Review: Straightjacket by Meredith Towbin

July 16, 2013 Book 1

Title: Straightjacket

Author: Meredith Towbin

Genre: Young Adult, Romance.

Publisher: Etopia Press

Publication Date: February 15th 2013

Source: Ebook copy provided by author via Goodreads.com group We ♥ YA Books! 

Straightjacket

Goodreads Summary:

Eighteen-year-old Anna has lived her whole life in shame, losing herself in books to cope with crippling panic attacks triggered by her abusive parents. Forced into a psychiatric hospital, she can’t imagine a future that’s anything but bleak—until she meets Caleb, a gifted, 19-year-old artist who insists he’s an angel.

He swears his mission is to help Anna break free from her parents’ control and fulfill a destiny that she can only dream of. The doctors, however, are convinced that Caleb is delusional.

Anna doesn’t want to be that girl who’s in love with the crazy guy, but when she sees his stunning portraits of her and the way he risks everything to keep her safe, she can’t help but imagine a new future for both of them, filled with hope. But just when it seems they’ve created heaven on earth, Caleb’s past emerges full force, threatening to destroy their tiny, blissful world. And Anna has to decide if she should follow her heart, or if Caleb’s really as troubled as his doctors say…

My Thoughts:

I picked to read and review this book because lately I’ve been interested in things related to psychology and human behavior. Since this looked into mental problems with teens, I said “sure, sounds really good.”

And at first it was. This novel is about Anna, an eighteen-year-old girl that’s in a mental hospital of sorts to be treated for her panic attacks. She’s lived her whole life being abused by her parents: her mom always treating her bad, and her dad following suit like a minion. So the hospital is a relief of sorts, she doesn’t have to see them, but in turn she has to be around strange people with problems and talk of her feelings. And in this world, she meets Caleb, who says he’s an angel sent to help her.

I loved the first parts of the story. We get to see Anna as this girl full of problems and fears, terrified of her parents and trying to cope with her surroundings. The emotions are very vivid and believable. All the characters were great and easy to remember. There’s always the mystery as to what is real to Caleb. Is he an angel? Is he delusional? His character was layered first as this perfect angel trying to do his mission, but slowly into the story, he’s starting to look as someone else, making you doubt alongside Anna his sanity.

The plot was good and the themes as well. But what bothered me the most was Insta-love!  I don’t like it when that kind of stuff is rushed in a story when it’s one of the things its most focused on. The intentions were good, but rushed. And maybe this was what made me not like the rest of the plot after the first part was done.

Putting that aside, the message of the author was a good one I liked. Anna was abused by her parents, always feeling inferior. Its not an easy situation to deal with, but one that isn’t impossible. Since this is a novel directed at teens with these kinds of issues, I feel that its delivered in a way that’s easy to relate to and try to learn of.

Rating: 3 stars

i liked it

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I'm Jennifer. Addicted reader, and lover of books. I'm a full-time college student majoring in English Liturature and Linguistics & Communication, with aspirations of being a professional editor. Among other things. In the meantime, I obsess over books, history, art, and politics. I believe in freedom of speech and reading whatever you want. Open to discussions about anything and everything 🙂
  • Yep, insta-love turns me to insta-ambivalence, I’m afraid. Cool review, sounds like there were some things that worked well in this novel anyway. But perhaps it’s not quite for me, either!