A Danger to Herself and Others

A Danger to Herself and Others

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"A compelling and beautifully told story." —Kathleen Glasgow, New York Times bestselling author of Girl in Pieces

Four walls. One window. No way to escape.

Hannah knows there's been a mistake. She doesn't need to be institutionalized. What happened to her roommate at that 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. Those college applications aren't going to write themselves. Until then, she's determined to win over the staff and earn some privileges so she doesn't lose her mind to boredom.

Then Lucy arrives. Lucy has her own baggage, and she's the perfect project to keep Hannah's focus off all she is missing at home. But Lucy may be the one person who can get Hannah to confront the secrets she's avoiding—and the dangerous games that landed her in confinement in the first place.

Packed with intrigue and suspense, A Danger to Herself and Others, from New York Times bestselling author Alyssa Sheinmel, is great for readers who loved Suicide Notes for Beautiful Girls by Lynn Weingarten and Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen McManus

Additional Praise for A Danger to Herself and Others:
"This compelling character study begins like a thriller—the mystery of what happened to her friend Agnes draws considerable suspense... it becomes a nuanced exploration of mental illness."—Booklist

"A respectful, authentic rendering of mental illness and treatment."—Kirkus

Also by Alyssa Sheinmel:
What Kind of Girl

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781974930791
Publisher: Dreamscape Media
Publication date: 02/05/2019
Edition description: Unabridged
Product dimensions: 6.04(w) x 5.04(h) x 1.13(d)
Age Range: 14 - 18 Years

About the Author

Alyssa Sheinmel is the bestselling author of several novels for young adults including A Danger to Herself and Others and Faceless. She is the co-author of the New York Times bestselling novel The Haunting of Sunshine Girl and its sequel, The Awakening of Sunshine Girl. She lives in Brooklyn. Follow Alyssa on Instagram and Twitter @AlyssaSheinmel or visit her online at alyssasheinmel.com.

