by Lindsay Paige
Publisher: Lindsay Paige
Published: December 6, 2012 (Paperback published TODAY!)
Length: 124 pages
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
You May Purchase Don't Panic at Amazon
Samantha Branson is having severe anxiety attacks. Her heart beats unusually fast, her breath quickens and her hands sweat. Every detail screams in her head that she is the center of unwanted attention. Everyone can hear her thoughts, her heart and her breathing. The silence of the classroom is so loud that focus is impossible.
After an attack lands her in the wrong bathroom, Sam meets Eli who offers to provide help. Faced with the return of her possessive ex-boyfriend and the blossoming of a new romance, Sam must find the strength inside herself to face her anxieties head on.
Why did I choose this particular excerpt? Because I can totally relate. Panic Attacks are horrendous. Often times people experience them and have no idea what they are. This is a classic description and exactly what you need to know about Samantha. This is her story.
Why is this happening to me? My throat constricts as my body heats up. Sweat forms and drips from my chin. No. No. NO! I have to get out of here. I can’t be in this classroom for another second. It’s too much. My hands are trembling, and my legs won’t stop bouncing up and down.
Up and down.
Over and over they bounce as fast as they can. I can’t stop sweating. I can’t keep my palms from being clammy. I can’t make my body stop shaking and I can not prevent my legs from bouncing up and down. Why does it feel like everyone is watching me when their backs are to me? Why does it feel like everyone can hear my thoughts? I dig my fingernails into my palm as a distraction. It works for a half second.
We are supposed to give a presentation today and I'm nervous to say the least. I despise standing up in front of a group and telling them something, but lately every emotion has been enhanced. What if it comes out rushed? That's points off and I can't make less than an A. What if I forget something or forget what I was going to say all together? That'll earn me a zero. I work too hard in school to afford a zero. This AP class is major for me, but it has been so stressful to keep up with all the work and make A's.
“Samantha, you’re next.”
No. Oh goodness. No. This can’t be happening. I can’t handle this. Everyone looks at me now. They are patiently waiting for me to stand and present to the class. The fight or flight response is flashing in huge neon red lights in my head. I have been trying to fight, but I just can’t do this. I make my decision.
Before opening the cover, I really had no idea what this book was about. After reading it, the cover is perfect. I read through this book in just a few hours, a very quick read. This was a great portrayal of someone who suffers from severe anxiety. Been there. Done that. Don't like going back there.
The Good: As a fellow sufferer, I could truly FEEL the anxiety, the panic. At times, I really thought the internal dialog of Samantha, the primary character, was so rapid, mirrored the thoughts and actions of a panic attack that I thought she was a real person who was having a panic attack! So well written. Eli was endearing and just patient, as someone who's BEEN THERE which is exactly what is needed in those situations. Well done, Lindsay!
The Bad: The flow of the book was good, but I felt like the end was a bit abrupt. I would have liked to read more about what happened with her father (possibly lengthening the epilogue?). And where was her mother in all of this? I also would have like a bit more background information as to the root cause of her anxiety. And didn't anyone at school notice her freaking out? Where were the teachers and counselors?
The Snuggly: Sam closed herself off to everyone, until she was almost in a bubble, no one helping, reaching out, or anything. That is where Eli came in. He was so important to both her and the storyline. As they get to know one another better, she is able to relax and be herself with him. Going through a very emotional event like that bonds you together in ways that are indescribable. No wonder he got to where he knew her better than she knew herself. Their closeness, tenderness, and intimate bond woven perfectly within the premise of the story was heartwarming to experience.
The Rest: The book flowed well and was a great portrayal of someone who suffers from severe anxiety. Anxiety is not something to mess around with. Sam was so lucky to have Eli, even if there really was no one else. As Lindsay admitted to having experienced the same to a degree, hopefully writing and sharing this story was cathartic and healing for her. She did a masterful job and I would encourage both young adults and adults to read this poignant and pertinent book. 5 Stars, 1 Flame
Lindsay Paige is a young adult romance author from North Carolina. Most of what Lindsay writes are her daydreams in lavish details. (Please excuse that fact when you read one of her future works about a girl who sleeps around.;)) When not writing, she is working to finish her first year of college.
Lindsay loves to read, listen to music, watch and play tennis, along with watching her favorite hockey team, the Pittsburgh Penguins. Lindsay is a big fan of Sidney Crosby (87) and buys Penguins merchandise whenever she can.
Lindsay loves to be around her family and best friends. One summer after viewing a video of Nicholas Sparks' house, Lindsay's mother made the comment that she should write a bestselling novel since she "reads so much", that way they could have a beautiful house as well. Lindsay took her comment to heart. She began working on Sweetness. A year later, the novel was complete.
Many of the aspects of the characters in Sweetness were inspired by Lindsay's own struggles, such as a recovering alcoholic father and the anxiety Emily suffers because of her past.
**If you think you may be experiencing something more than everyday anxiety, I encourage you to head over to adaa.org and take a look around. **
Love ‘n Books,
*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Charisma Media. Although Charisma Media received payment, I participated in this tour in exchange for a copy of the book. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising*