Cover Image: A Danger to Herself and Others

A Danger to Herself and Others

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Unfortunately this book was not for me, it was a bit slower than I would like and it just didn't hold my attention. I am sure other people will love it!
Was this review helpful?
So many trigger warnings please look them all up but notably for me were eating disorders, depression, and psychotic episodes. 

I’ve been holding onto this book for ages after receiving a copy from NetGalley but was never in the mood for it. But then I saw the audiobook was available and thought it was my time to get this off the list! And I was so disappointed. I knew this centered on mental disorders, psychiatric care, and an unreliable narrator but I felt like it was over-emphasized and under-explained. 

Knowing this was the author's third novel had me expecting more from the writing and plot progression. The “big reveal” happened fairly early in the story and nothing interesting really happened after that. 

It was a quick read though so I’ll give it that.
Was this review helpful?
A big mistake led to Hannah's hospitalization. Or so she would have you (and herself) believe. 

The truth of what happened, her mental state, and her entire perspective is muddled as soon as you realize how unreliable of a narrator she is. Sure, you WANT to believe she is a good person who wouldn't hurt others, but you can't help the sneaking suspicion in your gut that that isn't the case.

It starts slow, but picks up pace around the halfway point.
Was this review helpful?
There is nothing that I love more in a story than an unreliable narrator, and Sheinmel has created one of my favourites, this books is so interesting and will keep your engaged. I would highly recommend it.
Was this review helpful?
Great read! Looking forward to reading more from this author! I highly recommend this book and author to all!
Was this review helpful?
TW: anorexia, bulimia, self-harm, anxiety, assault, cheating, depression, hallucinations, psychiatric hospitals
I chose to read A Danger to Herself and Others in audio format, and the narrator did a great job at keeping me engaged for the entirety of the story. However, I was also frustrated throughout the book because of how the author portrayed psychiatric hospitals. Between 2014 and 2016, I was admitted into a mental health hospital a total of three times due to my struggles with self-harm and two untreated mental illnesses. I was diagnosed with bipolar and borderline personality disorder. The last time I was admitted, I remained in the hospital for almost a month. Originally, I was not going to write a review for this book because I felt that my opinions did not matter, but they do. I am tired of mental health hospitals being portrayed poorly all of the time for entertainment purposes. While I can agree that many have had poor experiences, that is not the case for everyone, and yet we only ever see the bad in the stories that we read and watch. The negativity surrounding hospitals made me embarrassed to admit that I had to seek treatment in the past.

In this book, the author confines the protagonist to her room, and at one point, has her drugged and dragged to a padded room. The patients have to reach milestones to earn basic things such as a shower and eating with other patients. These showers are taken either in front of staff, or they are forced to shower in groups. If granted access to the cafeteria, the patients are divided into different groups based on their admission. When the doctor visits the main character in her room, she often has a guard with her, and if they are prescribed medication, a nurse is there to inspect their mouth thoroughly. Those are the types of stereotypes that can make people either avoid seeking help because they think that their experience might be like that or are too embarrassed to admit that they were hospitalized because of the impression someone else might have.

My experiences were nothing like what the main character faced. The first time I was admitted, my mom dropped me off after my therapist referred me to the hospital. The second and third times, I was taken to the local hospital by ambulance and admitted to the mental health section of the hospital before being transferred to the behavioral hospital. The nurses were kind each time, so I was lucky in that aspect. I did have a negative experience with a doctor, though, which I think about often. According to my doctor, my family would leave me if I continued down the path that I was going. During each stay, I had my weight and blood pressure checked. I shared a room and a bathroom, but I had privacy when changing and showering, unlike the main character. When I was first checked in, I had to undress in front of a few nurses to ensure that I was not bringing in anything that could harm myself or others, but that was the only time. The bathroom doors did not have locks, but you could close the door to use the restroom, and the showers had curtains. They tried to keep us on a schedule, so we were awoken at the same hour each day and had lights out at the same time every night. We had three main meals each day and two snacks. The hospital divided patients into different levels, so we ate in the cafeteria, attended an art class, and went to the gym for exercise with the group of people in our unit. A few times, they allowed us to eat outside, swim in a pool near the gym, and have group outdoors. On top of group therapy each day and individual time with our doctors, they also allowed us free time. We could read, color in the main room, or even watch television. I took medication each day, but no one inspected my mouth, and I was never threatened with a sedative.

My story is unique to other people in many ways because I met my husband the night we were both taken to the hospital. He was from a different town, so the chances of us meeting seem like fate sometimes. After we were both transferred to the mental health hospital, I was originally in a different unit than him. However, in a week, I changed to a room in his unit after a conflict with my roommate. Less than two months after meeting, we got married and have been together for almost five years now. On top of meeting my husband in the hospital, I met many sweet people that impacted my life in positive ways.

