A Danger to Herself and Others

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 08 Feb 2019

Member Reviews

Hanna Gold is in a mental institution. But she isn’t supposed to be there, obviously. There was an accident during an innocent game of Truth or Dare with her roommate. The doctors will figure it out soon enough..
I couldn’t put this book down - I had to keep reading to find out why the MC was  a danger to herself and others . And we definitely find out. In a skillfully done and authentic way. While this story is a page-turner, it was also an interesting portrayal of mental illness. It was smartly done and engaging. Recommended.
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This was a JOURNEY! I was so enthralled in this story. Hannah is such an unreliable narrator—I never knew what to believe. What was real life? Was she lying and manipulative, especially with her friendships? Or was she actually sincere? I read this in mostly one sitting because I had to keep peeling back Hannah's psyche to get to her true self. I wish the author would have actually said her diagnosis out loud. It's always mentioned as Hannah's "disorder", or her "disease". I think it would benefit readers to put a name to her disease, making her experience feel more real. The authors note is really important, so important that I think it may be more useful at the beginning of the book. 

My biggest issues: I felt like the author overly explained parts of the institute. I realize that it's a way to ground the reader but it got a little much. For example, overtly explaining that there were no knives in the cafeteria so no one gets hurt. I feel like the reader can infer that on their own. Also, the repetition of the title is a little on the nose. If the usage had been separated throughout the book it would have a bigger impact.

All in all, i think this was a gripping story about a topic of mental health that is rarely explored with this much detail.

I was sent this e-arc from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Blog: www.lindsayglenne.com
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4 stars

* I received an ARC of this book via netgalley however this in no way influenced my opinion.* 

I really loved this book, it had me hooked from the beginning. It is about a teenager called Hannah who finds herself institutionalised after her friend Agnes falls from the window of the dorm they were sharing at summer school and falls into a coma. Hannah has to wait and see if she will be held responsible for what happened to Agnes. Hannah is an unreliable narrator as she takes us through the events of what happened leading up to Agnes accident and what happened after, she comments a few times that she is lying. I was so invested in finding out why Hannah was there and what happened with Agnes. The characters are what made this novel for me, Hannah could be so calculating and determined to get what she wanted. In the end the mystery was never solved of what really happened that night with Agnes which I personally think makes the story stand out more. My heart broke for Hannah when she realised that Jonah and Lucy were hallucinations. The last chapter was emotional and brutal, it really stuck with me.

Overall I really enjoyed everything about this especially the characters, Hannah was ambitious and I honestly felt so sorry for her, I found Hannah’s parents to be infuriating. This book made me feel so many emotions. One thing I have to say is I found the writing to be a bit simplistic but I still thoroughly enjoyed it.
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This was not what I was expecting at all! I don’t quite know how to put into words how addictive this book was, I was so engaged in the story that I just wanted to know what would happen next. In terms of it not being what I expected, I can’t say too much, because I don’t want to spoil anyone, but there were a lot of surprising twists and turns in this book, that I never even saw coming. When I thought that we’d gotten past a huge reveal, another one would pop up, and this was probably a big part of why I was so hooked. I’m a massive  fan of books where the protagonist is an unreliable narrator and there’s some sort of mystery, so reading from Hannah’s perspective was a real treat for me, as I had to constantly play this guessing game about whether I believed anything she was saying. With the most noticeable question mark being over whether she had a hand in what happened to her roommate Agnes, who is now suffering a brain injury from the ‘accident’.

