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Sisters in Sanity by Gayle Forman
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Sisters in Sanity

by Gayle Forman

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17610103,118 (3.82)6

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Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
3.5 stars. This was a very decent read. It was short, and yet managed to be really touching. I was intrigued by the concept, by Brit's perspective, by the harsh circumstances she suddenly finds herself under. This book deals with so many things; it's about friendship, and courage, and individualism, about self-esteem and love and life, and even a tiny bit about insanity. I think what made me give this book only 3 stars, is that I was somewhat "disappointed" - for lack of a better word! - by the ending. Don't get me wrong: The story concluded on a very satisfying note, if somewhat predictable. It was a decent ending, only it didn't blow me away. After everything had been going so wrong for so long, things just seemed to suddenly all fall into place very neatly. I couldn't buy it, not all the way. But I liked the book over-all, I liked the characters. I only wish it would have been a little longer, perhaps, to give me more time to really delve into the problems and dilemmas of the girls, to explore their helplessness further, so as to appreciate their well-earned freedom all the more when they at last achieved it... ( )
  UDT | May 1, 2018 |
Even though this is a book for the YA audience, it is still drivel. Completely unbelievable, the characters are unlikable, and there may as well not be a plot it is so predictable. Young Adult readers are not stupid, they are young. Literature for them should inspire them not put them to sleep. ( )
  Brenda63 | Jul 9, 2015 |
I had never even heard of Sisters in Sanity, but when I signed up for the Gayle Forman Read-Along at Book Addict’s Guide, I decided to go along for the whole thing. Since Sisters in Sanity was the first book up, I decided to give it a chance.

Sisters in Sanity starts out with Brit complaining about a family trip to the Grand Canyon with her father, baby brother, and “Stepmonster”. However, when it’s time to leave for the trip, Brit realizes that something fishy is going on. Instead of going to the Grand Canyon, her father takes her to Red Rock. Red Rock is supposed to be like a rehab facility for out-of-control teens, but ends up more like an extreme boot camp. Their “therapy” borders on abusive.

The characters are really interesting in Sisters in Sanity. Brit quickly becomes friends with several of the girls in Red Rock, who are all dealing with their own messed up relationships with their parents, along with their problems that got them sent to Red Rock to begin with. V, Martha, Bebe, and Cassie are definitely a great group of friends that really help Brit through being in Red Rock. There’s also a great love interest in Brit’s bandmate, Jed. The “villains” Sheriff and Clayton are definitely creepy. How they think they’re doing any kind of good for the girls in Red Rock is beyond me.

Part of what I liked best about Sisters in Sanity is seeing Brit come to terms with the realities of her life. She has to face some harsh realities about her family and her own possible future, along with the fact that some adults just don’t take teenagers seriously. Getting her voice heard is not always an easy task.

I thought that the ending was really good, though it left me wanting more. I can’t even put into words what I actually wanted and didn’t get, but I just felt like I needed a little something more. Overall, though, I thought that Sisters in Sanity was a really good book. It definitely had me feeling all sorts of emotions and had very likable characters. I would definitely recommend it!

You can also read this, and other, reviews on my blog, Mommy's Reading Break ( )
  mrso822 | Sep 21, 2013 |
I knew of [a:Gayle Forman|295178|Gayle Forman|http://photo.goodreads.com/authors/1271630502p2/295178.jpg] from her book [b:If I Stay|4374400|If I Stay (If I Stay, #1)|Gayle Forman|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1221604709s/4374400.jpg|4422413], which I wrote a gushing review of a few months back. A few of us decided to read this lesser-known work of hers together this week. I was excited to read the book because of the author and because I was reading it with friends…but not so excited about the subject matter. I assumed that this was rather well-worn territory, what with [b:Girl Interrupted|68783|Girl, Interrupted|Susanna Kaysen|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1307337177s/68783.jpg|926090] and all. Also, I wasn’t in the mood for a depressing book. [b:Sisters in Sanity|534258|Sisters in Sanity|Gayle Forman|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1266579202s/534258.jpg|521766] surprised me in a good way, and I definitely recommend it to those who are interested in YA books related to mental health issues/treatment.

Brit Hemphill lives with her father and her stepmonster. Her mother isn’t in the picture and I don’t want to spoil where she is so I’ll leave it at that. Her parents owned a coffeehouse in Portland during her formative years so she rubbed elbows with all sorts of famous musicians and took up the guitar, teaching herself how to play for the most part. Because of her mother’s absence and her father’s relationship (and subsequent child), Brit spends as much time out of the house as possible, mostly playing and touring with her band. When her father and stepmother make her go on a family vacation to the Grand Canyon, Brit is angry she’ll miss a gig but obliges. Only she isn’t going to the Grand Canyon—her dad is dropping her off at a juvenile rehabilitation center because she is “out of control.”

