Book Review of A Danger to Herself and Others by Alyssa Sheinmel

A Danger to Herself and Others
Goodreads Rating: 3.77
Published: 2/5/2019
Page Count: 341
Book URL:
Only when she’s locked away does the truth begin to escape… Four walls. One window. No way to escape. Hannah knows there's been a mistake. She didn't need to be institutionalized. What happened to her roommate at her summer program was an accident. As soon as the doctors and judge figure out that she isn't a danger to herself or others, she can go home to start her senior year. In the meantime, she is…
3.5Overall Score
  • Characters
  • Cover Art
  • Impact
  • Pacing
  • Plot
  • Writing

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Quick Review

  • This book was solidly interesting throughout and kept my attention and motivation to keep reading.
  • I felt the book was well written and the main character’s development was solid.
  • The story explores mental illness from a few different perspectives and feels very realistic.
  • I appreciated the author’s note at the end, worth the read.

If I had to describe this book in two words: realistic and compelling.

**SERIOUS SPOILERS** Click black text to reveal spoilers.

**Trigger and Content Warnings**

This book discusses sensitive subjects that some readers may find triggering. Please take care of yourself. Triggers and content warnings in this story include, but are not limited to:

  • Anger
  • Family issues
  • Hospitals
  • Illness
  • Medical stuff
  • Mental illness

Read more about Trigger and Content Warnings.

In Depth Review

I listened to the audio book in a day during a 12 hour challenge, and was throughly interested to hear what would happen next throughout. I did find many of the reveals predictable, or rather I guessed them before they happened (especially Part 5). But even so, the story was compelling.

I greatly appreciated the real portrayal of mental illness and the different ways in which her parents treated her completely differently when Hannah did finally come home. I also appreciated the portrayal of the side of mental health where she’s questioning her own mind AND her treatment. All of Hannah’s thoughts and feelings going back and forth really do give you an insight into someone’s mind who has a high-functioning mental illness.

In the end I was left with a feeling of heaviness and all the different implications for Hannah, and not one of hope. Mental illness sucks.

Favorite Quotes

Taking the pill implies that it’s your choice. Willingness to swallow what they hand you suggests that you agree with them: there’s something wrong with you; you need to take your medicine.”
Alyssa Sheinmel

“Not that my brain would invent anyone. I mean, I’m not naive—I know some people have diseases and imbalances that make their brains do that. People who hear voices and see things that aren’t there. But I’m not one of those people.”
Alyssa Sheinmel
““How long until she forgets about these imaginary friends?” Dad asks.”
“But with the medication—” Mom begins and then stops. “She’ll be normal again, right?”
“I prefer not to use words like normal. Or crazy for that matter,” Lightfoot adds.”
Alyssa Sheinmel

Audiobook Review

  • The narrator is Devon Sorvari who is a female actor and narrator of a LOT of books (she even had a part on an episode of GIlmore Girls!).
  • The pace was nice and enjoyable and very easy to listen to at increased speeds (I listened at 1.25).
  • This is read in an American accent.
  • I didn’t feel there was any voicing of characters, however this wasn’t a problem.
  • Overall not my favorite narrator, but I did enjoy it very much.

Musical Suggestions

I would recommend enjoying this book with some moody instrumentals or LoFi. I enjoyed this book while listening to the playlist “thriller book” on Spotify by said and “moody instrumentals” by mallorystaub.

Learn More About A Danger to Herself and Others

This page may contain affiliate links and if you make a purchase I will earn a small commission fee. I only endorse books, products, services, or content that I have used myself and wouldn’t hesitate to purchase again or recommend to a friend. If you purchase anything that I’ve used here, I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I do! Read the full disclosure.

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