours later I had read the whole book! This never happens, for a couple reasons. First, I have a ridiculously short attention span and can't manage more than an hour reading before losing interest. Second, I usually read at night and as a result I think my brain associates reading with sleep... I usually nod off fairly promptly! The fact I read this so quickly is testament to the power of the story - it really sucked me in; empathising with the main character and his life.
In terms of a quick synopsis (remember, no spoilers here!) The Shock of the Fall is a story about a boy called Matthew who starts the book by telling the reader of his brother's death. We then follow Matthew through his life and his struggles with his mental health, notably life with schizophrenia. That in itself may paint a rather bleak picture, but it is told with honesty and humour. Filer manages to make you feel for Matthew, feel his troubles and emotions, but in the same paragraph make you laugh out loud.
I really enjoyed this read, and was impressed by Filer's ability to hook the reader in, create great characters you can entirely sympathise with, and do so with compassion and humour. A really interesting insight into mental illness.