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A Danger to Herself and Others 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Jennywise More than 1 year ago
If you know Alyssa Sheinmel's prose, you know her gift for taking you on a journey of crafting stunning language and sense of place. You know of the intricate, real, complicated characters with whom you'll fall in love. And A Danger to Herself and Others delivers - and then some. It is impossible not to fall in love with Hannah, want to hug her, shake her, cry with her and lift her up. The pleasure of this book is the descent into the story and Hannah's scenario, the twists and turns (and reveals!) and getting to continue all the way to the light. A superb, fast-paced, beautiful read.
Anonymous 8 months ago
A big theme of the books I've been reading at the moment are one set in mental institutions, and I have to say this is one of the best I've read. I'd say for me, as well as this being a contemporary YA, it had a lot of elements of a thriller as well. It kept you guessing, you were shocked at the twists and eagerly waiting to know more. Hannah was such a whirlwind of a character, and I loved being along for her journey and finding out what is and isn't really for her, and watching all that she thought she knew about life unravel, The last 1/3 of the book for me blew me away, especially with her leaving the institution and basically questioning everything she thought she knew about the future and her relationship with her parents. Would definitely recommend!
CrazyCat_Alex More than 1 year ago
Five stars and I would have given ten if it would be possible. I really loved this book and couldn't stop reading. Since reading it I have urged all my friends and colleagues to read it, it was that good. So, I highly recommend this amazing book to everyone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent book!! Didn’t t want to put it down and finished in 2 evenings. Just makes u thankful that you don’t have any of these psychotic breaks. They more than likely seem so real to the person. But buy this book it is very very good!!
SRKirchner More than 1 year ago
Well written and engaging, this story kept me hooked the whole time. There were enough hints provided throughout that the reveal of the plot twist didn't seem outlandish and the unreliable narrator was deftly used. I especially enjoyed the way Hannah's reality was respected. Although she was institutionalized, the staff treated her with respect, keeping the story from becoming yet another sensational tale of abuse in the mental health system. The only thing that kept this from being a 5-star read for me is that I felt like it ended too soon. So much time was spent leading up to Hannah's revelation that the ending was too rushed. I would have liked to see how she managed and navigated the world with her parents after her release. I would definitely read a sequel that follows Hannah through more of her life.
YA-WHYNOTYA More than 1 year ago
This book kept me captivated throughout. Hannah, the main character is unreliable to say the least. When she gets checked in to a mental institution, she can't imagine why. She then sets out to prove to doctors and fellow patients why she should get to home. Sheinmel (as always) is a beautiful writer. And this is a taut fast-pace psychological thriller. Highly recommend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There is nothing that I love more in a story than an unreliable narrator, and Sheinmel has created one of the best ones yet. Hannah was such a compelling and complex character that I devoured this book in one sitting. I knew that I was really going to enjoy this book the moment Hannah told us she was lying about something she had said earlier in the book and I couldn't read this fast enough to try and determine what was the truth and what was a product of Hannah's mental illness. Hannah, was also not the most likable character but I was extremely empathetic towards her and her parents neglect towards her, and I think that that really worked to the advantage of the author's story. I did find some of the bigger plot twists to be rather predictable, but it still didn't take too much enjoyment away from the story. Ever since I read We Were Liars I've always been extremely skeptical around unreliable narrators and continually question what is real and what is not. So, I think me figuring out the plot twists is mainly due to how much I often overthink the plot of a book. I also enjoyed the open ended-ness of the book and loved that this makes you think about the stigma that comes with mental illnesses, the author handled the topic in a professional and thought provoking way. Overall, this is great psychological rollercoaster that I think will appeal to many readers!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
*Thanks to NetGalley for the eARC of this title!* What happened to Hannah's roommate was an accident. Just an accident! She fell out a window while playing truth or dare. And Hannah absolutely does not belong in this mental institution, or whatever they're calling it. She is just waiting until everything gets figured out, and she can go home. They're keeping her isolated because her chart says she's "a danger to herself and others," but really, it's all a big mistake. But there has to be a reason they've given her a roommate. Maybe she can prove to them that she's normal, after all. My notes: I really wanted to like this, and it wasn't bad, but it was also fairly predictable. I wouldn't call it a "thriller." I will absolutely pick up other books by this author, though!
thegeekishbrunette More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this young adult book and didn't know what to expect going in. I gave it 4 of 5 stars and I will tell you why. I will add a courtesy warning that this book does involve mental illness and a small scene of someone hurting them self.  A Danger to Herself and Others by Alyssa Sheinmel follows a high school senior named Hannah through her stay at a mental health facility due to an accident that occurred with her roommate at  a summer school program. Hannah doesn't understand why she has been placed here and hopes that her new roommate, Lucy, at the facility can help uncover the truth.  I do not have a mental illness so I cannot speak for those who do and have been in such a situation but I really liked how this book shows Hannah's stay, her treatment, and the way she tries to cope with everything that is going on. I also liked how the author portrays her mental illness in the book because you almost feel like you are right there with the main character figuring out what is true and what is false. Nothing was obvious and I was surprised and intrigued all the way through.  One thing I didn't like was the ending. It was left off without closure. Her parents struggle with their daughter's diagnosis and they were never really close but it would have been nice to see if they ever managed to cope with it and if Hannah ever found some form of closure or acceptance with it as well.  Overall, this was a great book and I would recommend it to anyone who likes contemporary thrillers. A Danger to Herself and Others is expected to be published February 5th, 2019.  Thank you NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for this digital copy.
