April 11, 2012

Book Review: Life is But a Dream by Brian James

The Deal: Sabrina has always been "Special" and she used to think that was a good thing, like she was something precious or delicate... until 'Special' became the label that landed her in the Wellness Center. 

She has always seen the world in a different way, seen things that others can't see. And as a child, that was fine, she was even encouraged to use her imagination, but as she grew older and kept on being unable to turn off her daydreams, the people around her began to realize something wasn't okay.

Hence, the Wellness Center. 
There, time passes in a bit of a blur, sometimes fast, sometimes slow, but she seems to be making some progress. And then she meets Alec. Alec who is alsk Special. Who seems to understajd her, and who is convinced that the medication they need to get better will take away the very thing that makes her creative and unique. 

My Thoughts: I have to confess that I'm always a bit... worried when I read books that deal with any type of mental illness - in this case, Sabrina is a schizophrenic - because I've struggled with anxiety for a long time, and there are certain places that I'm not very comfortable visiting in fiction. 

That being said, I actually found myself quite pulled into Sabrina's world in Life is But A Dream. She's an artist and sees the world in a way that's breath-taking - I thought the parts where Sabrina described the things she saw, were gorgeously written. And for all of that, I thought that Brian James did a good job portraying how, no matter how beautiful the world where Sabrina went was, it still scared her sometimes. 

And I liked Sabrina, over all. 

But I did have some problems with the book. Mostly, sometimes I found hard to follow Sabrina's narrative, particularly when it came to a timeline - she goes back and forth in time, and because of the way the story is told, I found it a little confusing - and because I was never very clear on the event that prompts her parents to send her to the Wellness Center in the first place. 

Also, I didn't always like Alec.

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