Stop Pretending: What Happened When My Big Sister Went Crazy

Stop Pretending: What Happened When My Big Sister Went Crazy

Sonya Sones / May 26, 2019

Stop Pretending What Happened When My Big Sister Went Crazy Continuously in print for nearly two decades this groundbreaking and profoundly moving story told in verse from award winning author Sonya Sones has been repackaged with a striking new cover and bo

  • Title: Stop Pretending: What Happened When My Big Sister Went Crazy
  • Author: Sonya Sones
  • ISBN: 9780064462181
  • Page: 448
  • Format: Paperback
  • Continuously in print for nearly two decades, this groundbreaking and profoundly moving story told in verse, from award winning author Sonya Sones, has been repackaged with a striking new cover and bonus content.When her beloved older sister is hospitalized after a sudden mental breakdown, Cookie is left behind to cope with a family torn apart by grief, friends who shun heContinuously in print for nearly two decades, this groundbreaking and profoundly moving story told in verse, from award winning author Sonya Sones, has been repackaged with a striking new cover and bonus content.When her beloved older sister is hospitalized after a sudden mental breakdown, Cookie is left behind to cope with a family torn apart by grief, friends who shun her, and her fear that she, too, might one day lose her mind.Based on award winning author Sonya Sones s own true story, this novel explores the chilling landscape of mental illness, revealing glimmers of beauty and of hope along the way Told in a succession of short and powerful poems, it takes us deep into the cyclone of the narrator s emotions despair, anger, guilt, resentment, and ultimately, acceptance.

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      Published :2019-02-16T07:14:52+00:00

    About "Sonya Sones"

      • Sonya Sones

        I was born in Boston and overprotected in the nearby suburb of Newton I thought I would be an artist when I grew up I loved sneaking upstairs to a tiny room in our attic, where I could while away the hours drawing pictures of dinosaurs The summer I turned seventeen, I fell in love with making animated films not to mention at least a couple of boys Soon after, I enrolled in Hampshire College and began teaching animation to children all across the country, while I earned my degree, a B.A in filmmaking and photography I went on to teach film at Harvard University, which was pretty astonishing, considering I was only a few years older than my students and I probably couldn t have even gotten in to the school if I had applied Then, I moved to Hollywood to work for a famous movie director as his personal assistant But I was fired after a month, because I wasn t very good okay, I was very bad at bringing coffee to people I decided to stay in Hollywood anyhow, and found work as an animator, and then as a production assistant on a Woody Allen movie called Interiors After that, I worked as a still photographer and script supervisor on Ron Howard s first film, Grand Theft Auto Eventually, I became a film editor, cutting TV shows like L.A Law and movies like the cult classic, River s Edge which had Keanu Reeves first love scene in it I also edited a trailer for a movie called Urban Cowboy, with John Travolta sitting right there next to me, making suggestions Then I met my future husband, Bennett, at a taping of a show called Mork and Mindy Soon after, we got married and I gave birth to our beautiful daughter, Ava I wanted to be able to spend lots of time with her, so I stopped editing I ended up starting a small hand painted baby clothes company instead, selling my wares to Neiman Marcus and Macy s This was perfect, because I could paint the clothes while Ava took her naps But after awhile, I got tired of trying to come up with one adorable dino design, or another darling little bunny I needed to find something new to satisfy my creative urges By then I had a wonderful son, too, named Jeremy And since I loved reading to both my children, I decided to try my hand at writing books for kids So I enrolled in a poetry class at UCLA, taught by Myra Cohn Livingston It was Myra who set me on the path to writing my first book, Stop Pretending What Happened When My Big Sister Went Crazy.When I m not writing, or traveling around the country speaking about writing and giving poetry writing workshops, I bake, dance, read, worry and hunt for buried treasure at flea markets and in vintage clothing stores I live with my family, twenty six blocks from the beach, not far from Hollywood.


    1. Stop Pretending is a story of a young girl that suffers from a mental disorder. She grew up as a normal girl in a loving family and had an excellent relationship with her younger sister. Suddenly, she starts hearing voices in her head. It gets so out of control that she must be placed in a mental institution. The story is actually not told through the eyes of this girl, but by the younger sister, Cookie. It is an extremely emotional story written in free verse. Cookie recalls memories with her s [...]

