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March 18, 2012

Review: Life Is But a Dream by Brian James - Juhina

Life Is But a Dream
Title: Life Is But a Dream
Author: Brian James
Publication date: March 27th, 2012
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Challenges: SARC, Contemporary
Genre(s): Young Adult (Contemporary)
Source: NetGalley
Pages: 464
Sabrina, an artist, is diagnosed with schizophrenia, and her parents check her into the Wellness Center. There she meets Alec, who is convinced that it's the world that's crazy, not them. But when Alex starts to convince Sabrina that her treatment will wipe out everything that makes her creative, she worries she'll lose hold of her dreams and herself.
Life is but a dream was definitely a foreign and interesting journey! Getting to see how a schizophrenic person thinks and what really goes inside their mind fascinated me. All that paranoia, the voices, the feeling as if Sabrina, the protagonist is watching a different channel or listening to a different radio station from the rest of the world, as if the whole book is set in her mind. At the beginning, Sabrina lived in her own little colorful world, but as the days passed while she was in the Wellness Center, she actually got better. The world started becoming less colorful, and well.. more harsh, sharper, scarier,and well.. "real". 
When Sabrina meets Alec, he destroys her road to recovery and then Sabrina gets worse. I had a problem with Alec at the beginning, not understanding what his intentions are or if he even belonged in the Wellness Center. I didn't trust him. I was also mad at Sabrina; she started clinging to Alec and clinging to his every word, which surprised me because any fleeting paranoia or mistrust she would feel for Alec, she would wave it away. So this leads me to question on whether being schizophrenic and paranoid at the world a choice or just an easier way with coping with the cruelty of the world? 
Throughout the book there was barely any dialogue and that might have made this book less enjoyable for me, that I needed to breathe, outside of Sabrina's head and her constant losing battle against the "voices" in her head. It was very interesting, but I just wished there was more dialogue between other characters and it wasn't centered around her through 100% of the book. All in all Life Is But a Dream is unique, different, and enlightens people on schizophrenia in a realistic and contemporary story about a girl trying to find herself and if she will ever belong in this world. 
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  1. This one is on my Kindle and I'm hoping to read it soon :) I've always been interested in schizophrenia and what goes on in their heads so I hope I'll enjoy this one. I'm sure it wasn't an easy read, but still.

    Great review Juhina!

  2. This sounds like a pretty interesting book and most people have enjoyed it, so I will definitely have to check it out. But I'm not sure if I will be okay with the fact there is little dialogue. I need healthy dialogue in my books to really enjoy them. Great review! :)

  3. Great review Juhina I pretty much felt the same about this book. It's interesting and sad but the characters didn't let me in really. It's also true about the dialogue!