Life Is But a Dream by Brian James

65%

32 Critic Reviews

But I did have some problems with the book. Mostly, sometimes I found hard to follow Sabrina's narrative, particularly when it came to a timeline - she goes back and forth in time, and because of the way the story is told, I found it a little confusing
-A Girl, Books and Other Things

Synopsis

Sabrina, an artist, is diagnosed with schizophrenia, and her parents check her into the Wellness Center. There she meets Alec, who is convinced it's the world that's crazy, not the two of them. They are meant to be together; they are special. But when Alec starts to convince Sabrina that her treatment will wipe out everything that makes her creative, she worries that she'll lose hold of her dreams and herself. Should she listen to her doctor? her decision may have fatal consequences.

Brian James calls Life is But a Dream "the most intense book I've written. Bringing this unique character to life and seeing the world through her eyes, with all its beauty and confusion, was an immense challenge that I hope is just as rewarding to read as it was to write." Intense--yes. Unforgettable--definitely.
 

About Brian James

See more books from this Author
Brian James is the author of several highly praised books for young adults, including Pure Sunshine; Tomorrow, Maybe; Dirty Liar, Zombie Blondes; and The Heights. He lives in Upstate New York.
 
Published March 27, 2012 by Feiwel & Friends. 241 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Children's Books. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Life Is But a Dream
All: 32 | Positive: 24 | Negative: 8

365 Days of Reading

Good
Reviewed by Lauren on Mar 19 2012

Life is But a Dream is a fairly dark yet completely gorgeous contemporary YA read that is perfect for someone interested in mental illness.

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Hippies, Beauty, and Books Oh My!

Good
Reviewed by Amanda on Mar 24 2012

Intense--yes. Unforgettable--definitely.

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Frenetic Reader

Good
Reviewed by Khy on Apr 10 2012

Life is a But a Dream is an excellent balance of beauty and heartache, and I loved every minute of it.

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Xpresso Reads

Below average
Reviewed by Giselle on Mar 15 2012

It's a fairly short novel of a little over 200 pages, even so I did find the story was moving too slowly for my taste.

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Letters Inside Out

Good
Reviewed by Amanda on Mar 28 2012

Life is But a Dream is sure to appeal to those who love reading about situations they haven’t been in, especially those that love reading about mental illnesses.

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Mermaid Vision Books

Good
Reviewed by Angel on Mar 27 2012

Life is But a Dream is a story for those who are coming to trust in themselves more than the world, and for those who want to find the strength to do it.

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The Readventurer

Below average
Reviewed by Catie on Mar 24 2012

The ending is just incredibly unrealistic, in my opinion. Alec proves himself to be everything Sabrina thought he was, even appearing magically at exactly the right time – just as her hallucinations told her he would.

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reutreads

Below average
Reviewed by Reut on Mar 17 2012

One thing I must comment on that annoyed me the entire time I was reading the book is the lack of quotation marks.

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Book Twirps

Good
Reviewed by Odell on Mar 16 2012

I recommend taking a chance and letting yourself get lost in Sabrina’s world for a few hours.

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Books with Bite

Good
Reviewed by Savannah Valdez on Mar 14 2012

Life Is But A Dream is so crazy its beautiful! Unable to put it down, Life Is But A Dream will take your imagination to heights to you never been to!

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I Swim for Oceans

Good
Reviewed by Melissa on Mar 05 2012

All in all, I thought Life Is But a Dream was a skillful take on a tricky subject, and it's one that I appreciated for its flaws, as well as its strengths.

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Ex Libris

Good
Reviewed by Kate on Mar 30 2012

I found this book to be fascinating and heartbreaking.

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Sophistikatied Reviews

Good
Reviewed by Katie on Mar 26 2012

Just like it did me, it will probably move you out of your comfort zone and challenge your sense of right and wrong, but I think that's the kind of experience every reader needs to have at some point. I definitely recommend!

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Paranormal Indulgence

Good
Reviewed by A. Knight on Mar 27 2012

And when the ending magnifies so much that we have no choice but to look, we couldn't be more pleased and thrilled for those final handfuls of tender moments and sweet victory.

