Stop Pretending: What Happened When My Big Sister Went Crazy
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Stop Pretending: What Happened When My Big Sister Went Crazy

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  3,286 ratings  ·  390 reviews
In the blink of an eye it happens: a teenage girl has a mental breakdown and is whisked away to the hospital. For her sister, left behind, nothing will ever be the same. Fearful of her own sanity, her fragile friendships, and her unraveling world, she embarks on a powerful emotional journey.
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published February 28th 2001 by Turtleback Books (first published October 31st 1999)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Christie Strowman
Stop Pretending is a story of a young girl that suffers from a mental disorder. She grew up as a normal girl in a loving family and had an excellent relationship with her younger sister. Suddenly, she starts hearing voices in her head. It gets so out of control that she must be placed in a mental institution. The story is actually not told through the eyes of this girl, but by the younger sister, Cookie. It is an extremely emotional story written in free verse. Cookie recalls memories with her s...more
Alyssa
Jun 04, 2008 Alyssa rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Alyssa by: Mrs. Lawton
People often write about what it's like to experience mental illness, but witnessing it is hardly ever writen about. Stop Pretending is the story of a girl who watches her sister decend into desperation, and the confusion that comes with watching someone you care about become unfamiliar to you. The book is written in a series of poems that paint a picture of the internal struggles she went through. It was interesting to watch the girl begin to question herself based on her sister's experiences....more
Tatiana
Mar 22, 2010 Tatiana rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: poetry readers
Shelves: 2010, verse, ya, ala-ya-2000
I seem to be alone in my adoration of Sonya Sones, because my reading buddies don't really share my love of "What My Mother Doesn't Know," but what can you do?

"Stop Pretending: What Happened When My Sister Went Crazy" is my 3rd Sones book and once again, the writer manages to touch me emotionally, and this is a sure sign of great writing for me. Based on Sones' personal experiences, this book is a collection of poems about a 13-year old girl whose older sister unexpectedly experiences a nervous...more
Nileishka P.
This is one of my favorite Book's because this book taught me alot one of the things that this book taught me was No matter what happens keep your head up high this book is really intresting is about a girl that her big sister had a nervous break down && now every one says she unormal just because her sister turn a lil bit crazy && people that she thouqht would be there for her was never there they just left her all alone with no body support buht her parents this also taught me...more
Patricia J. O'Brien
Sonya Sones is masterful at packing emotion into few words. Verse fiction demands that, as well as cadence and sensory detail. STOP PRETENDING is based on true events when Sones was young and her older sister suffered a mental breakdown. I was overwhelmed with the honesty and heart in these verses. Having mentally unstable family members myself I found this book to be moving on a personal level and important on a universal level.
Sones shows moments of her sister's scary and unpredictable actions...more
Katie Young
Katie Young
Poetry

This book is a collection of short, poignant poems written by Sonya Sones when she was 13 and her 19 year old sister went crazy one Christmas Eve. The poems tell the story of her life through this tragic event and vividly describe her feelings, thoughts, fears, and hopes for herself, her sister, and her family. The poems take the reader from her adoration of her beautiful and smart older sister and then to her breakdown and hospitalization. When her sister begins to recover, Son...more
Heather
Stop Pretending was an interesting but confusing book. I had to re-read that book over and over and i still dont get some of it. I liked how the family started to go and visit the one who went crazy. I also felt bad for the "normal" sister because she wasnt getting the attention that she wanted. I also liked how she kept the advice she got from her teacher. I hated how all her founds like disowned the "normal" friend because her sister went crazy. I think that people shouldnt care if they were r...more
Natalie
Sonya Sones has a great gift for creating novels in verse that read like someone whispering truth in your ear.
Jderdena
I thought this book was very powerful. It showed a girl's, Cookie's, perspective of how it is to live with a sister that went crazy. These various poems describe her life from the moment her sister was put in the hospital and just like a domino effect, her life changed from continuous reactions. Through these poems it is shown how she truly misses her life before with her sister from all the things they did together and how close they were. She misses that time when she had a true family. But no...more
Chloe Dehler
I read the book “Stop Pretending” by Sonya Sones. The story is told in short poems. I picked up this book because it looked like it would be an easy read and I enjoy reading poems that tell stories. The book is a true story from the author’s life.

