ARC · Giveaway · Teens & YA

A Danger to Herself and Others

Author: Alyssa Sheinmel

“What’s your name?” he asked.

I consider saying:
What’s in a name? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

I was sitting; he was standing. The clipboard was level with my forehead, and when he cocked his hip, the clipboard swayed dangerously close to my face. He smiled tightly. His teeth were yellow and crooked.

He said, “Don’t be difficult.”

Do you find Shakespeare difficult?

“What’s your name?” he repeated.

Hannah Gold.

Junior in high school, soon to become a Senior. Hannah is witty, ambitious and top in her class. She heads to sunny California for summer school to broaden her horizons and gain extra credits towards school. She meets Agnes and the two become inseparable best friends. When a horrific accident sends Agnes to the hospital, Hannah finds herself locked up with a girl named Lucy and a huge misunderstanding.

They’re trying to make me believe I’m crazy. There’s a word for it: they’re gaslighting me.

Hannah Gold has been taken to a psychiatric facility as she awaits a trial she feels she should not be a part of. She did not put up a fight. She was a willing patient, confident, knowing this was all a mistake. She had secrets to hide (such as her betrayal to Agnes. A boy named Jonah.)

As the trial looms in the near distance, Hannah realizes she must find a way to get out. She needs all of them, including Lucy, to see how good of a friend she is. How none of this makes sense, that Hannah Gold could not be who they say she is. They think she’s crazy. But Hannah Gold is not crazy. Hannah Gold is not a danger to herself and others, they’ll see.

But crazy people don’t get to go back to school and earn the straight A’s they need to get into Harvard and Yale and Stanford.

And crazy people don’t get to hand in their college applications not just on time but early, because crazy people don’t get to control their own schedule.

Crazy people are told what to do by doctors and caretakers for the rest of their lives

I’ve got to get out of here.

One way or another.

I started reading this book excited by the idea behind it. As I started reading, however, I felt bored. I couldn’t believe how much she went on and on about the facility she was in. The room she was in. Green. Paper-thin clothing. The smell. I continued on and glad I did. It was necessary for her to do this, and it definitely picks up.

3.5 stars because it wasn’t necessarily the ending I wanted but it was an interesting book and I’m glad I read it. It’s not really one of those books you’ll hold onto forever but it IS one that would make a good movie, if done right. 🙂

Thank you, NetGalley + Sourcebooks Fire, for the advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

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