Author: Brian James
Release Date: March 27th, 2012
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Cover Judge: Eh, I don't like it much.
Quote Choice: I like this quote because it's basically Sabrina.
Sabrina, an artist, is diagnosed with schizophrenia, and her parents check her into the Wellness Center. There she meets Alec, who is convinced it's the world that's crazy, not the two of them. They are meant to be together; they are special. But when Alec starts to convince Sabrina that her treatment will wipe out everything that makes her creative, she worries that she'll lose hold of her dreams and herself. Should she listen to her doctor? her decision may have fatal consequences.
I was pretty surprised with how much I loved this book, guys!
Sabrina was always called a "creative" child. She'd spend hours creating imaginary worlds for herself with faeries, magic, and dark things for her to overcome. She was spacey, a dreamer, and unique. That is, until she grew way too old to be living in fantasy worlds all the time and her friends started shunning her. Slowly, people started realizing something may be wrong with her, especially when a series of circumstances occur (which you find out about as the novel progresses) that ends up with her being admitted to a Wellness Center for acute schizophrenia.
Now, I find mental illnesses fascinating. It was my favorite chapter to learn about in psychology and therefore, I love finding that rare amazing gem that portrays a main character with a mental disorder that is insane, but still likable. And for so long, Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves was the only one on that list (Manic-Depressive / Bipolar Disorder) BUT I am happy to say I will be adding Life Is But A Dream. James writes in Sabrina's first person which means that the writing clearly reflects just how jumbled her mind is. She'll go on and on about how people don't see what she sees and what's going on in the "static", this dangerous noise that's trying to kill her in a way that just seemed so realistic and intriguing that I have to applaud him for giving Sabrina, and the illness as a whole, such a voice that really left me flipping pages as fast as I could!
At the beginning, I was a little bit confused every time Sabrina's mind would go from one memory to another and then back to the hospital. But as more time passed, it didn't bother me because the way it slipped from one thought to another was completely in accordance to the way Sabrina's mind worked. She was a girl with major problems and her journey of simultaneously spiraling into madness and getting better was riveting.
Alex was a complicated character in and of himself. He was passionate, rebellious, and the sway he had over Sabrina could be scary at times. She was so convinced he was like, that she had seen him in her dreams, that when she starts to worsen, she think it's alright. But even so, I loved them together. Their entire relationship is formed with mutual trust but also a HUGE misunderstanding so when the end came, I was quite happy because I wasn't expecting a happy ending.