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I Don't Want to Be Crazy

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  3,620 ratings  ·  320 reviews
A harrowing, remarkable poetry memoir about one girl's struggle with anxiety disorder. This is a true story of growing up, breaking down, and coming to grips with a psychological disorder. When Samantha Schutz first left home for college, she was excited by the possibilities -- freedom from parents, freedom from a boyfriend who was reckless with her affections, freedom fro ...more
ebook, 288 pages
Published February 1st 2010 by Scholastic (first published July 1st 2006)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Lauren (Lauren Reads YA)
Feb 25, 2015 Lauren (Lauren Reads YA) rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who suffer from anxiety disorder or like books about tough subjects
Check out my book blog for more reviews and a full review of I Don't Want To Be Crazy!

A beautiful verse novel about anxiety/panic disorder, written by someone who has actually gone through these things, so knows what it’s like. It’s also a memoir, and I think Samantha Schutz is very brave for telling her story to the world.

Teens (or anyone really) who suffer from anxiety disorder, like me, will be able to relate to this book perfectly and feel like they’re not alone. And we all need that someti
I remembered the meme I hosted for the first half of April, and Samantha Schutz's I Don't Want To Be Crazy is a book that I would like to dedicate to myself. Haha. I am no stranger to anxiety and panic attacks, but mine does not hold candle in terms of gravity to Samantha's (this being a memoir of sorts).

Reading this feels like reading a normal teenage girl's journal. A normal teenage girl with anxiety disorder, to be more specific. (more than 19 million American adults and more than one in ten
Peyton Maddox
“I can’t believe
no one else can hear.
I can screaming
inside my head.

I am going to die.
I am going to die.
I am going to die.”

These are some of the thoughts that represent how Samantha Schutz feels quite often throughout the years represented in the poetic memoir I Don’t Want to be Crazy. The memoir begins with a high school graduate anxiously waiting for the day she leaves for college. Though excited for new possibilities and experiences, she is afraid. Samantha is afraid that things will get ha
Eva Leger
This was okay - nowhere near like what the reader gets with Ellen Hopkins or Sonya Sones but that's just dealing with the verse aspect of the book. The other authors are fiction writers whereas this is non.

I thought it was a little repetitive also but I suppose a life full of anxiety attacks might be repetitive. I will admit that I had no idea people dealt with anxiety to this degree. I've taken an anti-anxiety medicine myself and apparently barely needed it when I think about what Schutz went
Oct 14, 2007 Suzanne rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: YA, Adults
This book chronicles the author's struggles with anxiety disorder, begining with her high school graduation and ending a year after college graduation. Written in free verse, Schutz clearly conveys the panic and fear associated with her disoder. Her story is gripping and powerful.
I have never had anyone so closely relate to my type of anxiety before. I feel like I want to hand this book to all the people I care about just so they can see what I feel like. I could relate to almost everything in her memoir. It makes me feel a little better that I'm not alone, but sad to know that there are so many people who secretly suffer so badly. It's tough always feeling like you are in and out of "remission" as the author puts it. Ever since I was 15 my life has been a series of off ...more
Alex R
I checked out this book from the library after forgeting to bring my own book to our silent reading, and it actually turned out to be pretty good. It is all about a girl who is just starting college, and she realizes that she has many problems with anxiety that never bothered her before. She suddenly starts having panic attacks in class and has to start taking a bunch of meds, and decides to back off on hanging out with people for fear of having more panic attacks. I realized, when reading this, ...more
»ƒranxine«  Bau†is†a
I thought this book was somehow disturbing. But I find it discomforting that the author had anxiety disorders. I thought that she was brave enough to go through her college life knowing she might have panic attacks anytime. She feels that she's alone and that no one understands her.
Before college though, she never had these fears, disorders, and she never had to take medication. I thought she was brave enough to write this memoir of the part of her life with anxiety disorders. In the end when s
3 stars: It was an okay read.. Nothing too special.

Publisher: Push
Date Published: July 1st, 2006
Pages: 280
Source: I own this book.
Genre: YA Poetry/Mental Health
Series: No

Overall Thoughts: This book had a very interesting concept. It was a book written in verse and it was about's this author's life and her struggles with mental illness. I did have a few problems with it but it was okay.

