Author: Gayle Forman
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: August 28th, 2007 (Reprint: April 21st, 2009)
Number of Pages: 290
Have you ever had the out-of-control dream? The one where you know you're not crazy, but no one around you—not your parents, not your teachers, not even the authorities—will listen to you?
For sixteen-year-old Brit Hemphill, the out-of-control dream comes true when her dad enrolls her at Red Rock, a bogus treatment center that claims to cure rebellious teen girls. At Red Rock, Brit is forced into therapy, and her only hope of getting her life back is in the hands of an underqualified staff of counselors. Brit's dad thinks Red Rock can save her, but the truth is it's doing more harm than good.
No girl could survive Red Rock alone—but at a treatment center where you earn privileges for ratting out your peers, it's hard to know who you can trust. For Brit, everything changes when she 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 while trying to keep their Red Rock reality from becoming a full-on nightmare.
Ever since the buzz of Gayle Forman's novel If I Stay started, I've been wanting to read it. Unfortunately when I asked for it at my library, a bunch of other people were on the waiting list to read it so I had to settle with Sisters in Sanity. I thought it would be a phenomenal novel . . . and it was, mostly, just not in the ways I expected.
First of all, I guess you could say I thought this novel would have a nice, easy beginning - yeah, right. This book starts off with Brit's dad "taking" Brit to the Grand Canyon - the trip that never happens. Instead, Brit is tricked and thrown into Red Rock. All in one short chapter.
Okay! Hold up and slow down. I had to re-read that part because I wasn't sure what was going on. It was a real blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment which I also noticed occurred when the sisters friendship was forming. This was the first difference that kind of made me lose some of my interest in Sisters In Sanity.
Another cupful was thrown out the window when I came across this sentence on page 113:
"This girl needs some cheering," said V , who, along with Cassie, Bebe and Martha was standing over me at lunch.
Um, did anyone notice the grammatical error? I expect, out of habit, that each and every novel I read will not have a single mistake. Silly, I know. *sigh* I should know that no one's perfect especially considering how true that rings for me. *
Even so, I think that was when I really didn't want to finish this book. The real climax hadn't made it's appearance yet so I was quite bored. I wanted to quickly read this book, review it on my blog and be done with it - once and for good. This might be the only reason I persisted on reading Sisters In Sanity - which I am ashamed of - but I am really glad I did continue to read. Why?
Gayle Forman's debut novel made me cry unlike any novel has done before (in a good way). There were times where I would read a page but then have to put it down again because I was crying so hard. I would pick the book up again after I had calmed down, but I'd simply have to put it down again because the water works were going faster then ever. This book is truly touching and deals with matters I don't think I've ever read about before.
Even though this novel's writing was a little bumpy, it speaks the truth which I think is the greatest gift you can ever have. We all think we know "the truth", but reality is that each and every one of us has a different, edited version. It takes a remarkable person to know it and then put it into words. It takes someone special to write a whole novel about the truth. One of these people is Gayle Forman.
And did you see who this novel is dedicated to?
To misunderstood girls everywhere.
I liked her from the start. :) B+.
* How ironic it is that I said "no one's perfect" right after I made a mistake myself! Laina has kindly pointed out to me that it is in fact supposed to be "was" - not "were". Thank-you very much Laina!