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Sisters in Sanityby Gayle Forman
Synopses & Reviews
Have you ever had the out-of-control dream? The one where you know you're not crazy, but no one around you—not your parents, not your teachers, not even the authorities—will listen to you?
For sixteen-year-old Brit Hemphill, the out-of-control dream comes true when her dad enrolls her at Red Rock, a bogus treatment center that claims to cure rebellious teen girls. At Red Rock, Brit is forced into therapy, and her only hope of getting her life back is in the hands of an underqualified staff of counselors. Brit's dad thinks Red Rock can save her, but the truth is it's doing more harm than good.
No girl could survive Red Rock alone—but at a treatment center where you earn privileges for ratting out your peers, it's hard to know who you can trust. For Brit, everything changes when she meets V, Bebe, Martha, and Cassie, four girls who keep her from going over the edge. Together they'll hold on to their sanity and their sisterhood while trying to keep their Red Rock reality from becoming a full-on nightmare.
"Like a cross between Girl, Interrupted and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, journalist Forman's first book for teens tells the gritty tale of five girls trapped in a 'residential treatment center' run by bogus shrinks or, as one of them aptly puts it, in 'a loony bin, a bogus, bullshit, behavior-modification boot-camp warehouse for unwanted misfit teens.' The narrator, Brit, thinks she's going on a family vacation; instead, her father dumps her behind the barbed-wire fences of Red Rocks, where she is told she has Oppositional Defiance Disorder. Although noticeably sluggish in the beginning (redundant descriptions of the scenery, the staff's abusive practices and the characters' pasts), the pace soon picks up as the girls scheme to shut the place down by taking matters into their own very capable hands. Each of the quintet is valiant in her own right, from Bebe, the famous actress's daughter who sleeps around, to Martha, the overweight loner who used to be a pageant winner, but Brit and V stand out for their ability to grow and eventually face their fears head-on. Brit's fledgling romance with Jed, a member of her hometown punk-rock band, is uncharacteristically sweet, and readers will root for its survival — especially after Brit sneaks out of the compound to share a clandestine moment with him under the stars. This story line, however, takes a back seat to the expos-like preoccupation with debunking places like Red Rock, which, however engrossing, might be a case of preaching to the choir. Ages 12-up. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
About the Author
Gayle Forman is an award-winning author and journalist whose articles have appeared in such publications as Jane, Seventeen, Glamour, Elle, and The New York Times Magazine, to name just a few. She lives in New York City with her husband and daughter.
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