A Danger To Herself and Others

A Danger to Herself and Others by Alyssa Sheinmel (February 5)
Overview: Hannah Gold is being held in a mental institution, not quite against her will, but she'd definitely rather not be there. Actually, she's only being so cooperative because she knows that it's a mistake that she's there. She's perfectly sane, and everyone just needs to see that. Of course she never pushed Agnes. As the story progresses, though, she's forced to confront her new diagnosis and what really happened when Agnes fell off the window ledge. Overall: 4.5 

Characters: 5 I really enjoyed Hannah's character, which is a good thing because we spend almost the whole story with her and the empty room. She's smart and her parents have always prized her maturity. Really, she's never spent more time than when she was at summer camp away from them, so she can't believe that there could be anything wrong with her. Slowly, though, with the help of the doctor she nicknames "Dr. Lightfoot" she comes to realize that she's ready to accept help.
The characters around Hannah are all very vivid and compelling. Seeing them bend and change through her lens makes the story particularly fascinating.

Plot: 4 I enjoyed the story. Hannah's journey with coming to terms with her mental illness and recovery is quite compelling and does a great job combatting stigma and honestly showcasing Hannah. Her story is great as she has supportive care from the institution, but it contrasts with her parent's hesitancy to accept that their daughter is not conventionally "perfect." My only comment is that she spent a lot of time in solitary confinement which created a lot of repetition and seemed slightly inhumane. The author does address that in her lovely author's note where she says that aspect was stretching the truth, and I wish that had been more accurate as I felt putting her in solitary for so long slowed the story down.

Writing: 4 I enjoyed how much Sheinmel let Hannah's voice shine through. Her writing brought her world to life and was filled with honestly.

Books Like This...
Made You Up: Review Here
Words On Bathroom Walls: Review Here
Girl In Pieces: Review Here

Links of Interest:
This Is Not a Test: Review Here
Goodbye Perfect: Review Here
Dead Queen's Club: Review Here
Girl Made of Stars: Review Here


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