Hannah’s is probably one of the most compelling point of views that I’ve read from, as she is very unique in her way of thinking, which will most likely not be to everybody’s taste. I must admit that I struggled to get into the book in that opening chapter or so, as Hannah’s thoughts are quite dense, but once I got to grips with the writing style and Hannah’s voice, I just found her fascinating. Like I said, it’s not clear whether Hannah hurt Agnes or not, Hannah insists that it was an accident and yet, she’s been put away in a psychiatric hospital with the infamous tag line may be ‘a danger to herself and others’ now attached to her. Hannah is kept pretty much in isolation, eating in her room instead of the cafeteria with the other girls, not having showering or outside privileges and generally left to her own devices. This means that Hannah has a lot of time to think, and boy does she think! It’s quite clear that Hannah is a very intelligent individual, not just academically, but in how she navigates the world in general. She knows just what to say to please people (like her parents and their friends), befriend people and ultimately manipulate people. Hannah even befriends girls at school who aren’t considered anything special, because she knows that she can make them into something special. This quality in particular is what I found so interesting about her, sometimes it would be truly unnerving just how manipulative and calculating she was, but then other times it was almost laughable.

I wasn’t really sure what to make of Hannah at first, because as I said, she’s unreliable and is the only point of view that we have in the book, so essentially, everything that we learn comes from her. There are some things that we do learn are certainly true though, like the fact that Hannah’s parents are very well off and that she had an unconventional childhood, which has probably contributed to her current state. Hannah’s parents are extremely rich and so throughout Hannah’s childhood there were many trips taken to the furthest and most exotic of places. But instead of leaving their child with a babysitter or hiring one to accompany them, they carted Hannah around with them. Even at the age of five and maybe even younger, Hannah was given her own hotel room, where she would stay until her parents came back from wherever it is they’d go, sometimes not even checking on her until morning. This is obviously very wrong, but through Hannah’s eyes she just sees it as her parents loved her so much, that they took her everywhere with them and they have this inside joke among them that she was ‘born mature’. To me at least, this is where Hannah learned what was expected of her and how to please people, when other parents were fussing with their kids, Hannah would sit perfectly still, eat what she was given and make herself ‘disappear’ when the adults had tired of how precocious she was. This made me feel so sorry for Hannah as I could see the undeniable connection to her present situation. As the book progresses though and Hannah starts to ‘fake’ her way through her therapy, she starts to realise that her childhood wasn’t okay and she stops just excepting everything about her parents, really looking at them in a way she hadn’t before.

The writing in this was fantastic, as although I felt like I couldn’t fully grasp Hannah (with her being so unreliable), I still felt like I understood what she was saying a lot of the time and actually ended up caring about her. Hannah’s high intelligence and somewhat paranoia, meant that she had a lot of opinions on what was happening to her at this psychiatric hospital, and on the world in general. First of all, Hannah doesn’t even think that there’s anything wrong with her mentally and that this whole thing is one big misunderstanding, because she also thinks she never pushed Agnes. So she immediately distrusts the staff and constantly believes that they are trying to trick her into thinking that she’s ill, she’s so paranoid, that she’s even done a number of checks for cameras in her room. She then begins pointing out the things that she thinks they’re doing to manipulate her, like the different tactics her therapist uses on her. However, when she realises that if she seemingly cooperates, she’ll probably get to leave sooner, she does just that. She is shocked when she gets a roommate as she knows that they consider her to possibly be ‘a danger to herself and others’, but her being as calculating as she is, she seizes the opportunity to appear to be getting better, by making friends with this Lucy.

After Lucy comes is where things really start to unravel and truths spill out from every direction. Through trying to befriend Lucy, in order to appear more stable, Hannah starts to notice certain things that don’t add up. This takes a toll on her mental health and her therapy starts to become more serious, to her and her therapist, as Hannah starts to think that there may actually be something going on with her. As the book progresses, in the lead up to Hannah’s trial regarding Agnes, we eventually learn what has really been going on with her and I was literally gob-smacked. Part of me was doubting whether it could really be true, because Hannah was so convinced of everything, that I ended up being too, so I was completely shocked. This was a truly uncomfortable at times, but riveting story that takes a very honest look at mental health, although the author has used some creative license, so something’s aren’t completely accurate. This book really made me think and feel, as the storyline was gripping, the characters were so real and the writing was tremendous. I urge everyone to read it, because it’s amazing and because I just want to hear about other people’s experiences with it.
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Thank you to NetGalley, Sourcefire Books, and Alyssa Sheinmel for an ARC ebook copy to review. As always, an honest review from me.

