(Don't miss my interview with Lindsay below!)
Reviewed by Angela McLaurin
Buy your copy here!
Synopsis from Goodreads: Samantha Branson is having severe anxiety attacks. Her heart beats unusually fast, her breath quickens and her hands sweat. Every detail screams in her head that she is the center of unwanted attention. Everyone can hear her thoughts, her heart and her breathing. The silence of the classroom is so loud that focus is impossible.
After an attack lands her in the wrong bathroom, Sam meets Eli who offers to provide help. Faced with the return of her possessive ex-boyfriend and the blossoming of a new romance, Sam must find the strength inside herself to face her anxieties head on.
This is a new young adult book from Lindsay Paige in which she tells the story of Samantha, a girl who suffers from severe panic and anxiety attacks. The attacks are so extreme that she is missing school and isolating herself from friends and family. This is a very real medical condition for many of us, and Samantha is having a hard time accepting it and finding help. Her mother also believes that she is making up the symptoms to avoid school. She finds her salvation while hiding out in the restroom at school in the form of a very handsome boy named Eli. Bring in her ex boyfriend and jerk of an older brother, and she has a very complicated situation on her hands.
The subject matter is very important for young adult and adult readers and gives us a look into what it's like to live in this kind of misery. For this reason, the book was outstanding as kind of public service announcement for help and understanding of mental illness. I did, however, feel that the story lacked a certain depth that could have added so much more richness and substance to the plot. The plot and dialogue were simplistic, adding a dramatic effect to the scenes of the anxiety attacks, but I felt they took away from the other parts of the story that needed more exposition. For teen readers this type of simplistic writing is perfectly suited, but as an adult reader, it was missing something crucial for me.
Samantha, I'm happy to say, did find the help she needed and a very caring boy to go along with it at the end. It gives hope to readers that this is a medical situation, not something that people fabricate and that medication and therapy are valuable answers and solutions to the condition. There was an interesting plot twist with her savior, Eli, and I'm thankful for the way it played out for the best in the story. Overall this is most definitely a book worth reading and one that should be on the shelves of every teen struggling through the stresses of high school and life. Great job Lindsay for sharing such a sensitive and emotional story that will touch anyone who has lived this or knows someone who has. It's a quick read about a powerful subject and I do recommend that you check it out!
My interview with Lindsay Paige.....
1. I know this book was very personal for you and close to your heart. Can you share with readers some background on the story and how it relates to your life?
2. What was the most challenging thing about writing this book?
LP: It was hard to not relive the attacks. Writing the detailed attacks made it hard not to experience them all over. Some of the scenes are from my life so it was hard to have to put myself back in the 2011 shoes of mine and experience it all over so I can ensure that the reader felt the anxiety as well.
3. You have many accomplishments as such a young writer! How do you find time to balance life, school, and writing?
4. Where do you go for inspiration while writing?
5. What is the best thing about being an Indie Author?
7. What was your all-time favorite book of 2012?
6. What is your major in college and where do you see yourself in the future?
LP: Right now, it's Associate in Arts, which will allow me to transfer to a university. In the future, I see myself finishing school, writing, and speaking fluently in another language or two.
Thanks for having me!!!
Good luck Lindsay in all of your future adventures....in life and writing!!