What I Liked:

- Written in verse
- About the author
- Portrayed mental illness in a very true way that really desc
Rhianna Aspinall
Written as a verse-novel, this memoir is a real insight into the world of anxiety and anxiety disorders, in a way that speaks volumes for the justification and understanding of those involved, those so directly affected, and those who are just onlookers to such self destruction. The road became rocky for Samantha upon leaving her high school and therefore parents' home to leave for college, where rooms became too big, the possibilities were endless, and she just couldn't shake the crip
2.5 Stars

I'm no expert on free verse,
but I'm not certain that
taking everyday sentences and
breaking them into stanzas
counts as poetry.
Perhaps I was expecting
a more eloquent voice,
and while there are gems here,
most of this memoir reads
like a shattered paragraph.

That said, there is courage in these pages. Living day to day with a mental illness such as Anxiety Disorder takes a special kind of strength, a strength that many people who've never had a panic attack might not appreciate. Samantha Sc
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This is an autobiographical story told in verse and it is very moving. Samantha Schutz takes us into her world and shows us what it is like to live with an anxiety disorder. Since it is autobiographical everything feels very real and her descriptions of the panic attacks are done well. I think the having the story told in verse is clever and shows us how the author thinks and feels about everything around her. Her depictions of the therapists were also interesting because they are very similar t ...more
Brittney Fischer
I grabbed this book at a library book sale earlier this week where I paid a whopping twenty cents for 4 books. *sigh* I'm not sure where to start with this one. On one hand, I almost thought I was going to go crazy reading it. Become depressed or irritated. But...on the other hand it was wonderful. Wonderful in a weird, distorted sort of way. In a way that only people who have had issues with anxiety/panic attacks would understand, or only someone who has seen a loved one suffer from this would ...more
God  O'Wax
This was an ok book. It wasn't exceptional to my mind, but was a personal account of a young woman's life that was engaging. I didn't find that the it gained anything by being an account in verse, as it seems to me the verse is basically formatted prose and not really stellar poetry. This made it seem somewhat gimmicky to me, but at the same time, it could have just been the only/best way to get the account down on paper. It didn't particularly find a place on my shelf but I could see it being a ...more
I found this memoir to be a very easy read. I like the fact that the author chose to use verse style writing to convey the message that Sam doesn't necessarily live by the rules.

I think the story line is very realistic. I know that I could relate to Sam's feeling of coming home from college and feeling trapped by parental figures. I know I came home for weekends and vacations and had to still adhere to a 10 pm curfew because "you have to set an example for your brother." Like i mentioned in my r
Katie DiLauro
Book Review #2

Schutz, Samantha. I don’t want to be crazy. ISBN: 978-0-439-80519-3
This true to life story is based on author Samantha Schutz’ personal battle with a psychological disorder. Ecstatic to be leaving home and experiencing the freedoms that come with going off to college, Samantha’s world is turned upside down when she begins to suffer panic attacks. In an almost constant state of panic and doubt, she decides to see a therapist, and sometime later, finally tells h
In I Don't Want To Be Crazy, Samantha Schutz relays the realities of panic attacks through a biographical account of her own battle with anxiety that uses verse style writing. Unlike typical young adult narratives set in high school, I Don't Want To Be Crazy is unique in that it introduces the protagonist Samantha during the transitional summer before going away to college; as the story unfolds it takes place throughout her college years and post graduation. At first Samantha is relieved that sh ...more
May 22, 2010 Ashley rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone! Especially people with anxiety or panic disorder!
Finally a YA (or adult) fiction (inspired by true life) book about PANIC DISORDER! With so many books similar to this written about drug addiction, depression, anorexia, child abuse and every other emotional disturbance found on earth I was beginning to think that Panic Disorder was too niche of a subject to write about. NOPE! This book is beautifully written in a poetry-esque style and reminds me of Ellen Hopkins series but better.

Being someone who was diagnosed with panic disorder at the age
Virinya Kanlab
I can't believe/ no one else can hear/ I am screaming/ inside my head/ I am going to die. At first, she revelled in the independence. But as pressures increased, she began to suffer anxiety attacks that would leave her mentally shaken and physically incapacitated.

Samantha Schutz sets out our experience of anxiety and panic attacks during her college years. In her first semester in college, she does not totally feel like she fits in and she starts to experience severe anxiety in her classes, mak
This book chronicles the author's struggles with anxiety disorder during her collage years. It is written in a poem format with short choppy thoughts.

Samantha leaves her home for collage and is instantly plagued with anxiety attacks. She lives in constant terror of when the next attack will come. When they do come there is nothing she can do but hide in the bathroom and wait it out. They follow her all through her life. They come with her to Europe and new jobs.