- Unreliable narrator: Normally, I’m not a fan of unreliable narrators, but in this book I enjoyed it.
- Your opinion of the main character’s situation changes as you get more information.
- Shows a fairly realistic portrayal of forced inpatient psychiatric stay

- Can really feel her feelings through the writing: the panic, confusion, and desperation is evident
- Quick read
- Had to keep reading to find out what happens
- Book about mental health diagnosis that’s rarely written about
- The little clues that are left along the way for the reader and Hannah to figure out 

- That the staff could be manipulated/bribed by the patients 
- Her family wasn’t that supportive
- The circumstances that sent Hannah to the facility 

Wish that: 
- There’s another book to show how Hannah copes with the real world 
- Could see the circumstances from Hannah’s doctor’s point of view occasionally 

Overall, a great book about mental health and all the challenges that can come with first being diagnosed. An interesting story that I absolutely flew through.
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Not a push. Just a little tap.

Have you ever picked up a book not having expectations, not expecting it to bad but also not expecting it to be great, and then it turns out to be a book you devour? Yeah, that was this book for me. I'm still shocked at how much I loved this book!

Alyssa Sheinmel's writing of A Danger To Herself And Others was exquisite, so unlike anything I've read. The writing felt so raw and natural. I felt I was truly sitting in the mind of someone suffering from a psychosis disorder. I'm not claiming the book was a true fabrication inside the head of a person truly dealing with this reality, but for the first time I was seeing it through the eyes of the sufferer. 

Hannah had such "rational" reasonings for her actions. She's smart, quick witted, sassy, dramatic, and all the things you'd expect from a NYC Upper Eastside teenage girl. It wasn't like the movies where everyone and everything is "crazy". This book takes you on the journey of terrifying real life disorders. Through the mind of someone coping with who they are and what they have to live with. It's simply imperfectly perfect.

I will be recommending this book to everyone! This book now holds a special place in my bookish heart!

Thank you so much to Netgalley & Sourcebooks Fire for this advanced readers copy!
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It has been a long time since a book has my mind asking what or who is real while I was reading. Several times I had to go back and search and see if I remembered correctly because I learned early on Hannah is extremely unreliable when it comes to recalling events. A danger to herself and others is a YA and it was done so well. The story was so good, you forget it is a 17 year old narrating. I strongly suggest going in blind and take on this wild ride.
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This was a really interesting experience. Because Hannah is an unreliable narrator, the story keeps you on your toes with various twists and turns. I loved how the story is entirely told in her perspective - even if she’s not the kindest protagonist there is, she felt real. At first, I was mostly intrigued by her character, but by the end sympathized with her. Though the plot is very slow-paced and character-driven, I never once felt bored.
Thanks to the publisher for the ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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I absoutely enjoyed every page of this book. In the beginning I got this feeling of really not liking the main character, Hannah. The way she speaks about her intelligence came off extremely arrogant. Yet, I also believed everything she said to the reader about the incident with her most recent best friend Agnes. She may have been unlikeable, but didn't come off the least bit unrealiable...until later!

After reading for a while I realized that Hannah wasn't as reliable as I thought she was. I began to feel sort of bad for her. As her interactions with her therapist got deeper, I just wanted to reach into the book and give Hannah a big hug as what she knew as her reality crumbled to the ground. 

What I loved most about this book was the amazing portrayal of mental illnees. If you've read previous reviews I've written about books regarding mental illness you know I take this very seriously. I've read many books that don't quite speak about a character's struggle mental illness accurately. Sheinmel absolutely hits the nail on the head with this one. 