The main characters in this book are Cookie and her older sister. The book never says Cookie’s older sister’s name. She just calls her sister. Cookie’s sister one day had a mental break down. Cookie is left to deal with the loss of her older sister bei...more
Cass -  Words on Paper
4.5/5

It's near impossible for me to review something that's so deeply personal to the author/creator. This is probably one of my favourite verse novels to date. It's raw and honest and beautifully written, nicely structured across the pages. It is a quick read. Sones' writing is realistic and true. I've had placement at mental health facilities and have studied mental illness for my degree - this book is such a genuine depiction of family breakdown as a result of illness. It is ultimately hopefu...more
Olivia Ambrose
Olivia Ambrose ~ Poetry

“Stop Pretending” tells the story of Cookie and what happens when her big sister has a mental breakdown and is admitted to a psychiatric ward. It explores here feelings as she has to deal with the implications this has on her life at home, at school and in relationships both old and new. It is a very touching tale that touches one’s emotions and makes your heart break for Cookie and what she is going through. I absolutely loved this book and would recommend this book to an...more
Zach
Jun 02, 2008 Zach rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people how love reading
Recommended to Zach by: Mrs. Lawton
This is a complicated book because it is full of diary enteres, but once you start reading it, you start thinking what if this happened to me or i wonder what it would be like to have a crazy sister. If you think you are an outcast yourself then you should definally read this to get your mind off things that are bad right now and look and read of what this girl has to deal with her family and her sister. I liked this book because it was way different then all the other ones at the time.
Jlawton
I enjoyed Sonya Sones style of writing. This is the first book I read with the unique prose style. I learned to be more conscious about judging people by his/her family members. At one point, the sister felt people were pointing and staring at her because her sister went to a mental institution. She questioned herself and had doubts about what her life will entail. Will this happen to here? Her self worth was caught up in something she had no control over.
Lola
Overall, I really enjoyed this poetic novel and I thought it did a great job in pulling the readers in. And I liked the fact that after reading a few pages you start to forget it's in poetry and also I liked how it was a very easy read. The poetic novel was about the author's (Sonya Sones) sister, who develops a illness and she describes how her family felt and dealt with the issue at hand and who other people treated her.
Holly McLean
I found Sonya Sones story in verse a very quick and easy read. The story itself focuses around when a girl's big sister goes crazy and how it personally effects her and her social life. The fact it was written in poems made it a very fast pace read but personally I found this made the story too simplistic. I don't personally enjoy poetic reading because of the fact I don't find the story as personal and interesting.
Miranda Stephenson
A crazy book! I can't imagine having a sister and having her be okay one day, and totally crazy the next. It's sad that the girl doesn't understand how it has happened or why. She just knows her sister is crazy and in the hospital. A book that's hard to put down!
Jocelyn Morales
Stop Pretending is a story of a girl that suffers from a mental disorder,who grew up as a normal girl, she had a close relationship with her little sister.The story is told through Cookie, the little sister.Cookies older sister suddenly starts hearing voices in her head.It gets so out of control that she must be placed in a mental institution.Cookie recalls memories with her sister that happened during their childhood and explains how she feels now that it is all gone.When Cookie visits her sist...more
Carrie
Sometimes you're just in the mood for some really depressing free-verse poetry.

(I am almost always in the mood for really depressing poetry. I am secretly an emo fourteen year-old.)
Brigid *Flying Kick-a-pow!*
It was good, but it felt a little too short. There wasn't much plot/character development, and the end was really abrupt. But I liked the way it was written.
Teresa
This book is written in journal-like poems that are diversely creative and insightful. The narrator is a 13-year-old girl whose older sister is in a mental hospital. The poems provide insight into the struggles, the sadness, and the confusion that she and her family face because of her sister's insanity. It really makes you think about how traumatizing something so often overlooked can be for people.
I loved the variety of poetic styles in this book. Some are very objective while others are very...more
Kemry Johnakin
This is a very short book written in poem form. This was a very wise choice made on Sones' part. The fact that it is written in the form of poetry makes the situations and feelings more relevant and heavy. This is the story of a young teen girl who's older sister goes "crazy." The reader experiences the young girl's feelings and sees things through her young eyes. It is a very interesting look into a hard situation and I'm very glad I read it.

Sones helps the reader see that there are good things...more
Julie Sigmund
Very good book and love that it is written in poems
Kayla
I've always really enjoyed the books by Sonya Sones and though this one was shorter, I thought it was a fun little read that I devoured in about twenty minutes.

Stop Pretending is about a girl who's sister goes crazy and ends up in a psyche ward at the hospital, talking about the voices in her head. The main character finds her life flipped upside down by the news and isn't sure how to cope with having a "crazy" sister.

