Kelly Thielen's Reviews > Stop Pretending: What Happened When My Big Sister Went Crazy

Stop Pretending by Sonya Sones
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's review
Feb 25, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: realistic-fiction, high-school

In Sonya Sones new book, the main character tells the story of what it was like when her older sister went crazy one Christmas Eve. Having shown no earlier signs of mental illness, imagine the fright it caused her family, particularly the younger sister. The story does a great job of telling what it would be like if you were the sister of a girl who just simply went crazy one day. Her sister is diagnosed as manic depressive and the family tries to cope with her strange behavior after eventually hospitalizing her. The narrator struggles when friends cut her off after finding out, worrying that this could be genetic and just simply trying to come to terms with what has happened and how it has changed her life.

Book Talk: Sonya Sones tells this loosely biographical story of the time in her life when her sister, completely normal until now, simply went crazy. She details the initial diagnosis, the recovery process and the way her family deals with the situation. Told through the eyes of a younger adolescent, the world looks like a scarier place. Initially, she doesn't tell her friends for fear of what they will think and when she does, though they appear sympathetic, they do close her out of their group, leaving her even more confused. Top this off with the worry that this might be genetic and could happen to her and you have a very high-strung narrator. She does deal and come to terms with her sister's illness and finally find a place where she fits in, with people who don't judge her simply for being related to her sister.

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