Another bonus is how fast-paced and short the chapters are! I couldn't justify putting it down because I knew the next chapter would only be a few pages. This is how I found myself awake at 2AM forcing myself to put the kindle down and get some sleep. LOL
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This book was very predictable. That being said it was also very enjoyable. This book was a very quick read and kept my attention to the very end. It also lends itself to a sequel. I would recommend this book to others. However I don’t feel asl though I need to purchase and keep in my collection.
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This book proved to be a very interesting and thoughtful read. Hannah, the main character, has been placed on an involuntary hold at a psychiatric hospital after the death of her roommate, Agnes. Hannah doesn't fear her circumstance because she holds her truth certain: that she didn't do anything wrong. It was a tragic accident. However, in order for her to go home, Hannah has to play along with the doctors and nurses in order to get them to see she isn't crazy. In order to do that, she sets about making friends with her roommate Lucy - so she can show the doctor on staff the kind of girl she REALLY is. 

Lucy becomes the key - the crux of this story - she will be what helps Hannah recognize the circumstance and be able to make the necessary break-throughs in order to find her way out of her circumstance and back home.

This book at times, made me very uncomfortable - which is a testament to the author because she proves very adept at painting a picture of the atmosphere within the hospital, within Hannah's four walls, and inside Hannah's mind. I had no trouble imagining what Hannah was feeling, or seeing, or experiencing thanks to the depth of those descriptions. Sometimes I didn't want to imagine it - as what Hannah goes through is traumatic and mind-bending. 

I would definitely read other books by this author.
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I received a copy of this book through netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

God this book was awful. Downright boring and dreadful. Hannah’s diagnosis came as no surprise, nothing eventful happened. One of the worst books I’ve ever read. Yes, I realize I’ve said that twice already in different forms but, woof. I really wish I could get the last 3 hours back and read something else.

Now don't get me wrong, the writing was fine. It's the story and the fact that it mostly takes place in one setting between two characters that is just awful. Most of the book is hannah talking to Dr. Lightfoot. Its pretty obvious from the minute "a danger to herself AND OTHERS" is stated in the book, what's really up with Hannahs mental stated when they give her a roomate even though "SHES A DANGER TO HERSELF AND OTHERS". I mean come on.

The back and forth conversations throughout 80% of the book about hannahs mental state was a flop. We could have at least had more flashbacks to her time with Agnes, or more breakdowns from Hannah. But nope.

Capital crime has been committed in this book.
Now let me say this first - I don't give a good hot dang how long a book has been out. You DO NOT SPOIL OTHER BOOKS! The author COMPLETELY freaking spoils the plot of Jane Eyre and is bold in doing so. Even goes as far as to point by point tell you the major moments in the book. I for one have not read the book yet, and it is something I would have liked to have done. So thanks for completely unearthing the plot for me.
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This was incredible. I don't really know what I was expecting when I first started it, but it wasn't this, this was way better than I imagined... It was hard, powerful and emotional. I just couldn't put it down!

Hannah is the best unreliable narrator I've read about... For the first time someone is more unreliable than Yaz from Things We Have in Common and I freaking love it! I adore reading about unreliable narrators and Hannah was just amazing. I don't wanna give too much away about this book because I think it's the perfect book to go blind into. But as you might have guessed already, it's developed around a particular mental illness, and I can't really be specific about which one. But I do have to talk a bit about Hannah. She is an incredibly strong, intelligent and not very likable person, really. She was the type of person one would think  "she must think she is better than me" and that is normally not likable, right? Well, no matter what, I actually really ended up liking her anyway! She might not be likable but the more you get to know her, it turned it impossible for me not to grew attached to her. 

That said, Hannah is a character you will slowly start to like and understand and it's 100% worth it! This book is quite emotional, realistic and utterly sad, but it made me see things in a new light. Not that I see things differently now (no pun intended) but because I actually never thought about a person going through something like Hannah is going through. It's scary, it truly is, and I could feel that. Mental health is not something to take lightly, and this book talks about a particular mental illness that I've never read about, and to be honest, a really interesting one. It's just so complex and different! But if you wanna know more, you will have to read the book, because that's all I'm gonna say.

