Friday, May 28, 2010
Sounds like Crazy... ( by Shana Mahaffey)
And You'll Love it!
What would you do with 5 different voices in your head telling you what to do?! Well Holly Miller, who stars in Sounds like Crazy by Shana Mahaffey, calls her 5 voices "the Committee", and she's brought negotiation to a new level as she tries to deal with the life before her and the people in her head that each play a key role in how she handles different situations. There's Ruffles, who weighs a ton and eats Ruffle Potato Chips all day while sitting on a purple pillow. There's the Faceless Boy, who Holly can only see his red Converse Sneakers. There's the Silent One, who prays all the time, and Sarge who is like a drill Sargent and very protective of Holly. And last but not least there's Betty Jane, the diva, the dress to the nines and "Charmin only" control freak who everyone is generally afraid of. (yes, that's Charmin as in bathroom tissue, which she makes Holly carry around because she won't let Holly use anything else if she goes to a restroom!). They make her life hell for the most part, but they also make up her life as she's always known it. What's a girl to do?! Deal with it!
Having multiple personalities makes it difficult to navigate a normal life, but Holly has the "support" of her dysfunctional parents, a long distance sister, a sometimes boyfriend, and a job as a waitress. Yes, I put "support" in quotes because basically her father left her mother, and pays Holly's medical bills (she sees a psychiatrist now) out of guilt for being a horrible father, and her mother basically dropped her off across the country at college and left her there, but gave her an "emergency" credit card, which Holly uses to support her habits, which include food, living expenses beyond the low paying wages of waitresses, and Betty Jane's expensive tastes. That's until one day a customer walks in to the diner, Betty Jane takes over flirting (always good for tips) and loves the voice of Betty Jane for his new animated TV show. Things should be looking up, except Betty Jane is even more over the top with stardom, the rest of the Committee wants to throw her out, and Holly's psychiatrist is trying to heal her for good- AND it all works together beautifully!
Shana Mahaffey has written a smart, funny, and compassionate story. What you may suspect as being just another "chick lit" selection, is really an amazing story of the healing of a woman who was so traumatized at a young age that it left her with dissociative identity disorder, or what was once known as multiple personality disorder. The plot turns from the madcap life of Holly living her life with the Committee, to what caused her trauma and ultimately how she is healed in the end. And it's because of this that the story is so much deeper than what you first see on the surface. Shana's writing is fresh & wonderful. Her characters are all so well written and fully fleshed out. Their personalities are so unique and the Committee is a blast. The story will sneak up on you, grabbing you in the end... I know because it sure grabbed me! It's original and it's a great read! it's about sisters, dysfunctional families, and it's about healing... (throw in some Ruffles potato chips and Charmin bathroom tissue and you're all set!)...
Shana Mahaffey is also a great person! She took the time this week from her busy schedule and chatted with my reading group, who read Sounds like Crazy for our reading group selection this month, via Skype. The book made for a good conversation, but Shana was so much fun to chat with too! She shared her whole writing process, how she came up with the book (no she does NOT have multiple personalities!), and how she researched the book. Thanks Shana!
You can learn more about Sounds like Crazy and the author at Shana's website ShanaMahaffey.com. Plus you can find out how YOUR reading group can have Shana join you virtually to discuss the book while you're there!
Hey, I'm sharing this book review at Cym Lowell's Book Review Party! You get follow the link to Cym Lowell's Blog to read more great reviews!