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Reclusive Bibliophile

Below average
Mar 27 2012

My extremely high expectations for this novel were not quite met, but James’ insight into the narrator’s mind makes Life is But a Dream recommendable to those with an interest in mental illness.

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whatchYAreading

Good
Reviewed by Christine on Mar 27 2012

The writing itself and the way speech was formatted in the book was very well done.

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Owl Tell You About It

Good
Reviewed by Laura on Mar 27 2012

To sum things up, I thought this book was terrific. Everything really leaped off the page. It was a very visual experience for me. The writing was beautiful and I can’t wait for it come out so I can go get my very own finished copy.

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Rebecca

Good
Reviewed by Rebecca on Mar 20 2012

If you find psychological illnesses interesting as well, and enjoy more intense contemporary reads, I would definitely recommend Life Is But a Dream. It’s a very emotional and fascinating read that definitely makes you think.

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Stories and Sweets

Good
Reviewed by Becky on Apr 13 2012

Beautifully written, and characters that emotionally bind you to them, but a hard, emotionally taxing read.

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Cupcake and a Latte

Good
Reviewed by Mocha on Mar 28 2012

Life is But a Dream is full of such realistic emotion. It almost feels like you're trapped within it's pages with no way out. Life is But a Dream is an absolute must-read contemporary title, one that will have you instantly falling in love with Alec and Sabrina.

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Books: The Cheapest Vacation You Can Buy

Good
Mar 24 2012

Overall, I enjoyed the story, though I wouldn’t recommend it for a light read.

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Princess Bookie

Below average
Reviewed by Cindy on Mar 22 2012

This book was just ok for me. I think if you like the kind of books focusing on illnesses than you'll enjoy it more than me.

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Esther's Ever After

Good
Reviewed by Brenna on Mar 01 2012

I was speechless when I finished reading this beautiful story

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Wear the Old Coat

Below average
Reviewed by Jo on Feb 18 2012

My only real criticism is that I’m not entirely sure I understood what led to Sabrina being committed in the first place.

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The Midnight Garden

Below average
Reviewed by Reynje on Apr 25 2012

While I felt happy with the note on which Sabrina’s story ends, the manner in which it arrived there rang somewhat hollow to me, and I felt it undid some of the complicated crafting that gone into the plot previously.

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Elizabeth's Books

Good
Reviewed by Elizabeth on Apr 16 2012

But suffice to say that even more than the incredible coincidences that arise in Sabrina’s life, what bothered me most is the ending is a place where Feminism goes to die.

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A Girl, Books and Other Things

Below average
Reviewed by Alex on Apr 11 2012

But I did have some problems with the book. Mostly, sometimes I found hard to follow Sabrina's narrative, particularly when it came to a timeline - she goes back and forth in time, and because of the way the story is told, I found it a little confusing

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Books and Sparkles

Good
Reviewed by Nereyda on Apr 07 2012

From start to finish, this book will have you on the edge of your seat worried about Sabrina and Alec.

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Life is Better with Books

Good
Reviewed by Biblio phile on Apr 02 2012

I would definitely recommend this for any psychology class. Or hey, even an art class! You might even be able to get by with it in an AP middle school. There are a few instances that might piss off a parent but nothing too awful.

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Random Buzzers

Good
Reviewed by Emakey on Mar 27 2012

Haunting, gorgeously written, and romantic, Life is But a Dream is one book I can't suggest highly enough!

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Acting' Up With Books

Good
Reviewed by Jolie on Mar 02 2012

He paints pictures with his words making me desperate to see the beauty in the world that Sabrina sees.

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Patricia's Particularity

Good
Reviewed by Patricia on Dec 28 2011

Brian James has done an amazing job in creating a real yet fantastical novel that pushes you to view things in a different way while imagining a beautiful world in colors.

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Reader Rating for Life Is But a Dream
72%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 44 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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Open Graph Test User 19 Feb 2013

Rated the book as 3.5 out of 5

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