Cover image for I don't want to be crazy
Title:
I don't want to be crazy
ISBN:
9781338337495
Physical Description:
280 pages, 4 unnumbered pages ; 21 cm.
General Note:
"Originally published in hardcover by PUSH in 2006"--Title page verso.
Summary:
This is a true story of growing up, breaking down, and coming to grips with a psychological disorder. When Samantha Schutz first left home for college, she was excited by the possibilities -- freedom from parents, freedom from a boyfriend who was reckless with her affections, freedom from the person she was supposed to be. At first, she reveled in the independence . . . but as pressures increased, she began to suffer anxiety attacks that would leave her mentally shaken and physically incapacitated. Thus began a hard road of discovery and coping, powerfully rendered in this poetry memoir.
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Summary

Summary

A harrowing, remarkable poetry memoir about one girl's struggle with anxiety disorder.

This is a true story of growing up, breaking down, and coming to grips with a psychological disorder. When Samantha Schutz first left home for college, she was excited by the possibilities -- freedom from parents, freedom from a boyfriend who was reckless with her affections, freedom from the person she was supposed to be. At first, she reveled in the independence . . . but as pressures increased, she began to suffer anxiety attacks that would leave her mentally shaken and physically incapacitated. Thus began a hard road of discovery and coping, powerfully rendered in this poetry memoir.


Author Notes

Samantha Schutz is the author of the acclaimed memoir I Don't Want to Be Crazy , which was a New York Public Library Best Book for Teens and a Voices of Youth Advocates Poetry Pick. You Are Not Here was her first novel. Samantha lives and works in New York City as a children's book editor.


Reviews 3

School Library Journal Review

Gr 9 Up-In this "memoir in verse," Schutz comes to terms with an anxiety disorder that surfaced and plagued her throughout and after her college years. Readers accompany the author from the summer after high school, through college, on a semester abroad in Paris, and into her first job after graduation. Typical early-adulthood issues such as boyfriends, sex, drinking, grades, and family are woven throughout her struggle with physically and mentally debilitating panic attacks. The author had the courage and wisdom to seek professional help and embarked on a long and often bumpy road to treating her disorder. The decision to write in verse proves fitting; in the scenes in which a panic attack is approaching, for example, the short lines of text echo the breathless terror described within. Though the book begins to feel repetitive toward its conclusion, the repetition simultaneously reflects the cyclical nature of Schutz's disorder and one's college years. Aptly, the book ends without absolute closure, and while luckily not all teens will find themselves in identical situations, many young people transitioning to adulthood will find a part of themselves in this overwhelming, and seemingly never-ending, search for self-identity.-Jill Heritage Maza, Greenwich High School, CT (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Publisher's Weekly Review

Written in verse, Schutz's memoir reveals her struggles with depression and anxiety after leaving home for college. Ages 12-up. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Kirkus Review

In a reprint of her 2006 verse memoir, Schutz (You Are Not Here, 2010, etc.) details her journey working through and accepting her panic disorder in her teens and early 20s.When Schutz, who is white and Jewish, left home for her first year at her small, liberal arts college, she didn't anticipate that her experience would be hijacked by anxiety disorder. Almost immediately, however, she began to have overwhelming panic attacks that drastically disrupted her life. While she quickly gained access to therapy and medication, her mental health was still shaky. Medications were hit and miss; panic attacks came and went; studying abroad became excruciatingly difficult. She began the long, hard, nearly endless work of coping with her anxiety and panic, her on-again, off-again relationships with boys, the ebbs and flows of friendships, and trepidation at managing everyday life as a college student. A rapid conclusion may leave readers feeling cut short, but an author's note provides insight into Schutz's life post-book and includes mental health resources. Schutz relays the internalized shame she experienced with honesty. However, filled with telling rather than showing, Schutz's free verse falls flat and comes across as neither truly raw nor finessed. Oppressive vocabulary is used without contextualization or critique ("retarded," "slut," "crazy," "handicapped"), which contributes to aspects of the book feeling outdated rather than just set during the early 2000s.Authentic but underwhelming. (author's note) (Verse memoir. 13-18) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Excerpts

Excerpts

Excerpt from I Don't Want to be Crazy Rebecca, her friends, and I hang out a lot now, but I'm pretty sure they think I'm crazy. One minute I'm fine, talking about homework, eating lasagna in the dining hall, and the next I'm complaining about how dim the lighting is and running out the door to get back to my room and under the covers. Excerpted from I Don't Want to Be Crazy by Samantha Schutz All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.