Thursday, August 26, 2010

Rae by Chelsea Rae Swiggett
Release Date: Aug 2nd, 2010
Details: 168 pages, paperback
Source: Publisher (Thanks HCI Teens!)
Series: Kind of (Louder Than Words series)
Rating: 4 out 5
Summary (goodreads):
When you're fourteen and trying to deal with the highs, lows, traumas, and humiliations that go along with being a high school freshman, having severe anxiety can become all consuming. Chelsea Rae Swiggett's anxiety has affected every area of her life—school, family, friendships, and romance—ultimately pushing her to lose her voice, withdrawal from everyday life and school, and develop an eating disorder. 

The sounds of planes flying overhead could spark a panic attack and something as simple as being called on in class could push her over the edge, convinced that everyone was judging her, mocking her. Faking sickness so she could stay home became her only solution, since she'd rather do anything than face the reality of what happened behind the school's double doors. Rae tells a story all-too-many teens today relate to—what it feels like to see the world through a lens of constant debilitating fear, anxiety, and stress.

It's hard to review a memoir since it's about someone's life

It's been awhile since I've been in high school, but just because I'm out of high school doesn't really mean the teasing stops. Reading Rae's story brought me back to middle school, a memory I think I had forgotten where people who I thought were my friends one day, spent the rest of the year talking about me within earshot distance and throwing spit balls at the back of my head. I was brought back to the days when I'd call in sick to school because I couldn't face it. And the whole time I was reading her story, I couldn't help but feel bad for her. Like I wanted to somehow end up in that room and tell her it's okay. 

Reading about her panic attacks also hit close to me. I constantly think about death, or well, I did. Sometimes I still do. And it's horrible. For a few years I had a fear of leaving the house on Halloween. I avoid road trips or long drives. I don't usually get panic attacks on airplane rides, just where there's a lot of turbulence. But all these feelings and all these thoughts are horrible and they make some days far worse than the rest.

The part that surprised me the most about reading this was that Chelsea is a fellow book blogger! She mentioned a road trip with her and Kristi at the end of the book which I remember reading on my news feed on Twitter not too long ago!

I love the idea behind the "Louder Than Words" series and I can't wait to read the rest of them!

*Thank you HCI Teens for providing me a copy for review!


  1. Great review, I think most people have been where you were and Chelsea were at some point in time even if it didn't last long, people can be cruel but hopefully there are others out there to balance out their behavior...can't wait to read this one!

  2. I've been interested in these books for a while now!

    I can see why reviewing a memoir might be a bit tricky, but your review was awesome. :)
    I'm sorry your childhood was difficult (I know mine was at times also!), but that's what I love about the blogging community; we're all here sharing what we love and know the most!

    Thanks for the review, Marie!

    Love, Hannah

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