Books, Read + Review, Teen Reviews

Read + Review: A Danger to Herself and Others by Alyssa Sheinmel


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Hannah, from New York, has been placed in an advanced summer school in California, hoping to add something more to her application, other than being “born mature” (as her parents say). When Hannah’s new best friend and roommate, Agnes, suffers a terrible accident, Hannah is institutionalized at a mental hospital, and labeled “a danger to herself and others”. She knows it’s not her fault. Agnes was her best friend, (though she was dating Agnes’s boyfriend). She wouldn’t hurt her. They would know that if they would just set her court hearing. Hannah does her best to show the doctors she is fine, until she meets Lucy, her roommate at the institution. Finally, with Lucy, Hannah might make it out. But as she grows closer with Lucy, she begins to face what really happened that night. And she wonders if what everything she believed in was false.

This book was amazing and well thought-out and written. Alyssa Sheimel does a wonderful job of describing what Hannah was going through. You feel Hannah’s pain and confusion with her situation, and delightful hints and foreshadowing leave you making your own predictions about what’s really happening. With a wonderful plot twist and strong, believable characters and settings, this book will leave you on the edge of your seat. A terrific read that will leave you yearning for a sequel.

Personally, the most memorable thing about this book is when Hannah is trying to help Lucy get to her ballet audition for her college she wants to go to. This part really shows how close Lucy and Hannah have gotten, and how much Hannah wants someone to be free, even if it isn’t herself. This part lets you into the soft side of Hannah, but I also felt that she’s doing this to convince herself that she isn’t “a danger to herself and others”, because she’s helping Lucy reunite with her boyfriend and make it out of the institution. This solidifies she and Lucy’s relationship and sets up the story for more dramatic turns.



Reviewed by Josephine, Libbie Mill Area Library


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