I found this book really captivating and gripping and I absolutely loved the theme and how the story was written. It shows how a lot of people take metal illness like something stupid, or wrong. But on the other hand, it shows that anything is possible even if you have a mental illness - it might be difficult, but it is possible to achieve as much as you want in life (at least in some cases). It's a hard book for how realistic it is, but it's also helluva exciting and quite a fast read. I would definitely recommend it!
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A riveting read that grabbed me from the beginning. I loved the character of Hannah Gold and that the entire story was told from her perspective it. I didn't see the twists coming. The author told this story with compassion and it was nice to read the author's note at the end. I would love to read more books by this author!
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Review posted on Goodreads and on The Nerd Daily (closer to publication day).

Alyssa B. Sheinmel’s latest book, A Danger to Herself and Others, is a young adult dark contemporary book about mental health, about people’s prejudices, but also about gradually learning to accept yourself as you are.

Hannah Gold has been wrongly accused of hurting her best friend from summer camp and sent to a mental health institute to be diagnosed, even if she’s sure she shouldn’t be there with real patients.

"Of course, the other patients are here because there’s actually something wrong with them. I’m only here because of a misunderstanding, so there’s no need for me to panic."

However the reader knows something’s up from the first chapters of this novel. Hannah is in fact an unreliable narrator, and the book is told exclusively from her perspective. That’s why reading A Danger to Herself and Others was interesting, entertaining, and a challenge in itself.

"I gaze out the window. […] There are redwood trees as far as I can see, and when the fog gets thick, it condenseson the needlelike leaves and drips onto the roof. It sounds like rain, but it isn’t. 
It’s not true that I can only see a few plants from here. We’re actually in the middle of a forest.
I was lying before."

This book has an excellent mental health representation. The main character spends almost all her days inside a single room and has daily meetings with her therapist. This way the reader gets to really understand how Hannah’s head works and why she has certain goals in her life. At the beginning she can even come out as a creepy character, for example when she seems determined to make new best friends with every girl who has something in common with her.

She is also calculative, determined to obtain what she wants, and she is not scared to use other people in the process. This is why the institute assigning her a roommate, Lucy, seems like a bad decision. However, her friendship with Lucy is going to end up influencing Hannah’s recovery in unexpected ways.

The represented mental illness is finally seen with different eyes in this book. A Danger to Herself and Others: there’s a reason behind the title and you’ll be reminded about it quite a lot (maybe too many times), but in the end it’s there to explain you that people with mental illnesses are not “crazy” or “not normal”. Their brains just work in different ways, and it’s not because of that that we should treat them differently and have prejudices against them. 
Ignorant people are scared of what people with mental illnesses could do to them, but it turns out they are more a danger to themselves and they are confused about what they should feel. As a result, they should be loved more than ever.

"But can you really call it sanity when it isn’t real, it isn’t natural, it’s chemically induced? When it doesn’t technically belong to me because I wouldn’t have it without the pills they keep giving me?
Maybe I’ll never know for certain what’s real, what’s madness, what’s the medication."

All the characters shine in this book. All of them have their round personality and goals. I particularly found Hannah’s closeminded parents to be very unlikeable and vexing, but that’s why they stood out so much.
I also enjoyed the writing style a lot, as it was quick and simple, but not too much. It really showed Hannah’s personality.

The plot was the weakest part of this novel, instead. While the mental illness representation and the acceptance process were really well done, the rest wasn’t as exciting. The reader is left with Hannah’s thoughts for the entirety of the book, and only a few major plot points happen. Sometimes she wanders a bit too much with her thoughts when there’s no reason to be given that information. This can lead the reader to feel bored, even if the writing style never lets you put the book down. The “mystery” also wasn’t exactly a mystery as it was advertised.

In conclusion, this book is highly recommended to people who are tired of seeing mental illnesses romanticized and want to see good YA representation instead.