I think that this book portrays a
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Sally Kruger, aka "Readingjunky" for

Millions of people suffer from anxiety disorder (panic attacks) on a daily basis. Most suffer needlessly, either due to lack of medical treatment, misdiagnosis, or ignorance of the condition. I DON'T WANT TO BE CRAZY is one woman's brave confession of her struggles with the debilitating disorder.

Samantha Schutz was first diagnosed with anxiety disorder at age seventeen, after years of suffering with the problem. She uses this memo
Name of book:I Dont Want To Be Crazy
Author:Samantha Schut
Genre:Biography and Autobiography, Poetry and Rhymes, Young Adult
Reading Level:9.4
Exposition:Samantha Schutz is exited for her first year of collage and it exited to go away from her parents for some time. She has always had an easy going life her parents werent divorce she was loved her family was really happy and humbled. She had always been really smart and was send to like specliazed kindergraden she has always been advvance
Name of book: I Don't Want To Be Crazy
Author:Samantha Schutz
Reading Level of book:10.4
Exposition (4-6 sentences)
Samantha is ready to go to college. Like any young adult, she can't wait to gain freedom. She can't wait to move out do whatever she wants and party. Everything seems to be going well because she got to pick her own roommate and gets along with them well. Now that she is in college she feels responsible because her older sister moved back home and she can make
Elizabeth Jose
Schutz, S. (2007). I don’t want to be crazy. New York: Push/Scholastic.
Genre: Poetry
Format: Print
Selection Process: Library Media Connection

“I Don’t Want to be Crazy” is a memoir detailing the author's coming to grips with an anxiety disorder that leaves her riddled with panic attacks and a sense of dysfunction. Written in poetic verse over several years, she allows the lens to focus on her life’s journey beginning with the move to college, and the subsequent sense of falling apart
It’s definitively a powerful story that uses a unique way to tell, short phrases and rhythm make it more powerful and realistic and reinforces the veracity of the story. It is gripping and saddening to see the effects of this illness and impacted me a great deal. It made think of all things that can go wrong and made me realize how commonly spread panic attacks are. This real life story reflects realistically the life of college students, and their principles; in addition, it explores parental e ...more
I Don't Want to be Crazy by Samantha Schutz is a memoir about her life dealing with anxiety attacks.
Samantha Schutz writes in poetry about her anxiety attacks from the time she leaves highschool to start college to the time shes graduated. She travels europe and tries to participate in normal college activities. Although her anxiety attacks are slowely taking over her life she tries to stay strong and cancle them out. This all started for her when her parents tried to constantly control her lif
I have always been a sucker for memoirs, especially those about difficult issues, but the fact that this is written in prose makes it that much better for me. I love this style, I feel that writing in verse adds a lot more emotional intensity to the situations presented, and also makes it a little more personal. Samantha Schutz shares her experiences of going away to college, relishing in her initial independence and freedom, and suffering from panic attacks when confronted with the realities of ...more
Jackie DeStefano
I didn't think this book was all that great. I had a very hard time connecting with the character. We discussed in class whether or not it worked in verse; I don't think it did. I don't think the verse added any depth to the words. It could have just as easily been done in prose. One thing I did like was that it gave insight into something that I and many teens do not have experience with. This book is great for teens because it opens them to a world of being so overrun with anxiety that it hard ...more
This book was almost imposible to read, for someone who suffers from anxiety disorder this book wasnt a good idea. It was good its not like it was life changing or anything, it was good because of how right the author got everything. She did an incredible job capturing how attacks are and how dificult it is to live with anxiety and panic attacks. I also loved how the end was real, she didnt have a miraculous recovery, she just learned how to live with it and not let it control her.
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I am a writer and children’s book editor living in Brooklyn, NY. My first book, I Don’t Want to Be Crazy, is a memoir about anxiety disorder written in verse. My second book, You Are Not Here, is a verse-novel about grief and loss. I am currently working on my third book for young adults.
More about Samantha Schutz...
You Are Not Here Exo-force Chapter Book #1: Escape from Sentai Mountain Ultimate Handbook: Volume 4 (Littlest Pet Shop) Bunny Fairy Tales (Max and Ruby) This Is Push: New Stories from the Edge

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“I crave broken men.
When I try to save other people
am I trying to save myself?
Am I covering up for my lack of strength
by putting people back together?
I am tired.
I want someone to save me -
build an intricate web
and place it beneath me in case I fall.”
“Where you are
and what you are doing
is something you have done
dozens of times before
without any problems

Recognize that you are going to get out of this
that you always get out of this
that you are going to live
that you won't go crazy

I am telling you that you will live,
because you always live,
because you are strong
and beautiful.”
More quotes…