3.5/5 stars because I wish that it had been longer, but I still really enjoyed...more
Kali
VOYA Evaluation Code: 5Q; 3P
A) Pre-Reading/Anticipatory Thoughts
I'm not sure why I am so intrigued by stories of mental illness; however, this one is no different. I initially picked up this book and thought it could be of no value because it is so small. I flipped through the book and realized it was a story composed of poetry. The fact that it was not the traditional format of a book made me want to read it. I anticipate enjoying a different reading experience. I also have a feeling that I wil...more
Alissa
Stop Pretending was a book that looks at a sisters point of veiw on her older sister (whom shes suppose to look up to)when she snaps, and goes crazy. her older sister does not make sesne, hardly remembers people who love her most. It Really paints a picture in your mind with every word that is written; at some level, "stop pretending" could be considered poetry, but to me i just took it as a diary by a 13 year old girl and the struggles she goes thrugh while in this position. The book goes throu...more
yexxo
Die 13jährige Cookie ist völlig fertig: Ihre geliebte und bewunderte große Schwester flippte am Heiligen Abend völlig aus und wurde kurz darauf in die Psychiatrie eingewiesen. Cookie ist hin- und hergerissen zwischen der Ohnmacht, ihrer Schwester nicht helfen zu können, der Angst vielleicht selbst durchzudrehen und dem Versuch, einfach alles zu ignorieren. All diese zum Teil auch widersprüchlichen Empfindungen hält sie in meist kurzen, aber dennoch sehr aussagekräftigen Gedichten fest.
Wobei Ged...more
Realteenreviews
The Gist

This book is a collection of poems that make up a story about a girl who has schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is a mental disease that makes you hear voices, see hallucinations, smells odors that other people don’t smell, and even feel things like fingers grabbing your arm even though nobody is around. It is a very serious condition and the main character in this book has a sister who has it. Cookie’s sister had always been normal. Then one night, completely out of nowhere, her sister goes c...more
Angela
I loved this book! I never read a book of poetry that told a story before. Sonya Sones uses poetry as a way to express her emotions during the time her sister spends in a psychiatric ward. The book reads like a journal, but in the form of poems. The second poem in the book describes her sister’s mental breakdown on Christmas Eve. Subsequent poems describe how she hides this fact from her friends for a short time and how they react when she finally tells them. Sones also writes about her visits t...more
Patricia (Patricia's Particularity)
In celebration of National Poetry Month I am devouring Verse Novels all month long. Stop Pretending is an amazing read and a great place to start this month off right. Cookie is forced to deal with something that many pretend does not exist, or at least many can ignore. Cookie can't ignore her sister's mental breakdown and her stay in the Psych Ward. When her sister is committed Cookie's world starts to unravel - her parents are either fighting or pretending everything is alright. She becomes si...more
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Class of 2015: Stop Pretending 6 7 Mar 27, 2014 07:38AM  
Class of 2015: Stop Pretending: What Happened When My Sister Turned Crazy, by Sonya Sones 1 4 Mar 26, 2014 09:06AM  
Mrs. Gallagher's ...: book review yo. 1 2 May 02, 2013 04:27AM  
THIS BOOK! 3 36 Feb 03, 2012 10:16AM  
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I was born in Boston and overprotected in the nearby suburb of Newton. I thought I would be an artist when I grew up. I loved sneaking upstairs to a tiny room in our attic, where I could while away the hours drawing pictures of dinosaurs. The summer I turned seventeen, I fell in love with making animated films (not to mention at least a couple of boys). Soon after, I enrolled in Hampshire College...more
More about Sonya Sones...
What My Mother Doesn't Know (What My Mother Doesn't Know #1) One of Those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies What My Girlfriend Doesn't Know (What My Mother Doesn't Know, #2) To Be Perfectly Honest: A Novel Based on an Untrue Story The Hunchback of Neiman Marcus: A Novel About Marriage, Motherhood, and Mayhem

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“Ready or not, here I come
I'm so tired of this dumb game of hide and seek
Olly olly oxen free
Show yourself, you're scaring me
Come out, come out, where ever you are
You've taken this thing way too far”
20 likes
“Madame V
begins the lesson
by reading aloud the first stanza
of a famous French poem:


Il pleure dans mon coeur
Comme il pleut sur la ville;
Quelle est cette langueur
Qui penetre mon coeur?


Then she looks up
and without any warning
she calls on me to translate it.
I swallow hard, and try:

"It's raining in my heart
like it's raining in the city.
What is this sadness
that pierces my heart?"

Saying these words out loud,
right in front of the whole class,
makes me feel
like I'm not wearing any clothes.”
16 likes
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