"That’s just my imagination, not a hallucination.
That’s okay."

Thank you to The Nerd Daily, Sourcebooks Fire and Netgalley for this ARC.
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Hannah is locked up, Four walls, one window, one door but no way out. She is " A Danger to Herself and Others" , has been deemed so by a doctor , and must stay in the institution until she is evaluated and has an opportunity to explain herself in court. She knows she doesn't belong here, it was all an accident, a mistake, her roommate fell, that's all., and once she convinces the therapist, and the judge, she'll be able to go back to her real life, surviving her senior year in high school and preparing for college. Isolated and angry, she is not at all welcoming to Lucy, the new girl who shares her room at the institution, but soon she is using her charm and persuasive skills to make a new best friend, one who may be able to help her get what she wants- her freedom.
This is an excellent contemporary YA book, with great, if unlikeable characters, especially the narrator Hannah, who is the definition of an unreliable narrator, ready to spin every story to her own advantage , determined to make everyone like her, and completely unwilling to take responsibility for anything . The claustrophobic setting really adds to the feeling of tension and isolation that permeates the book, almost all of the story takes place within the institution, with some flashbacks to the events that led to Hannah ending up there , and the author does an incredible job of portraying how trapped Hannah feels, almost to the point that I started to feel a little uncomfortable while reading. It's very difficult to say much more without spoiling the book , and it would be a shame to do that, as it is easily one of the best books I have read in quite some time. It's powerful, tense, surprising, uncomfortable and at times heartbreaking ,and I cannot recommend it highly enough. 
I read and reviewed an ARC courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher,all opinions are my own.
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ARC provided by the publisher via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

"I suppose your name is the first thing that ever really belongs to you, but when you think about it, it's not yours at all. Your parents chose it."

What would you do if the most important thing in your world - your brain, your mind, your intelligence - suddenly came into question? That's what happens when Hannah is sent to an institution for observation after an unfortunate accident with her summer program roommate, Agnes. At first glance, Hannah seems like the perfect high school junior: perfect grades, well-rounded, lots of best friends. She's looking forward to starting her senior year and applying to the top colleges in the country. And when she's taken to the institution, she isn't worried. She knows this is all just some huge misunderstanding. After all, why would she hurt her own best friend?

"Of course, the other patients are here because there’s actually something wrong with them. I’m only here because of a misunderstanding, so there’s no need for me to panic."

As the story continues, it becomes clear that there are definitely some inconsistencies in Hannah's stories. This book is told from Hannah's POV, so the reader is privy to all of her internal monologues. It becomes obvious that Hannah is a very unreliable narrator, and a lot of her reasoning raises some red flags. When Hannah gets a roommate, Lucy, she decides to prove that she couldn't have hurt Agnes by showing what a great best friend she is to Lucy.

"It was so easy when I was five, to manipulate my parents' friends into being ashamed of their own children, into thinking I was so much better. It's still so easy."

Unfortunately, this situation isn't one that Hannah can manipulate her way out of, and as her story continues, the reader gets to discover the truth right along with her. When everything else is taken from her - her choices, her books, all of her best friends - will Hannah be able to deal with what's left behind: the truth?

I ended up giving this book 3.5 stars overall. The writing was unique and intriguing, and I loved the little bits of mystery that were left along the way. While it's marketed as a YA contemporary, it almost reads like a YA mystery some of the time, which I really enjoyed! I also LOVED Lucy, Hannah's roommate at the institution. She was hands-down my favorite character, and I wish we could have had more of her!

Unfortunately, I am just not a huge fan of the "unreliable narrator" trope, so Hannah and I got off on the wrong foot right away. Not to mention, she's also just not... likable? I admire how determined and driven she is, but she's also manipulative to everyone around her and at times cruel. However, the author did a GREAT job at portraying Hannah's story. I really felt for her as she learned more and more about herself, and struggled with the truth of her situation. The writing really put me in her shoes, and I could see how terrified and distraught I would be if I were her.

