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Excuse Me, My Brains Have Stepped Out

2.9 of 5 stars 2.90  ·  rating details  ·  221 ratings  ·  52 reviews
Anya Michaels is having the time of her life. She has the man of her dreams by her side. She has graduated at the top of her class. She has the job others were lining up for. Between late night drinks at her favourite bar and fancy dinners at the most expensive restaurants, she has a string of adoring friends.

Everything changes when she hears the dreaded words, "You are si
Kindle Edition, 190 pages
Published April 17th 2011 (first published April 11th 2011)
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The Help by Kathryn StockettThe Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk KiddGone with the Wind by Margaret MitchellFried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie FlaggThe Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
Best Women's Fiction Novels
74th out of 964 books — 1,000 voters
Caring for Eleanor by Sonia RumziExcuse Me, My Brains Have Stepped Out by Pandora PoikilosIt Could Happen Again by Sonia RumziPen, Paper, Action! - Volume 01 by Sonia RumziYou Can Have Mine by Sonia Rumzi
Heart Press Publications
2nd out of 10 books — 5 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,252)
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Dixie Goode
Anya Michaels story of the changes that happen in the sudden discovery that she is sick with a rare neurological disorder, is a moving, emotional, sometimes sad, often human and compassionate novel. It hasn't been edited to a polish and yet it is compelling enough to hold ones attention through the moments when you stumble and have to look again at the text. It is written in odd little blocks of poetry and letters and essays that seem as if each one could stand alone, so that at times I just let ...more
Jen Lynn
After reading the book description, I was expecting this to be a heavy, emotional story about a woman who was diagnosed with a neurological disorder. I thought it would follow her through how she was diagnosed, her treatment, and outcome. What I got was a series of short diary-like entries of a woman filing what felt like complaints about everything from social networking to abuse, but very little about the disease or her experiences through it. It was really hard to get into for that reason. Yo ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Stuart Aken
This book, described and promoted as 'Women's Fiction', reads like a memoir. This, together with information given me in a blog interview with the author (use the link if you wish to read it: ), leads me to believe it's a fictionalised account of real events. It's not uncommon, of course, for writers to present their life stories as fiction and, as often as not, it's done to protect those they grew up with. All that said, this novel reads like a life stor ...more
Elizabeth (Stuffed Shelves)
I have to admit, the beginning of the book seemed to ramble on and on about things that did not connect to the story. I found this distracting, I kept trying to figure out when everything was going to come together, but it never did in the way I was expecting. The bounce from subject to subject was also a bit random and difficult to follow at points. In my opinion there was not much of a story line and I was constantly waiting for one to appear. Also, the synopsis I read previous to starting thi ...more
Anya finds out that she has a rare brain disorder and her world is suddenly changed. She begins writing letters to her dad about her thoughts. These thoughts are all across the board as far as subject, but also deal with her feelings about her disorder.

This book is written in a similar style to Daddy Long Legs and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society in that the story is told through letters. The rest of her style is completely different, but I noticed the similarities. Some readers
When I read this book, it wasn’t at all what I expected. Written in epistolary or journal entry format the reader gets to see Anya’s POV on life and the people she encounters. Based on the blurb above I was expecting the novel to show me Anya going from a normal, active, social woman to one who is isolated and forgotten once her medical condition becomes public knowledge. Instead I am told about the people in Anya’s life who either stick by her or take off during her illness.

I’m not a huge fan o
Ruth Hill
I will admit that this was not a favorite book of mine on many levels, but I truly felt it deserved a 4-star rating for several reasons. This is a different sort of book than you will probably ever read, and if you don't sit down and truly digest it, you are sure to miss some very important messages within the book.

The style in which this story is told is very unique. Anya writes all of her thoughts and ideas during this horrific time in her life as letters to her father. I will not provide spoi
Nicole Rivera
When faced with a life-altering event, we all change our view of the world as we turn in our rose-colored glasses for the stark, harsh perspective seen through the clear lenses of reality. In "Excuse Me, My Brains Have Stepped Out" Anya experiences this transformation when she learns she is suffering from a rare disease called Pseudotumor Cerebri.

In a style reminiscent of Sandra Cisnero's "The House on Mango Street" Pandora Poikolos shows us all that Anya is thinking, and the woman she has becom
Anya is living a normal life, that is until she finds out she has a rare neurological disorder, that affects not only her vision but her life, with painful spinal taps, and the critisism she recieves from those around her.

