Author: Brian James
Publication: March 27, 2012
By: Feiwel & Friends
I am sucker for a pretty cover and this one is no exception! It's also very fitting for the storyline.
"Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream..."
Set within the walls of a psychiatric ward, Life is But a Dream is a story of love and hope that follows the journey of Sabrina, a young schizophrenic who struggles with finding normalcy amidst the noise and colors the threaten to swallow up her life. (Author Brian James' prose is so beautiful in it's imagery that you feel as if your reading a song instead of a book.)
Sabrina's parents send her to the Wellness Center after her "episodes" reach a breaking point and she's suspended from school as a result. It's there that she meets Alec, a boy dealing with his own anger issues and whose convinced that everyone else is the problem and they're the ones who are normal. (That's the way it always is, right?) They strike up a quick friendship because he doesn't treat Sabrina as if she's crazy like everyone else in her life does. He's enthralled by her view of the world which always seems dreamlike and filled with colors and creatures that only appear in the world of make believe.
As the weeks go by and Sabrina begins to see things as they really are, (thanks to her meds) Alec tells her it's because the doctors are trying to change her, to take away all that makes her "who" she is. This frightens her so she decides, at Alec's suggestions, to go off of her medications, neither of them realizing the deadly effects this could have. When reality and delusion begin to collide, Sabrina's true sanity will be tested and she'll need the support of those who love her in order to survive.
As difficult as it is to watch Sabrina struggle for her reality, it's even harder to watch as those around her come to the realization that she does, in fact, have a serious problem. Her parents love her and want nothing more than for her to have a normal life. It's obvious that Alec loves her too and when he sees what his actions have done to her, your heart breaks for him.
There is hope though and that was what I enjoyed most about this book. Hope in knowing that with the correct treatment and a good support system, people living with Schizophrenia can lead lives full of love, wonder and color, just like the rest of us.