Life is But a Dream - Brian James

4 stars!
Publication date: 3/27/2012

Alec and Sabrina are crazy in love. Problem is: Sabrina's really crazy.
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 is the author of several highly praised books for young adults, including Pure Sunshine; Tomorrow, Maybe; Dirty Liar, Zombie Blondes; and The Heights. He lives in Upstate New York. 

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.

This book was very sadly realistic. This is an inside view into the mind of a  Schizophrenic Teenage girl. I once knew a young girl who was diagnosed with schizophrenia and she was very much like Sabrina in this story. I am always against drugging our children, but in severe cases like these - it could really save their lives!
"Nurses visit me constantly. They come as often as circus clowns emerging from a tiny car. Bringing medicine after medicine. They fill me with an entire diet of pills in small white cups. I haven't been able to avoid taking them. Now there's so much medicine inside of me that I'm melting away like ice on a summer street"
This was a sad, sweet, sometimes romantic, beautifully written story of life and falling in love inside an institution. I loved the characters, even Alec who definitely redeemed himself at the end. Of course I loved Sabrina and felt so bad that she had to live in the world she did, the one with all the static and noise. The only problem I had with the book (and the reason for not giving it 5 stars) was that is got a tiny bit repetitive in the middle. It did have a great ending though.
And I LOVE the cover. I think its beautiful and very fitting to the story! They really hit it right on with that one.

Thank you Netgally and Macmillan Children's Publishing Group for giving me the opportunity to read and review this e-book!

Pre-order from Amazon - HERE
And from B&N - HERE


  1. I think that I would love this book, and it sounds not only emotional, but ultimately very true. I am so glad that you liked it and will be looking for it when I can. Great review today!

  2. This sounds like an interesting book. Thanks for your thoughts and the review. :O)

  3. This sounds like a great book! There aren't a whole lot of novels about people with mental illnesses out there, so it's nice to see an author who's not afraid to tackle such a tough subject. Great review!

  4. glad to see that it was a good read. i will definitely be checking this out!

  5. This sounds fantastic and is going on my wishlist! That cover is really great too.

  6. This one sounds fantastic and very original.Great review! I'm going to add this to my wishlist.