Amanda_BetweentheShelves More than 1 year ago
Hannah Gould knows that there's been a mistake; she doesn't need to be here, she doesn't need to be institutionalized. Everything that happened with Agnes was just a mistake. The sooner the doctors here figure that out, the sooner she can get back on track. She just has to convince them that she isn't a danger to herself or others. When Lucy arrives, Hannah jumps on the opportunity to show them that she can get along with other people. But her relationship with Lucy reveals more than Hannah ever though possible. I requested this for review from NetGalley because both the cover and premise intrigued me. And once I started reading, I didn't want to put the book down. There's something about the way Hannah narrates the novel that just makes you want to keep reading; she's unflinchingly honest and is so sure about herself in the beginning; she knows how to manipulate people. The writing style reminded me a bit of Mindy McGinnis, with a not-so-likable narrator that you grow to like as you move further into the novel. Hannah is the reason that I kept reading, desperate to know where her story was going to take her. The plot itself was a bit predictable to me, but I've also read quite a few texts that deal with mental health. The portrayal of mental health, overall, in this novel is more fleshed out than some, showing that mental health can affect anyone anywhere. Hannah is from a very privileged background; I only wish that we got more interactions with here family because these were most interesting to me. Since her parents value appearance so much, it'd be interesting to see how their family relationships change after the diagnosis. There's a little bit of a thriller element to this novel as well, as Hannah tries to remember what happens with her summer school roommate, Agnes (who is in a coma at the beginning of the novel). All of these elements work well together to create a novel that will be difficult to put down once you pick it up.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In Alyssa Sheinmel’s compelling fictitious novel A Danger to Herself and Others, she takes on mental health by writing about the psychotic episodes of a coming of age teenager. Hannah is the only child, comes from a well to do family, is conspicuously more intelligent than those of her age, is quick-witted and appears to know exactly where her path in life is taking her. Sheinmel included an Author’s Note at the end of her novel in which she writes, “This book is a work of fiction, and is not meant to educate readers about mental illness or institutionalization. No doubt I granted myself some creative liberty to tell the story I wanted to tell: no good doctor would keep Hannah confined to her room the way she is for much of the story, and Hannah might not be sent home quite so quickly following her diagnosis.” The key words here are “good doctor” and “sent home so quickly following her diagnosis.” The truth is we are experiencing a mental health epidemic in the United States today, and the mental health disorders do not discriminate whether by age, sex, religion or any other orientation. Mental health disorders come in all shapes and sizes, are overt and covert, and those with a mental health disorder can go undiagnosed for years, or life. These are the facts. Look at how many young people have gone into schools, malls, movie theaters, churches, et cetera, and taken the lives of so many innocent children and adults. These individuals had mental disorders that were not acted on even though family members, friends, and neighbors all spoke up after the fact, too late to intercede and prevent the killings. As I read A Danger to Herself and Others I could not stop thinking that every one of us must report another’s unusual behavior and actions, whether brother, sister, son or daughter, friend, neighbor, teacher, et cetera. Sheinmel may have written a fictitious novel, but it is a novel that must not be dismissed as “not possible” or “unbelievable,” or whatever dismissive means that have been used in reading and reviewing this novel. The truth is we all know, regardless of age, race, economic class, et cetera, what we read in A Danger to Herself and Others is possible, believable and happens every day. Those shrouded from seeing the effects of mental disorders must wake up to real life because although this particular novel is fiction, it is real life. As Hannah was considered a danger to herself and others, she would have been kept away from the other patients until accurately diagnosed and started on a medication regiment. There is no one size fits all when it comes to medications and diagnoses. Alyssa Sheinmel also wrote in her Author’s Notes, “Additionally, I read that antipsychotics may take effect after a few days, but following acute episodes, they can take as long as four to six weeks…” Fact. Knowledgable and skillfully written, Sheinmel's clearly stated her novel is a work of fiction; however, she wrote a book befitting a non-fiction novel. It was clear to me that Sheinmel had not put pen to paper and began to write, she spent more than enough time researching the topic of mental health disorders and medications used to treat mental health disorders. In this case a psychotic disorder. Sheinmel was very much on point when writing A Danger to Herself an Others. Thank you to Sourcebooks Fire, Alyssa Sheinmel and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review A Danger to Herself and Others. - D.B. Moone
TinaTome More than 1 year ago
