Life is but a Dream: Review
When I picked up this book I knew I was in for something special just looking at the cover — it says so much about what is inside. I was not disappointed. Everything about this book — from the cover, to the tone, to the characters — is totally cohesive, each one complimenting the other perfectly. I love when a book just “gels”.
First of all the writing style is flawless. I immediately fell into Sabrina’s head. I saw things the way she did, I felt her fear, her hopes, her dreams, and her desire to just live her life the way she wanted. At first, Sabrina’s world seemed magical and safe, even though there was always that underlying sense of darkness lurking just under the surface of it all. I also understood her infatuation with Alec, the young man who catches her eye at the Wellness Center. Alec was one of the few patients who spoke to Sabrina and didn’t judge her. He understood her. He, too, understands what it’s like to see things differently, and he makes a good case for leaving things just the way they are.
As soon as she met Alec, I was unsure of his true intentions. Was he taking advantage of Sabrina’s illness, or did he really care for her? I worried for her when she fell so quickly, but the thing is, I could understand why she was drawn to him. He made a good argument for not staying there and letting the doctors medicate them. What harm is there in living in a fantasy land if it makes you happy? Who’s to say what is the norm? The world is an ugly place, so why not do what you can to make it better for yourself? If you’re happy the way you are, then stay that way.
But there’s another side to the story — that no matter how nice it would be to just “get away from reality” at times, staying in that fantasy is not healthy and can be quite debilitating and unsafe in cases of mental illness. Sometimes finding normal, or what one perceives as being normal, is the safest thing for you. While some — like Alec — may see this as boring or threatening ones individuality, for others — like Sabrina — getting closer to normal may save your life.
These were things I found myself thinking about after finishing the book. If you can’t tell, I really enjoyed it. The story isn’t mind-blowing, but the feelings and questions it evokes will stay with you long after the final page. It does have its dark moments, but I like that. I tend to not like a lot of fluff, and I felt this book was well-balanced. I recommend taking a chance and letting yourself get lost in Sabrina’s world for a few hours.