Rae Review

Monday, November 1, 2010

Rae is beyond socially awkward. Since she was a little girl, Rae Swiggett knew something was different about her. The sound of planes flying overhead could spark a panic attack. Being called on in class was enough to push her over the edge. She feared the unknown, life, death, people . . . even fear itself. By the time she reached ninth grade, Rae was muddling through life in relative silence, convinced everyone was mocking her, judging her, picking her apart, bit by little bit.

Rae knew she couldn't keep going on this way. She knew something had to give. 'It's a game of catch-22 I constantly play with myself. If I keep acting normal, I hope one day I will be, but every time I try, I just let myself down. I'm so entirely sick of this game.'

Taken from GoodReads.

Rae is the true story and memoir of Chelsea Rae Swiggett, a teenage girl consistently plagued by fear, anxiety and the unreasonable and crippling paranoia of everything she can't control. In fact, it's the other way around. Her irrational fears are starting to consume her life in all facets, whittling away at any minute shred of confidence or clarity she once had. Where some people see it as weak, Rae only feels the fear and is desperate to claw her way out. Can she find the balance and way back to normal in time - before it starts to completely consume her?

I won Rae a while back, and I'm excited that I finally got around to reading it. I have to premise my review with this - as Rae is a memoir, please bear in mind that it's extremely difficult to rate someone's personal experiences and thoughts. Therefore, I won't be focusing on the content of the book for my rating, but rather the writing style, alone. Rae is the true story of a teen lost in a world of paralyzing fear. She's incredibly talented, and she has so much potential, but she's lost in a maze of paranoia.

I have to admit that I was a little bit worried about reading Rae. I think the content worried me a bit because I've had severe panic attacks a lot of my life (even getting hives when people pay too much attention to me), and it hits a little close to home. I was pleasantly surprised though, and I found Rae incredibly therapeutic. Written in simple, succinct, and clear prose, it's more of a daily chronicle of Rae's life than anything else, but it reads like a fast-paced and riveting story. So yes, it's a memoir, but if you didn't know it, I'd say it reads more like any other novel.

I have to give Rae a firm 5 out of 5. Even if you're not really a fan of memoirs, I highly recommend this book. It reads like fiction, rings true to more people than the author could probably imagine, and gives insight into a common and debilitating issue. I recommend this books to both YA and adult fans, as well as those who like memoirs and autobiographies. For more information on Rae and the Louder than Words series, click here.


  1. Oh a 5 out of 5! I'm not huge into memoirs, but this one sounds like a great place to start especially if it reads more like a novel. Fabulous review Melissa:)

  2. I think I'd love this book as I believe that I live in constant fear of a lot of things in my life as well. And the fact that you said it is therapeutic makes it appealing to me a lot more. I'm hoping to get into this one as soon as possible =)

  3. Oh Melissa! *hugs*

    I know someone very close to me that also struggles with fear and anxiety panic attacks, too, and it is often very hard to get people to understand.

    I can't say I have read many, if any, memoirs, but this one definitely sounds like one I'd like to try, just to develop a better sense of understanding myself.

  4. This sounds like such a powerful read. I know several people with anxiety disorders, and this book seems like it will help me understand them so much better. Thanks for the review!

  5. Not a fan of memoirs at all, but if it reads like fiction, then I can enjoy it a bit more I think. Still, a very heavy subject

  6. Thank you, thank you, thank you. It's awesome to hear it was a therapeutic read. Writing it was definitely the same. It's always amazing to hear that someone can relate to my story, and thanks for sharing something about your own experiences. Totally makes writing it worthwhile. :)

  7. What a great review. I really agree that it would be hard to review content in a memoir. Glad you found the writing well done.

  8. That is an awesome review- really helpful and to the point. I am definitely going to follow your blog and I look forward to more reviews in the future! (btw, I am a follower of Imagination in Focus and noticed you were Amelia's affiliate)

  9. I can seriously relate to this. Even to this day I struggle with anxiety. Some things are worse then other but I have over come a lot. I definitely will pick this up

  10. Nice review! I'm so glad you enjoyed this one, it was definitely a powerful read. :)


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