Hannah's story is engaging. The book is well written. I don't feel I've wasted my time reading it, but I likely won't really remember it. It's not the kind of book that sticks with you. I was able to put it down and immediately go looking for my next read. Hanna Gold is a smart, outgoing overachiever who has always been mature for her age. Living in an Upper East Side apartment, traveling the world, proud parents; Hannah couldn't ask for a more perfect life. While attending a summer program, her roommate, and best friend, has a terrible accident. It was just an accident. Right? A Danger to Herself and Others takes us through Hannah's experiences after her roommate has an accident that leads to Hannah being taken to a mental institution. We see everything through Hannah's perspective. The book reads almost as a journal. I liked the book. I read the whole thing in just a couple hours. Once I started, I didn't want to put it down. I needed to find out exactly how things would play out. What was happening was pretty obvious. Hannah had a number of "intense" and "unusual" friendships in her life. She went through "best friends" like most people go through napkins. There had been previous accidents, but it wasn't ever anything big, and it was never her fault. Accidents happen, after all. It was easy to pick up the clues of what Hannah was actually dealing with, but the story was still interesting. The author (through her own admission) took some creative liberties with the mental health system and people dealing with mental health issues. It's not enough of a departure to feel like anything was significantly romanticized or diminished. Although what Hannah experiences may not be accurate, it is close enough that you empathize with her. Hannah is frustrating sometimes. She doesn't really come off as likable, but rather a know it all who takes pride in manipulating her parents' friends to feel ashamed of their own children. They are shocked that Hannah, even at the age of 4, is so well behaved and willing to try new things when their own children won't even eat pasta. Hannah was mature enough at that age to be left alone in a hotel room while her parents partied in Monte Carlo. She was never a child; just a small adult. Lucy is another in a long line of best friends. Hannah befriends her with the soul purpose of convincing the doctors that she's a good friend and not at all someone that would hurt anyone. She needs them to see this has all been a misunderstanding. While I can understand her line of thinking (however skewed it may be), it doesn't make me like her. It bothers me that she sees a girl in a similar situation to her own as nothing more than a pawn to further her own redemption. Hannah does get more, well, not likable, but at least you can feel for her. As the story progresses and you start to piece things together you begin to realize she isn't a bad person and her perfect life isn't really that perfect.
Lisa_Loves_Literature More than 1 year ago
I know that the whole unreliable narrator thing is big right now. This book is a perfect example of that. The author also does a great job with keeping you guessing on what happened for a long time. But needing to know those details is part of what kept me going as I continued reading to find out why exactly Hannah had been put in this institution. You know that there is something missing, I mean obviously, why else would she be put there. It's hard to figure out at first, since she tells us about how she has always been a good student, and how mature her parents have always been so proud of her for being. There are characters that you soon wonder if they are real, or what is really happening with them. In the end, I was saddened for how her parents were with her, and hoped that Hannah would be able to figure it all out, as you could see that things might not go on to be how she could deal with the world around her. This was a good look at mental illness and definitely a good read.
kylieviolet More than 1 year ago
Thank you so much to Sourcebooks Fire Publishing for providing me with a Digital Advanced Readers Copy, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review. A Danger to Herself and Others is about a 17-year-old girl, Hannah Gold, who is admitted into a mental hospital on a court order after an incident occurs with her and her roommate Agnes Smith at their summer school. As we learn more about Hannah, we start to discover that her information may not be reliable and slowly start to see her mental health deteriorate. Alyssa creates this point of view strictly through Hannah’s eyes and mind. In the beginning Hannah is portrayed as this strong, confident girl that was wrongly accused of being involved in an unfortunate incident with her best friend Agnes. As the story goes deeper into Hannah’s mind, I started to question Hannah’s sanity. While being questioned by Dr. Charan, also known as Dr. Lightfoot, we start to see inconsistencies in Hannah’s stories versus the information Dr. Lightfoot has obtained. We start to see Hannah’s mental health decline, and experience her struggle as she begins to realize what is happening to her. Hannah’s story was an interesting read but I did not love the style of writing. The book is a slow burn all the way through, and I kept waiting for something huge to happen, yet when Hannah begins to piece together what is happening to her, that is a slow burn process as well. What I did gather from this story is, there are many steps that she goes through in her realization of having a mental illness, and repeats those steps quite often throughout. If you are a fan of stories such as, Girl, Interrupted, I think that you will enjoy this story.
lee2staes More than 1 year ago
A Danger to Herself and Others: by Alyssa Sheinmel represents mental illness and shows how it can affect anyone. The focus of this novel is Hannah as she is placed in a mental facility after her friend has an “accident”. Hannah is the main suspect. Hanna seems to be a very damaged character but she appears to be more intelligent than everyone around her. This made her so very interesting to read about. I enjoyed this authors writing style. Hannahs thoughts are scattered, which made it hard for me to figure out what's going at first. I really enjoyed this book. I highly recommend it. I will be reading more of this author. Thanks to NetGalley, the author and the publisher for the advance reader copy of this book in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion.
