Thursday, October 10, 2013

Life is but a Dream- Brian James

Title: Life is but a Dream
Author: Brian James
Source: Bought new
Series: Standalone
Rating: 4/5

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. 

Brian James calls Life is But a Dream "the most intense book I've written. Bringing this unique character to life and seeing the world through her eyes, with all its beauty and confusion, was an immense challenge that I hope is just as rewarding to read as it was to write." Intense--yes. Unforgettable--definitely.

I finally got to read this book. This book was on my wish list since it came out which was over a year ago. I was hoping my library would order it so I went to get it from my local Chapters and they did not have it either then online I had a hard time finding it also. It kept coming up as unavailable so I gave up hope of ever being able to read this then Book Close Outs had it and it was cheap so I ordered it immediately and I loved it. I was a little nervous about reading this after waiting for so long to get my hands on it.

Sabrina is diagnosed with schizophrenia so her parents take her to the Wellness Center to help her. Sabrina meets Alex who is convinced that she is not "crazy" but the world is crazy. Alex convinces her that she should not allow them to treat her because they will take away her artistic creativity. Sabrina is torn between listening to the doctor and listening to Alex who she believes she is meant to be with.

The story starts with Sabrina being checked into the Wellness Center. I liked Sabrina for the most part but there was times when she did frustrate me. I blamed most of her irritations on the other characters around her. I was not a fan of Alex. I felt like he was using Sabrina to make his point about the world being crazy and not them. He does not seem to understand Sabrina at all and feels like he can help her without the doctors or her family. I also thought her parents were pretty clueless, and the doctors seemed quite clueless as well. They seemed completely oblivious to Sabrina's changing personality. She goes off her medication and none seems to notice this, there is the occasional comment but none monitors her.

This is a character based story, there is not much of a plot outside of Sabrina\s life, there is a little back story on how she ended up at the Wellness Clinic but a lot was left to the imagination. The ending was a a little disappointing. The story was laid out really well and the pacing was fantastic but the ending felt abrupt. The book wraps up quickly with everyone riding off into the sunset. The ending did not leave me thinking about the book after I was done. I enjoyed it while I read it but there is nothing left to ponder or discuss. 

I recommend this book. It handles the topic of mental illness really well. The book feels like you are with Sabrina as she struggles to divide reality and fantasy. 

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