Need to Know Info:
Title: Life Is But A Dream
Author: Brian James
Format: Hardcover, 234 pages
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Release Date: March 27th, 2012
E-ARC received for Review from Publisher through NetGalley
The premise of Life is but a Dream is what drew me in. I haven’t read many books where the main character is suffering from a mental illness. I was interested to see how the author was going to go about telling her story.
From the very beginning you are thrown into Sabrina’s world. Seeing through her eyes is both exciting and scary. Brian’s writing style is very unique and right away you can tell that Sabrina sees the world very differently from everyone else. I have to be honest and say that as someone who reads lots of paranormal books I wasn’t sure if the book was going to take a paranormal twist or if Sabrina just created this unique world as part of her illness. So that was a bit confusing for me at first but as the book progressed the storyline became clear.
The author takes us on an interesting ride through Sabrina’s brain. The story of how she ended up at the Wellness Center unravels slowly as we get glimpses and flashbacks through Sabrina’s eyes. Sometimes the writing gets a little confusing as we jump in and out of the present but Sabrina herself has a hard time with the idea of time. I thought the pacing of the book was done well. There is a slow build-up as we learn about Sabrina’s past and then it steadily picks up for the climax of the story.
Let me discuss the characters briefly, Sabrina was both heartbreaking and frustrating for me. I really wanted to feel more sympathetic to her because of all the unfortunate things that happen to her but something kept holding me back. I’m honestly not sure what it was. Her story was definitely sad and I was frustrated by all the people that took advantage of her and those that stood by and did nothing. Then there is Alec, someone who finally understands Sabrina and accepts her for who she is. However, Alec ended up being a bit frustrating as well. At first I felt happy for Sabrina that Alec came into her life and then my opinion of him slowly changed. His heart was in the right place but ultimately he was in over his head. With all that said though I feel the book ended on a positive note. I was left feeling optimistic for the future of these two characters and that is always a good thing.
Life is but a Dream is a unique and interesting look at someone dealing with schizophrenia. Brian James definitely has something to say. I found the subject matter of the book the most interesting part and it made me want to read more books dealing with mental illness. So bravo for that! I would recommend this book to readers that are interested in the subject matter as well as fans of YA contemporary books.
Oh and a quick side note. I just love the cover of this book!