Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Patchwork Press and Netgalley.
She ate her first needle when she was seven. Now, at nineteen, she’s been kicked out of college for poisoning herself with laxatives. The shrinks call it Munchausen Syndrome. All Saylor knows is that when she’s ill, her normally distant mother pays attention and the doctors and nurses make her feel special.
Then she meets Drew Dean, the leader of a local support group for those with terminal diseases. When he mistakes her for a new member, Saylor knows she should correct him. But she can’t bring herself to, not after she’s welcomed into a new circle of friends. Friends who, like Drew, all have illnesses ready to claim their independence or their lives.
For the first time, Saylor finds out what it feels like to be in love, to have friends who genuinely care about her. But secrets have a way of revealing themselves. What will happen when Saylor’s is out?
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Patchwork Press and Netgalley.)
19-year-old Saylor has just been pulled out of university by her parents, for making herself ill again.
Saylor has Munchausen’s disease, which means that she intentionally makes herself sick to get attention It started when she was seven, and she’s been doing it ever since - swallowing needles, poisoning herself, taking large doses of laxatives, and even eating poo to make herself ill.
Saylor is once again back at home with her frigid mother, and her lawyer father who spends more time on the road than at home, and she’s also off to see yet another psychiatrist – Dr Stone.
Dr Stone offers Saylor something she wants though – access to a hospital. He thinks it might do her good to see how people who are really sick suffer, and she thinks it will be good to pick up tips for how to make herself more ill.
Saylor finds something else at the hospital though – friendship and love. The problem is she’s lying to the only true friends she has ever had, and she’s knows that when they find out they’ll hate her.
How long will it be before Saylor’s lies are discovered? How will her friends react when they learn the truth? And will she learn anything from people who are really sick?
This was a really unique and interesting story, and although I found it a little difficult to relate to someone who purposefully made herself ill, I did come to understand what Saylor was going through.
Like I said Saylor was quite a difficult character to relate to. She purposefully made herself sick, and went around noting things down in a notepad that she thought would be useful to make herself ill. Her favourite reading material was medical books and websites where she could pick up tips – like injecting her own saliva into her skin to cause an abscess, and she really did come across as a bit nuts to be honest. It really did take a while for the real reasons for this to come out, and I just found myself shaking my head and wondering what the hell she was doing.
Basically it seemed that Saylor truly did just want some attention. She wanted her parents to pay attention to her, she wanted to feel important to someone the way she did when she was ill, and it was really difficult to watch as she did such awful things to herself all so that she could feel loved.
Saylor meeting Drew and his friends at the hospital was purely by mistake, but Saylor just couldn’t resist pretending that she belonged in this group of young adults who had terminal diseases. They made her feel accepted, and it was this friendship that made Saylor feel wanted for the first time in her life. I both liked and disliked this part of the storyline, because while these people were helping Saylor by befriending her, she was lying to them, and pretending to have an illness that she didn’t really have, and fooling people who were terminally ill themselves just felt so wrong!
This book just covered so many issues – there was Saylor’s Munchausen syndrome, the kids who were terminally ill – one who had AIDS, there was the lack of love that Saylor felt from her family, issues between Saylor and her mother and her mother’s own problems that she had been keeping hidden, issues with Saylor’s father never being about, issues concerning Saylor and how she felt about her illness around other people, and I also personally thought that Saylor had real issues with lying – I mean she just couldn’t stop herself from lying, every time she opened her mouth, lies just spewed out.
Saylor’s Munchausen syndrome was really difficult to take. If my child had swallowed needles, cut herself, poisoned herself etc. on multiple occasions, I would be really concerned, and probably angry too. It was just really difficult to watch Saylor do these things to herself, just to get attention. I’m not sure if this could have been helped if she had just felt more loved, like she did with Drew, but I really just wanted to ask her ‘What are you doing?!’, and I really wanted to help her!
The ending was quite good all things considered. It was never going to be a 100% happy ending considering that there were several kids with terminal illnesses in it, but it was a satisfying ending.
Overall; I enjoyed this story, and I really felt for Saylor by the end of it!
7 out of 10.