VWEIR01 More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved this book. From the first page we are taken in by Hannah, a 17 year old girl who has been placed in a mental institution after her role in an accident that left her best friend, Agnes, in a coma. Despite the fact that Hannah shows herself to be arrogant, spoiled, and manipulative right from the beginning, she still manages to be a likable character. Alyssa Sheinmel nails the "unreliable narrator" in this novel. Seeing the story unfold from Hannah's perspective gives the reader a somewhat skewed version of the story and I found myself drawn in by her, sympathizing with her, appreciating her intelligence, and ultimately, feeling her pain as the reality of the situation reveals itself. I want to take a moment to thank the author for writing about mental illness in such an intelligent and thoughtful way. This is a subject that is often avoided or misrepresented and the author does a wonderful job of humanizing mental illness, as well as revealing the stigma that comes with it, even from those who love those affected by it. I liked the fact that every bad thing Hannah has ever done was not linked to her illness. Her personality is all the more complex when you consider what role her parents and upbringing had in developing it, long before her illness takes over. Overall, an outstanding read. Once you start, you won't be able to put it down. Happy reading! **Special thanks to NetGalley for an ARC of this novel in exchange for my honest review.
Brianna Alexis More than 1 year ago
A Danger to Herself and Others pleasantly surprised me. As a person who loved the book We Were Liars, when I read the comparison, I was excited for another mind-twisting, creepy, psychological read but I was curious as to how this book was going to live up to the high expectations. This book managed to satisfy my craving for a book that is a psychological rollercoaster. As a psychology student who plans to work with people of Hannah's age, I was instantly interested in how the story was going to turn out. I love how I was increasingly interested in what actually happened. Hannah sort of reminded me of Mara Dyer in that I almost never trusted her. Hannah is not a nice girl and she isn't always likeable. She believes she's better, smarter, and more mature than everyone else. She believes she's always right (at least until some key events in the story unfold) and this was at times annoying, especially since I found myself not really caring if she even got out at all. Hannah didn't seem to care about Agnes' condition in the hospital at all, even though they were supposedly best friends for weeks. But I also love how strong she was. She believed she was wrongly accused of the crime, and was put into a psychiatric facility due to a misunderstanding, but as the story unravels, she realizes maybe she was the one who was wrong all along. I was surprised that both Lucy and Jonah were hallucinations, but with the comparison to We Were Liars, I wasn't as surprised as I would have been if I didn't know of that comparison. I liked how Hannah's hallucinations were "imperfect," and managed to show the diverse set of hallucinations that people with this illness can have. I also like how the story is not wrapped in a pretty bow. Hannah was right. Her life is changed forever and she will have to learn to manage her illness. Surprisingly, I felt the most anxiety during the last few pages when Hannah debates not taking her pill at all, when she considers keeping Lucy and Jonah around. I really wanted to shout "Hannah, take your damn pill!" at her! But it goes to show that this will be a journey for Hannah, and even though there were lots of times I didn't necessarily like her, I found myself wishing the best for her. I hope that she manages her illness. I hope that her parents manage to understand her illness better. I hope this experience was humbling for her. I hope she can move forward from this. I hope Hannah can live the full live she's always wanted.
ahungerford More than 1 year ago
"Hannah Gold doesn’t belong in a place like this. Hannah Gold wouldn’t hurt a fly.” Okay, I have to say it, if you’re going to describe a book as “Girl, Interrupted” meets “We Were Liars”… You really need to bring it. Those are both very dark stories and to be a combination of the two, you really need to take a chance and just go for it. Mess with our heads. And I just feel like this story is far too safe for that description. And that’s not to say I didn’t like it. I did. I just thought there could be more. THE PLOT After a tragic accident this summer leaves her roommate critically injured, Hannah finds herself institutionalized. 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. Then Lucy arrives. Lucy has her own baggage. And she may be the only person who can get Hannah to confront the dangerous games and secrets that landed her in confinement in the first place. THE CHARACTERS: “I smile again, this time for real. It was so easy when I was five, to manipulate my parents’ friends into being ashamed of their own children, into thinking I was so much better.” Hannah is DIABOLICAL. I found her to be very interesting and as someone who really enjoys dialogue WAY more than inner monologues, I still found her POV to be very engaging. I loved how Hannah seems like your ordinary overachiever, but you can sense something is not quite right. “Luckily, I know how to become someone’s best friend. It’s a skill I’ve honed since kindergarten.” And her parents are garbage. Honestly, THAT was one of the more tragic parts. WHAT I LIKED: I really liked the beginning. It is so strong and so well paced. The beginning is a beautiful slow burn, with little crumbs of the truth peppered throughout, just enough detail to know something is not quite right, but not enough to really guess what’s going on. It was so truly amazing. WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: The second half felt way too rushed. The beginning is so wonderful, but then it’s like the author was told you have to keep this to x number of pages and she realized she used too much time already and to fit in the rest it’s going to have to be shoe-horned in. Overall, I liked this story. I liked the characters and the plot. I liked the way the author was able to slowly show something just isn’t quite right without being too apparent, just seeds of doubt.. I thought the ending was too rushed but with an extra 50 – 100 pages (there is that much that could have been really delved into), the story could have gone from a 3 star to a 4 star for me. Thank you to NetGalley and SOURCEBOOKS Fire for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.