March 30, 2012

Review of Life Is But A Dream by Brian James

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 couldn’t find a book trailer, so here’s song!
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**  This book was provided to us by the publisher for an honest review.
We were in no way paid for our opinion **

This heart felt story, told in the eyes of main character Sabrina, shows us the world of Schizophrenia and the impact this disease has on everyone in Sabrina’s life.

Schizophrenia has always been a mystery to me. I’ve always been curious about it, and the different severities of it. Life Is But A Dream was the perfect book for me to get a grasp on what difficulties individuals who suffer from Schizophrenia go through, and also opened up my eyes to the difficulties that family members go through in trying to also understand it.

What did I learn? That it doesn’t start showing itself until puberty, that things can go seriously wrong if not treated and maintained with medication, that it cannot be cured – only treated.

It was very interested reading about it through Sabrina’s eyes. Seeing how she saw the world, what her thoughts were, and how we slowly saw what the effects are when medication is not taken. The writing style of Brian James did a fantastic job of explaining what Schizophrenia is minus all the medical jargon. As I was reading the story, bits and pieces of the movie Girl Interrupted would pop into my head, with the story basically revolving around life in a Wellness Centre/mental facility. The way that the events and surroundings were described, I could picture everything pretty vividly. When I closed my eyes, I could even see the drawings and art work that Sabrina creates in the book…all the colours and passion of which she used to create her art.

The characters that we are introduced to are unforgettable and will hold a special place in my heart. Especially Alec, who unbeknownst to him, didn’t realize that his actions would have a huge impact on Sabrina and her story. We get to see a very clear glimpse of the impact he has on Sabrina, and the cause and effect. I loved how we were shown brief flashbacks of Sabrina’s life prior to her diagnosis. It really helped to show the progression of the disease, and what signs Sabrina was presenting.

It was also interesting to see how Sabrina’s parents handled her disease. What it took for them to finally realize just how much help their daughter needed. And it was heartbreaking to see how cruel fellow friends and classmates treated Sabrina, knowing that something wasn’t quite right with her and yet playing on her innocence.

If you are just as curious about Schizophrenia as I am, Life Is But A Dream is the perfect book for you. If you are looking for a book that will open up your eyes and your heart, don’t hesitate in reading this one.

1 Comment

  1. Natalie (Mindful Musings)

    Love the song Lithium! It's got such a creepy, melancholy feel to it!

    Found you through Parajunkee's social hop!

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