Heckled by Valarie Savage Kinney Reviewed



Title: Heckled
Author: Valarie Savage Kinney
Length: 278 Pages
Publication date: January 9, 2016



Drinking. Drugging. Cutting.
Exxel Jensen has spent his life finding ways to rid himself of the Heckler, and failed miserably.
On the surface, his future is bright: a beautiful wife, a child on the way, and a career he loves as a stand up comedian.
Beneath the surface lurks the darkness: crippling depression, anxiety, and alcoholism.
Helena Jensen has seen her husband spiral downward before and feels helpless to stop it as she watches him falling again.
She would do anything to help him, anything to diminish the pain that plagues him.
Exxel knows she would, and he also knows she can’t.
Because the person fueling his depression and addictions is someone she can’t see.
And how can he explain the Heckler to anyone, when he doesn’t even understand it himself?

my thoughts

Warning: Might contain spoilers

This is the first time I read a book by this author and though this wasn’t the first time I for me to read this kind of story it was nice to able to look at something like this on someone else’s perspective and also to have a better understanding of how people like the people in this story actually felt.

First of all, I commend the author for bravely tackling this type of story and ending it the way that it did. I don’t know how I can say ‘I’m not happy with the ending’ without these words being taken out of context. The truth is, I don’t think anybody will feel happy as this book ends. At the same time, I’m glad it ended the way that it did. If you ask me why, I’d say two things, 1. It portrays how real things like this happen. It gives the picture that sometimes, things really do end this way. 2. It makes it different. And by different I meant thank you for not giving me crap and bull after everything that has happened.

This book was really informative when it comes to showing what depression is like, how it affects a person and how it affects the people around that person. It also somewhat showed how the mind of a person undergoing such a thing worked. The way the events were delivered from the start of the book until the end was very engaging. I keep thinking as I read along, ‘we’ll he do it?’, ‘how will he react on it?’ I was at the end soon enough because I was so eager to find out how things will unfold for Exxel.

There are just a few things that had me concerned. The truth is, I tried to dismiss these thoughts and I was asking myself if whether the story was meant to be delivered this way and it was purposely not meant to be shared and I was the only one who didn’t get it.  But I can’t really shake this nagging feeling inside of me so I know I’ll have to go over them.

  1. I didn’t really get why Exxel was depressed. I know it’s because he said it’s because he can’t be happy. But then, why can’t he be happy? His mom seems to be a really loving and supportive mother. His brother and he seems to get along. His wife loves him so much and even understand what he’s going through. So why? What triggered the depression? Was it his dad? I don’t think he was mentioned. Was it something that happened during his childhood? Why? I’m not expert on depression and anxiety but I feel like there must have been a trigger.
  2. It was mentioned that he’s seen shrink before. So that meant he’s either recovered and got better. So why did he fell off that road again? And also, I know the wife was trying to be understanding but I felt like her will to help make him better was not really enough. She was too understanding. And because she understands, she didn’t really try hard enough to know what’s going on with him. It wasn’t until there was an extreme event that she felt compelled to talk to his brother and talk him into asking for help.
  3. Marco Polo. I’m sure there’s a story behind it. And I don’t know if I just missed it because my brain was anxious to read the rest of it and find out more but I don’t think it ever came up. It was mentioned several times and it seems vital to their relationship that I was super curious to find out why.


I’m not really so sure if the story was supposed to only show how things are for depress people.  If I turn my questioning brains off and focus on what’s here, I’d say that the author did well. And if anything else, I think the main message of this story was successfully delivered.


Amazon | B&N | Goodreads


8 responses »

  1. This book left you feeling conflicted and confused, which is how depressed people often feel as well, so it appears to have left a mark on you 😉 Take a deep breath in and – purposefully and thoughtfully – let it all go.as you breathe out, .


    • Actually, I’ve read something like this before. The guy was schizoprenic. That was much more intense because he gets bruises all over thinking he has an enemy. With this one he was aware only he can see his enemy. So it’s less scary.

      Liked by 1 person

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