This book reads more like an inspirational, memoir, or a "be a better you" self help type book. It was not at all what I thought it was going to be from the description and going into the book, I thought it would be more about Anya's daily struggles with this disease, and about
A passion for reading means that you search the world over for books that heighten the spectrum of emotion, experience, and the human condition. You want so badly to be absorbed into a story so raw and so powerful that you're literally just sucked into the tightest spaces between the words. "Excuse Me, My Brains Have Stepped Out" by Pandora Poikilos did that for me. Who knew that a title so breezy and humor-laden would suck me in so aggressively and unrelentingly? And to think I almost didn't re ...more
First and foremost I have to say that the protagonist was endlessly going on about seemingly random stuff that at least I could not connect to her most of the time. Secondly, at more than one point I was asking myself the question "How did she get from her last subject to this one?!". It just didn't make sense to me.
It was a series of letters to her father and yes, sometimes one could see that the topic was something that had happened to her in the past - but most of the time that wasn't so. She
This book is written in the form of letters to the author's father about what the author feels at any certain time. The author has been diagnosed with a rare brain disorder where her spinal fluid builds up and causes too much pressure in her head causing headaches, nausea, and visual disturbances. The symptoms are much like a migraine headache. I suffer from cluster migraine headaches that can last for a day to weeks to months and then suddenly stop only to come back at some undetermined point. ...more
I’ve never kept a diary. If I did, I wonder what I’d put in it. Essays describing, defining, and righting the world? Poems to hide my secrets? Cynical diatribes? I don’t know. But the protagonist of Pandora Poikilos’ novel Excuse Me, My Brains have stepped out, having just been diagnosed with a neurological disease, starts writing a diary in the form of letters to her absent father. Recognizing how others misuse the brains they’ve been given, the protagonist wonders if it’s she or they needing b ...more
What an interesting book, and although the cover does not reveal anything about the serious topic in this book, it is an eye opener and insight story into the life of the main personality Anya Michaels. She has a brain condition, which will put her into a comatic state at one point in her life.

You might think it is all about feeling sorry, but in fact that is not the case. The main character used to be a social butterfly, and ends up being ignored and isolated from her friends when her disease t
I have mixed feelings about this book. Overall, I liked it, but it wasn't really what I was expecting from the blurb, so there was constantly a disconnect there. We don't meet Anya until after her diagnosis, and the whole story is told in a series of letters about her past written to her father. Each of these vignettes focus on a different subject, friendship, trust, embracing life. This could have been a negative depressing book, but it was upbeat and positive for the most part. My favorite lin ...more
This was a wonderfully surprising book. At first glance, the premise—It Girl abruptly finds her charmed world turned upside down—seems to tread familiar, albeit fun, territory. But Pandora Poikilos’ clever narrative device holds together beautifully, like a Greek tragedy, in which Anya Mitchell is a fabulous, pixilated, one-of-a-kind creation, who doesn’t say one boring thing in the entire novel. This is a story about digression; like a mind at work, a mind in the consideration of the past, it d ...more
Product Description
Anya Michaels is having the time of her life. She has the man of her dreams by her side. She has graduated at the top of her class. She has the job others were lining up for. Between late night drinks at her favourite bar and fancy dinners at the most expensive restaurants, she has a string of adoring friends. Everything changes when she hears the dreaded words, "You are sick." Being diagnosed with a rare neurological disorder, her world starts to fall apart, one piece at a t
Jan 26, 2015 Sylvia rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: blog
"Excuse Me, My Brains Have Stepped Out" is an inspiring story for anyone who ever thought that the whole world could use a good dose of common sense and sanity. The main character, Anya, voices her mind through a journal addressed to her father as she explores past experiences in her life and uses her empathy to find hope for the future.

Diagnosed with a rare neurological disorder, Pseudotumor Cerebri, the character, Anya, shows us just how drastically someone's world can change when they become
The story centers around Anya, whose world starts to crumble after she is diagnosed with a neurological disorder. Anya is then swiftly abandoned by the very people she cares about, herm mother, her boyfriend, and her friends. She learns to cope by examining her life and writing letters to her now absent father. Anya has gone through a hard time growing up with a mother that cares more about herself than her oldest daughter. This book was a truly insightful book about a young woman rediscovering ...more
A surprising inspirational and eye opening book which I finished in 3 days.

When I first started reading this, I planned on setting it down after the first couple of chapters. But before I knew it, a couple hours passed and I was almost half way done with it. Although I was also quite tired the next day at work.

It’s a little short, but that doesn’t take anything away from the book. It doesn’t have hundreds of pages of useless fluff to act as a filler that so many other books seem so fond of. I u
This book is not quite what you might expect from the description. There isn't much of a story line to speak of - just a collection of letters from a woman suffering from a rare brain condition to her (presumably) dead father. The letters contain lessons learned and personal experiences with various characters throughout life, illness, surgery and recovery, The only things saving this book from 1 star is that some of the gems she shares are truly pearls of wisdom.

Bits of wisdom notwithstanding,
I'm torn on my thoughts about this book. I read it in a day, so it's an easy read. It kept my attention, but I'm not sure why! I agree with an earlier reader who said the book didn't at all match the blurb about it. I disagree with a previous reader who commented that it had been well edited. I found numerous grammatical, punctuation and other errors throughout the book that bothered me (but then I do some editing as a side job, so maybe I'm just more aware of that sort of thing). If this is the ...more
Not my cup of tea and not what I was expecting. Although I have had some of the same thoughts about people not using their brains for good purposes, I found the chapters to be too much complaining about how other people were living their lives or the injustices that they have done. Also, there were several editing errors which I found annoying. Guess I thought this book would be more about having a brain disorder and how Anya deals with it on a day to day basis. I was going to give this one star ...more
Not what I was expecting. I was expecting a fictitious cohesive story about a woman struggling with a rare disease and seeing how it affects her and the people around her. I wasn't expecting a litany of pseudo-philosophical letters to her dad about everything and everyone, but that's what I got.

Had I been in another mood, I might have enjoyed this book more, but as is I didn't really enjoy it. I especially didn't like the parts that made me wonder whether I was reading about a character or the
Sarah (Workaday Reads)
I got a third of the way through the book and kept wondering when the story would start. It had a rambling written-letter format that didn’t really convey a plot. It was mostly cliched phrases and ideas like living life to its fullest and accepting and loving what you have. Those are all great themes, but I prefer to have those messages subtly shown through action and change.

I liked the summary, and was expecting a tear-causing emotional story. Unfortunately, what I got was bored and annoyed. So
Dani Star
This is exactly the kind of book I was looking for! A friend of mine recommended it to me; he said it was a mix between a Nicholas Sparks book and his boring life (ha). He loved it and so did I. There must have been tones of feelings and emotions felt as the book was being written. I know I cried at certain parts and laughed at others; this book really pulled me in and made me fall in love. I’ve spent a lot of time reading this summer and this book has definitely made an impact on my summer! Thi ...more
"Excuse Me, My Brains Have Stepped Out" is a journal of the author's life experiences in a fiction setting, that made me cry then laughed throughout the whole thing. Ms. Poikilos' writing is very down to earth and real as she takes you through the journey of loss and healing. I do have to say that the book wasn't what I was expecting and the timeline kind of got me, but it was a good read and I enjoyed the book.

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the author which was provided for a
Stephanie F.
I feel like this book isn't nearly as good as it could have been. I never really connected with the main character who is telling the story, Anya. She is experiencing a rare neurological disease and this book is a series of diary entries. The reader gets to learn a great deal about what is bothering Anya, such as social networking, but we never get a close look into what her life is really like while experiencing her illness. All in all, I found it to be a quick, mildly interesting story.
R Jean
I really enjoyed reading this book. I myself went through a similar situation as Anya and found this book very relatable. The author did a great job creating believable and unique characters, I connected with Anya right away and that really helped me enjoy the book that much more. I highly recommend this book to anyone, it sends you on an emotional rollercoaster and it really is unbelievable. This is a great book and I’m glad I took the time to read it. 5 Stars!
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Pandora Poikilos has been writing for more than 10 years for various media which include newspapers, radio, television and various websites.

A social media enthusiast who is passionate about blogging and finding her way around the virtual world, she wills away time in the real world by reading, writing and people watching.

If you had to describe yourself using three words, it would be
- Damaged goo
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“The best relationships in our lives are the best not because they have been the happiest ones, they are that way because they have stayed strong through the most tormentful of storms.” 491 likes
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