    2. This book was great! A few parts were pretty confusing but once I read it over a couple of times it made more sense.

    3. I seem to be alone in my adoration of Sonya Sones, because my reading buddies don't really share my love of "What My Mother Doesn't Know," but what can you do?"Stop Pretending: What Happened When My Sister Went Crazy" is my 3rd Sones book and once again, the writer manages to touch me emotionally, and this is a sure sign of great writing for me. Based on Sones' personal experiences, this book is a collection of poems about a 13-year old girl whose older sister unexpectedly experiences a nervous [...]

    4. This book is good but depressing. Don't get me wrong its a beautiful story told in poetry but just depressing. Its a story about how a girl so innocent goes insane in an instant. A family so pure and full of life gets pulled apart but finds there way back together.

    5. I'm not into poetry but this type of poetry was put into a story about her sister going insane. It really drew in my attention about how it was designed and written.

    6. This is one of my favorite Book's because this book taught me alot one of the things that this book taught me was No matter what happens keep your head up high this book is really intresting is about a girl that her big sister had a nervous break down && now every one says she unormal just because her sister turn a lil bit crazy && people that she thouqht would be there for her was never there they just left her all alone with no body support buht her parents this also taught me [...]

    7. Stop Pretending: What Happened When My Big Sister Went Crazy was okay. I really am not a ginormous fan of poetry unless is pretty old (for example, I love Edgar Allan Poe), but this book had a good subject. It was meaningful, and that made it somewhat good. It was a good, quick read, but one I never would have picked up if not required by my class. I recommend it to lovers of poetry.

    8. My overall rating would be 3.5 stars.This book was really good, and definitely a poetry book for me, since I usually do not like poetry at all. it shows a really amazing story, and I enjoyed most of it quite well.Although, I don't really trust that kid, John, even though he didn't do anything at all. In fact, he was pretty cool. But I guess movies have just fogged my mind not to trust attractive new kids. *Cough cough* Jason Dean *cough cough*I really should have finished the book sooner, since [...]

    9. People often write about what it's like to experience mental illness, but witnessing it is hardly ever writen about. Stop Pretending is the story of a girl who watches her sister decend into desperation, and the confusion that comes with watching someone you care about become unfamiliar to you. The book is written in a series of poems that paint a picture of the internal struggles she went through. It was interesting to watch the girl begin to question herself based on her sister's experiences. [...]

    10. I wasn't expecting this book to be as good as this. In a way it was similar to Backlash because at times sister was the main perspective and that is what Stop Pretending is about. I thought the book was great and had no idea the entire time I was reading it that it was true. The author kept diary entries and when she was older turned them into a book. When I was reading I could picture everything because the author was amazing at telling what she was feeling.

    11. I think it was really good and it went by pretty fast. I read this book in one day and I only had to go back and read it again at the beginning once. It is about a girl who has a sister who is a little bit in her mind, and the book is about the girl watching her sister grow into a crazing person. The sister went into a crazy person with out any warnings, so she was heart broken when she realize this. She has to deal with friends, classmate, boy friends and her parents. It also goes back in time [...]

    12. This was a pretty good book, but it was sad how the main character felt about her sister literally going crazy, and she felt she couldn't do anything about it. Towards the end of the book, it started to get better.

    13. Sonya Sones is masterful at packing emotion into few words. Verse fiction demands that, as well as cadence and sensory detail. STOP PRETENDING is based on true events when Sones was young and her older sister suffered a mental breakdown. I was overwhelmed with the honesty and heart in these verses. Having mentally unstable family members myself I found this book to be moving on a personal level and important on a universal level.Sones shows moments of her sister's scary and unpredictable actions [...]

    14. Katie YoungPoetryThis book is a collection of short, poignant poems written by Sonya Sones when she was 13 and her 19 year old sister went crazy one Christmas Eve. The poems tell the story of her life through this tragic event and vividly describe her feelings, thoughts, fears, and hopes for herself, her sister, and her family. The poems take the reader from her adoration of her beautiful and smart older sister and then to her breakdown and hospitalization. When her sister begins to recover, Son [...]

    15. Stop Pretending was an interesting but confusing book. I had to re-read that book over and over and i still dont get some of it. I liked how the family started to go and visit the one who went crazy. I also felt bad for the "normal" sister because she wasnt getting the attention that she wanted. I also liked how she kept the advice she got from her teacher. I hated how all her founds like disowned the "normal" friend because her sister went crazy. I think that people shouldnt care if they were r [...]