I also felt like not a lot happened. Since the story takes place mostly in Hannah's thoughts and in the institution, the plot isn't all that exciting. I saw the one twist coming miles away, so that was a little disappointing. HOWEVER, this was a super quick and entertaining read, and I enjoyed the process!

It also touched on something that I felt was so so important. While I can't speak to how accurately the author portrayed mental illness and an experience in an institution, she did touch a lot on choices, and how it feels to have simple, daily choices taken away. For example: Hannah no longer gets to choose who she talks to, or when. She doesn't get to choose if she can take a shower, or take a pill. Coming from a life where she's made all of her own choices from a very young age, this is such a culture shock, and I can't imagine how that must feel. The author also did a great job at getting to the root of Hannah's internal struggle: what makes up a person? What makes you, YOU? Is it your brain? And what happens when you can't trust your own mind? What does "normal" mean anyway?

"The orderlies don't understand that a pill can be more invasive than a shot. Taking the pill implies that it's your choice. Willingness to swallow what they hand you suggests that you agree with them: There's something wrong with you; you need to take your medicine. If they force a shot on you, at least you're taking a stand. At least they haven't made you believe there's something wrong with you."

While I definitely had some issues with this book, it was an entertaining, although very dark, read. I really felt for Hannah, and was rooting for her throughout the book. If you like unreliable narrators with a couple of good plot twists thrown in, this is a book for you!

"Maybe I'll never know for certain what's real, what's madness, what's the medication."

A Danger To Herself and Others is releasing on February 5, 2019.

*All quotes taken from an ARC and are subject to change prior to publication.
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I’ve read a few books on mental illness which take place in a mental institution. This was an interesting book in some ways, but it fell a bit flat in too many other ways. The concept was interesting, but more could have been done to make the story hit the mark.

The reader is in Hannah’s head as the story unfolds. She’s deemed an unreliable narrator, so you question things along the way. Due to the format of the book, I expected to be more engaged than I was. I wanted a bit more suspense, drama … something. Many of the characters, such as the doctor, came across as totally incompetent or clueless, which could give the wrong image of mental hospitals and those who work in the field.  The ending felt unresolved, which was a bit frustrating.

Trigger warnings: eating disorder, suicide attempt

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy from NetGalley, but I wasn’t required to leave a positive review.
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I struggled with my thoughts about this book. The book itself left me feeling uncomfortable, and somewhat angry. In a good, way. This is an outstanding debut and really gets under your skin. 

The fast-paced plot will keep you reading, and I actually finished this one pretty quickly. Once I started I had a difficult time putting the book down. The main character is not like-able, even before we realize the full story. She is arrogant; narcissistic. In short, difficult to feel empathy for. I thought this would be a typical girl-in-hospital-learns-about-herself-and-improves-herself book. 

However, this book was anything but typical. By the end of the book, Hannah has certainly learned about herself. But has she improved herself? This is more difficult to know. I think, for me, the jury is still out.
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My first book about mental illness and set in a mental hospital and I gotta say this was definitely unlike anything I’ve ever read before.

Hannah is a very unreliable narrator. At first you don’t realize that there’s something wrong with her and you start doubting your own (in)sanity because she seems so normal, until about halfway through, things in her story start falling apart and the reasons for her being institutionalized start making sense. We’re in Hannah’s head the entire time and really go through the process of realizing that she is sick, and coming to terms with it, more or less.

Though I did find the topic and the setting very interesting, I was kind of bored reading this. Not a lot happened during the story aside from Hannah going through the days, and I felt like they could’ve done a lot more with it. I personally expected more intrigue and suspense, but it was nice to have an inside look of Hannah’s mind. The title of the book is mentioned a lot, to the point of becoming a bit repetitive.

This would be a good book for you if you’re interested in the mental aspect of mental illness, or don’t know much about it like me.
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