A mother and the teenage son she adores each find reasons to reinvent themselves in this literary memoir about mental illness, drug abuse, and the redemptive power of storytelling. The concept of counterstories-self narratives that empower us to reimagine our damaged selves as whole, healthy, and capable of great things-offers a fresh, new take on story-as-therapy. Through this medium, the narrator reconnects with both her voice and her right life. Likewise, with a little help from the beloved Harry Potter series, a troubled teen finds the impetus to rewrite himself, eventually finding his way back to sobriety, to his family, and beyond: to college and to dreams of a life he would otherwise not have had the courage to picture for himself. Shades of Manic: A Counterstory thus becomes a primer on the self as 'author, ' reminding readers that each of us possesses the power to rewrite who we are as a prelude to claiming the life we are meant both to envision and to embrace.