    16. this is a story about a girl named cookie, that struggles with her sister ,boys, and school. some of the characters are cookie, her parents, her sister, and her "boyfriend" john. so the basic plot is that her sister goes crazy and ends up in a syce ward. when she's recovering from that she gets sexualy harrased by her best friends big brother. her best friend spreads it around. then she meets john. i didn't really like that she was so negitive about everything, but i do like her rude humor. i wo [...]

    17. Amazing. A realistic (based on the author's own experiences with her sister) look at extreme mental illness. A book that in 1999 sought to destigmatize mental illness years before current mental health advocacy.

    18. I thought this book was very powerful. It showed a girl's, Cookie's, perspective of how it is to live with a sister that went crazy. These various poems describe her life from the moment her sister was put in the hospital and just like a domino effect, her life changed from continuous reactions. Through these poems it is shown how she truly misses her life before with her sister from all the things they did together and how close they were. She misses that time when she had a true family. But no [...]

    19. I read the book “Stop Pretending” by Sonya Sones. The story is told in short poems. I picked up this book because it looked like it would be an easy read and I enjoy reading poems that tell stories. The book is a true story from the author’s life. The main characters in this book are Cookie and her older sister. The book never says Cookie’s older sister’s name. She just calls her sister. Cookie’s sister one day had a mental break down. Cookie is left to deal with the loss of her olde [...]

    20. Sonya Sones is one of my favorite authors. She writes in verse and her books are always powerful and pack one hell of a punch. This was the only book by her that I hadn't read and I was so glad to finally have found it!This book is about an older sister who going insane and the repercussions it has on the little sister. It is told through the eyes of the little sister. I would love to see another book told through the eyes of the older sister. It would definitely bring everything together a litt [...]

    21. I’m going to start this review with the smallest annoyance about the story and that’s the fact that the sister doesn’t have a name. The main character along with her friends, new boyfriend, art teacher and dentist are all named but not the sister. The actual point of the story. Now I don’t like correcting autobiographical novels because I don’t feel like I have the right to critique someone on the plot of their life. But for this I will make an exception; because despite this being bas [...]

    22. Twelve-year-old Cookie's older sister is hospitalized following a psychotic breakdown on Christmas Eve. The preteen and her family come to terms with the mental illness as Cookie also finds her first love.One of the inherent difficulties of prose novels for me has always been embracing a well rounded character. I never felt like I truly knew who Cookie was, except for the sister of a mentally ill individual. Sonya Sones never really showed us the characters, instead mostly told the story. I enjo [...]

    23. 4.5/5It's near impossible for me to review something that's so deeply personal to the author/creator. This is probably one of my favourite verse novels to date. It's raw and honest and beautifully written, nicely structured across the pages. It is a quick read. Sones' writing is realistic and true. I've had placement at mental health facilities and have studied mental illness for my degree - this book is such a genuine depiction of family breakdown as a result of illness. It is ultimately hopefu [...]

    24. I enjoyed Sonya Sones style of writing. This is the first book I read with the unique prose style. I learned to be more conscious about judging people by his/her family members. At one point, the sister felt people were pointing and staring at her because her sister went to a mental institution. She questioned herself and had doubts about what her life will entail. Will this happen to here? Her self worth was caught up in something she had no control over.

    25. I found Sonya Sones story in verse a very quick and easy read. The story itself focuses around when a girl's big sister goes crazy and how it personally effects her and her social life. The fact it was written in poems made it a very fast pace read but personally I found this made the story too simplistic. I don't personally enjoy poetic reading because of the fact I don't find the story as personal and interesting.

    26. This is a complicated book because it is full of diary enteres, but once you start reading it, you start thinking what if this happened to me or i wonder what it would be like to have a crazy sister. If you think you are an outcast yourself then you should definally read this to get your mind off things that are bad right now and look and read of what this girl has to deal with her family and her sister. I liked this book because it was way different then all the other ones at the time.

    27. Overall, I really enjoyed this poetic novel and I thought it did a great job in pulling the readers in. And I liked the fact that after reading a few pages you start to forget it's in poetry and also I liked how it was a very easy read. The poetic novel was about the author's (Sonya Sones) sister, who develops a illness and she describes how her family felt and dealt with the issue at hand and who other people treated her.

    28. A crazy book! I can't imagine having a sister and having her be okay one day, and totally crazy the next. It's sad that the girl doesn't understand how it has happened or why. She just knows her sister is crazy and in the hospital. A book that's hard to put down!

    29. I wish I had been given this book when I was thirteen. I hope to be able to share it with young adults who go through a sibling's mental illness diagnosis for the first time. This is a great resource for a YA librarian to know about.

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