Anger. That’s the emotion I felt for most of the book, not sadness. I was livid with Brit’s father. Absolutely wanted (and still want) to punch that man in the face. How could he do that to his child? I have to say, Brit is far more mature than I would be in the same situation. I’m not sure I could forgive him for what he did. Probably couldn’t for YEARS. And I was surprised that Brit didn’t go to Portland with Jed when she had the chance. She understood the situation and that her dad needed her to be there—she understood the entire situation more than her father did…

I was expecting the novel to follow the Girl, Interrupted storyline and, for the most part, it did. I was pleasantly surprised, however, at the supporting cast of characters (who were far more balanced than those with Susanna Kaysen) and the relationship between Brit and Jed, her bandmate. His letters and the description of the time they spent together were both lovely and I loved the story behind the firefly references.

The writing flowed really well and all three of us that read it finished it in a day. (as far as I know) I did feel that the ending wrapped things up just a bit too perfectly, then again I am a fan of leaving things hanging—well, if it is realistic.

3.5 stars. ( )
  FlanneryAC | Mar 31, 2013 |


Here's a book to read if you want to be seriously pissed off. But no, I shouldn't say that, because [b:Sisters in Sanity|534258|Sisters in Sanity|Gayle Forman|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1266579202s/534258.jpg|521766] is actually an excellent read and I'm wanting to sell it to you. So, instead I should say: this is a book to read if you like stories that leave a lasting impression. Or if you want to be introduced to an array of memorable characters. Or if you're sick of books with whiny heroines that base every thought and action around their (probably supernatural) boyfriends. And if you would like to read a book about girls coming together, forming a sisterhood, and ultimately triumphing over the bad guys. Girls who are fat, thin, straight, gay, bi, virgins, or sexually promiscuous; because [a:Gayle Forman|295178|Gayle Forman|http://photo.goodreads.com/authors/1271630502p2/295178.jpg] has created a literary platform where these differences are not a hindrance to the girls' friendship, but actually what brought them together in the first place.

This book has so many levels to it. On the surface it is about the mistreatment of young women who have shown any hint of individuality and have been thrown into a rehabilitation centre because of it. They are psychologically tortured each day by unqualified shrinks and, in extreme cases, physically harmed through malnourishment and dehydration. Brit is sent here because she stays out late playing in her rock band, and because she has coloured streaks in her hair. She is not a bad kid, she's a talented musician, but her father and stepmother wrongly interpret this as rebellion and even the first signs of mental illness(!). This whole part of the novel made me furious, made me want to strangle nearly every adult in the book.

But this stuff would just be infuriating and shocking if it wasn't for all the other messages in this book. I loved this idea that the girls made each other strong by banding together and supporting one another and I loved how each of them was as interesting and unique as the next. But even more so, I really enjoyed the questions about authority and whether it is always right to follow those in charge. Pulling examples from when heads of state have made the wrong decisions, [a:Gayle Forman|295178|Gayle Forman|http://photo.goodreads.com/authors/1271630502p2/295178.jpg] demonstrates how adults don't always get it right. She reiterated in her afterword at the end what the novel was all about, mentioning how teenagers with eating disorders or who are gay do not need to be punished but helped, nurtured and understood. This is a wonderful, thought-provoking and occasionally heart-warming story.

There are a few reasons why this book didn't get five stars. For one, the ending was not satisfying enough, certain people were forgiven all too quickly and I thought very little was learnt from the experience in that respect. Also, I had too many questions spinning around in my head and it's entirely possible that I missed something but: why didn't previous graduates of Red Rock report what was going on? Why didn't Brit even attempt to tell her father what was happening when he visited? It might not have worked but she didn't even try. And why didn't Brit attempt to leave with the band when she had the opportunity? She could have reported what was happening to someone but it just didn't seem to occur to her.

These last few things played on my mind too much to award the full five stars, but this really is a book that should be read by everyone - especially those who love a good dose of girl power in what they read.
( )
  emleemay | Mar 30, 2013 |
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Dedicated to misunderstood girls everywhere
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It was supposed to be a trip to the Grand Canyon, a trip I didn't want to take.
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It's just that we'd like to think that craziness and sanity are on opposite ends of an ocean, but really they're more like neighboring islands.
I was tired of being in the charge of cruel and clueless adults. The world was upside down. The adults had abandoned their roles. They'd surrounded themselves in a cocoon of ignorance--and then told us we were screwed up. We couldn't trust them anymore. There was nobody out there watching out for us, taking care of us. We had to look out for ourselves.
This place is not about fixing you. It's about warehousing you while your clueless parents are bilked out of thousands of dollars.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060887494, Paperback)

"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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:04 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

When a family trip to the Grand Canyon turns out to be a trick to take her to a remote, all-girl, residential treatment center for unstable teenagers, sixteen-year-old Brit, devastated by her father's duplicity, comes to realize that only through inner strength and the help of other inmates who become her friends can she endure the harsh conditions of the prison-like institution and plan a way to escape.

» see all 3 descriptions

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