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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Life Is But a Dream

Life Is But a Dream

Brian James

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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.

Tri-State Reviews Committee Books of Note - Master List


I've always been different from other kids my age—from everyone, really. Special is one way to put it. The word is attached to me like a shadow. It's a halo hovering over me as I sit in class or walk through...

Praise for Life Is But a Dream

“LIFE IS BUT A DREAM is a beautiful and brave and necessary book. There are scenes from that book that are so transporting, I know they will remain with me forever.” —Lewis Buzbee, author of The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop

“…a vividly and poetically described narrative….” —Booklist

“...compelling...” —Kirkus

“...a fast read with extensive dialogue and fantastic visual descriptions.” —VOYA

“The depiction of going through life with a brain whose perceptions you can't trust is evocative and immediate, and the sharply observed character interactions will invest readers in Sabrina's plight.” —BCCB


Reviews from Goodreads

Brian James

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.

image of Brian Jameso
(c) Sarah-Maria Vischer

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