Saturday, June 6, 2009

Review by Alex: Sisters in Sanity

Sisters In Sanity by Gayle Forman

"Where are they taking me?"

"It's for your own good, Brit," Dad said.

I was shoved into a small, stuffy room, and the door was locked behind me. I waited for my dad to realize he'd made a terrible mistake and come get me.

But he didn't.

For sixteen-year-old Brit Hemphill, it's hard to know who she can trust. Convinced she's out of control, her father has sentenced her to Red Rock: a center for supposedly rebellious teens, where the therapy consists of name-calling and the girls who get privileges are the ones who rat out their peers.
But then Brit meets V, Bebe, Martha, and Cassie—four girls who keep her from going over the edge. Together, they'll hold on to their sanity and their sisterhood despite the bleak Red Rock reality.

Brit lost a lot when her mother disappeared. Her mother had schizophrenia but was never admitted into a hospital, so one day just went away, gone, from Brit's life. Brit's life fell apart, as did her dad. A couple years after, her dad remarried and had a baby boy. Brit was pushed aside. Brit joined a band, got some piercings, tattoos, and was deemed too wild and crazy to handle. So was sent to Red Rock center.

Brit's an good character. Not superb or all that memorable, but nice. For all her dyed hair and piercings, she's not bad or wild. She's actually quite the good girl, and the book being told in her perspective, made me forget most of the time that she's supposed to be harder, not such a goody goody.

Brit didn't stand out a lot for me, but I did like the secondary characters a lot. There's V, who's confusing to Brit at first, but is all together very interesting. She's been at Red Rock for ages but hasn't been able to get out for some reason. Bebe was sent to Red Rock after her mother, a famous celebrity, found Bebe with the Mexican (I think) poolboy. A term that could very loosely describe her is slut, but she's more than that. Martha, a former beauty pageant who ballooned, and was sent to Red Rock to somehow lose wait. Cassie who likes girls but doesn't consider herself a lesbian, who comes from a little town where being gay is unheard of. Or just unspoken of. All the secondary girls are far from stereotypes, and they all really grew on me, especially V, who's personality is the type I love.

I'm trying to recall what else happened... because I read this quite a few days ago and my memory is awful. :P

So the novel had some beautiful friendships, and that was probably my favourite part of the story. The book has many different types of relationships, and Brit deals with a lot. She's got her new friendships, and she's trying to deal with her father and stepmother, along with somehow getting over the loss of her mother, while dealing with some new information about her.

The one thing I thought the book lacked was romance. And there was romance in there. Brit has had a huge crush on her bandmate forever, and eventually some stuff happens between the two of them. It's tough obviously, since Brit's still in Red Rock. But... even though there is some romance in the novel, most of the time, when I thought back, I completely forgot the romance was even there. I'd have to think really hard to remember those meager bits. So I thought that could have been done better.

Sisters In Sanity reminded me a lot of The School For Dangerous Girls that I read a couple months back. It's got the same setting, a girl entering a center that tries to reform girls. But while School For Dangerous Girls just creeped me out and was disgusting in the way the girls were treated, Sisters in Sanity was better. The treatments weren't quite as harsh and there was always this hopeful air in the atmosphere and writing. So I enjoyed reading Sisters in Sanity more.

Bottom line: Interesting and heartfelt book, but not as entrancing as If I Stay. This book is Gayle Forman's first though.

If this review makes no sense, forgive me. I'm still half asleep despite conking out at 9 :30 last night. School's been hectic and well... I remember very little of the book since my memory sucks.

1 comment:

  1. I really want to read this book. I love the sound of the subject matter. Thank you for the honest review :)


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