Stop Pretending: What Happened When My Big Sister Went Crazy by Sonya Sones
Publisher: Harper Temptest
Age Group: Young Adult
Release Date: October 31, 1999
It happens just like that, in the blink of an eye. An older sister has a mental breakdown and has to be hospitalized. A younger sister is left behind to cope with a family torn apart by grief and friends who turn their backs on her. But worst of all is the loss of her big sister, her confidante, her best friend, who has gone someplace no one can reach.
Stars: 3.5/5 Cover: B-
I picked this book up from my school library because of its small size. I had just finished one of my own books, and I just wanted a book that would take me an hour to read so that I could start my other books at home. I honestly didn't expect to enjoy this book, and surprisingly, I really did. It was written in verse, so it was fast paced, and very poetic.
Quite often when I read books in verse, I don't really feel a connection to the protagonist or any other characters. Surprisingly, though, I could really empathize with the protagonist (not because I have any siblings with mental illnesses) but because Sones made the characters come alive.
I've always thought that it'd be harder to write a book in verse than a regular book because you have to essentially write a bunch of poems, and also since you have so many less words, each one has to count. I feel like Sones really did make each word count, and she wrote beautifully.
The ending (actually, the last two pages) were amazing. Sones really ended the book on a good note. I love how for most of the book, it showed how much of a negative impact the protagonist's sister had on her, and then at the end of the book, it showed things looking up. It leaves some to the reader's imagination.
I don't necessarily hate the cover, but it's definitely not my favorite. I think the colored stripes kind of kill the prettiness of the cover.
The Final Verdict:
I recommend this book to anyone who wants a really quick read with substance. It's not that memorable, but it's a great time killer.