Again, I know that not everyone will walk away with a great experience, but we need to start shedding light on the good that can come from behavioral hospitals as well. The care that I received and the people that I met saved my life.
Was this review helpful?
This book was not lacking in action. The plot was well thought out and I would recommend this most of my friends.
Was this review helpful?
This was just okay for me. I found Hannah Gold to be pretty hard to connect with and the book didn’t quite give off the thriller-vibe, though I know it was trying to. It just fell a little short for me.
Was this review helpful?
I couldn’t get into this book. I tried multiple times and it just didn’t grab my attention. I skimmed through hoping something would grab me but nothing ever did.
Was this review helpful?
In “A Danger to Herself and Others” by Alyssa B. Sheinmel we meet Hannah.  She has been institutionalized because something horrific happened to her summer program roommate.  But she believes it is all a misunderstanding, she is a straight A student, always mature for her age.  Then Lucy arrives and as the two girls become fast friends Hannah starts to see that what is happening around her is far more out of her control then she originally thought.

A compelling read that pulls you in very different directions.  I received an ARC of this book through Net Galley and this is my honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Unfortunately I didn’t love this one as much as I was hoping to. I liked the idea behind it and the storyline, but it fell flat for me. I can see why some people love this one, but it just wasn’t for me.
Was this review helpful?
This book was not what I was expecting! I thought it was going to be a typical YA Thriller but that was not the case. 

Hannah finds herself in a mental institution after being accused of pushing her roommate out the window. The story starts coming together in pieces as you experience Hannah’s daily life in the institute and go through flashbacks leading up to her admittance. Over time you realize things are not what you expected and the people in Hannah’s life may not be real at all.

This book addresses a variety of mental illness and has a scene that does include a suicide attempt but is not graphic. 

I thought this book was a good representation of mental illness and how it doesn’t just affect the person with the diagnosis but those around them. Overall I enjoyed this one & I’m so glad I finally picked it up!
Was this review helpful?
As far as YA mystery/thrillers go, this wasn't the best one I've read, but it is a great one for those who are new to the genre. I thought the plot was interesting overall, though some of the plot points felt a bit too familiar as someone who is familiar with the genre. I also felt like I got spoiled for the twist, though I don't think I was, it just felt that unsurprising. 

So yeah, not the best or most original mystery, but perfectly fine for someone looking for an introduction to the genre.
Was this review helpful?
The comparison to Girl Interrupted and Pretty Little Liars is spot on. An interesting read with an unreliable narrator that covers many aspects of mental health and illness.
Was this review helpful?

That. Was. AMAZING.

I read it in one sitting.

If anyone ever asks me how to write an unreliable narrator I will immediately recommend this book. Because doggone it Hannah's voice walked the fine line between belief and suspicion like nobody's business.

And even though I was suspicious of one twist, it was still very satisfying to see it play out, especially since it came with other stuff I wasn't expecting. And Hannah's inner monologues were beautifully done--natural and believable and enjoyable and very telling of her mental state. I could probably fangirl about this narrator for a good long time but that would postpone your reading of it so go do that instead.
Was this review helpful?
Hannah can’t believe she’s been institutionalized because of her roommate’s accident, but she knows the truth will come out: Agnes was her best friend, and Hannah would never have hurt her on purpose. As the days turn into weeks and she’s still under constant watch, Hannah’s confidence begins to crack, and so does her story about her relationship with Agnes. I think I’ve read too many stories of this sort — I knew almost immediately what was happening, and there was nothing that actually surprised me.
Was this review helpful?
As a high school librarian, I am always looking for books that will hook my students. A Danger to Herself and Others fit the bill completely. An unreliable narrator. Plenty of suspense. A mystery that slowly unravels. I appreciated the uniqueness of this novel and liked how Sheinmel told a story that deals with contemporary issues (mental health issues) with timeless YA themes. Thank you for allowing me to review this. I apologize that I did not post this online (my current blog was not active at the time, so I was reviewing exclusively for my school library).
Was this review helpful?
I flew thru a majority of this book and really enjoyed it. I was surprised a few times, but there were a couple things that were predictable. I feel like the story fell kind of flat at the end.
Was this review helpful?
Here's the thing - I received this as an ARC but for some reason it got lost until recently.  I'm also kind bias since I work in the mental health field.  This being said I think A Danger to Herself and Others was a good representation of mental illness.  The book had a nice flow but I was able to predict a lot of things. This may also be due to my history with working with individuals with mental illness. The only negative I have is the ending was really dismal and kind of terrible. Overall though, I think Sheinmel covered this topic well and provided a great opening for discussions regarding mental health.
Was this review helpful?
This was a deeply moving mental health focused thriller that really kept me engaged and kept me guessing throughout the entire thing!  

I found the main character Hannah, to be highly relatable, as I struggle with mental health issues of my own, and I even shed a tear or two upon finishing this novel.

That being said, although this really is a interesting read with excellent twists, it can also be a tough read at times due to the heavy and dark subject matter involved.

Overall an excellent read that is both emotional and thrilling, and will keep you guessing and turning pages until you reach the end!

**Triggering Warnings for: eating disorders (bulimia, anorexia,), suicide, mental health issues, neglect, abandonment
Was this review helpful?