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26 April 2010

Book Review: Sounds Like Crazy by Shana Mahaffey

Title: Sounds Like Crazy
Author: Shana Mahaffey
Publisher: NAL Trade
Publication Date: October 6, 2009
Paperback: 400 pages
ISBN: 978-0451227911
Genre: Fiction


From the Publisher:

Though she doesn’t remember the trauma that caused it, Holly Miller has Dissociative Identity Disorder. Her personality has fractured into five different identities, together known as The Committee. And as much as they make Holly’s life hell, she can’t live without them.

Then one of those identities, the flirtatious, southern Betty Jane, lands Holly a voiceover job. Betty Jane wants nothing more than to be in the spotlight. The rest of The Committee wants Betty Jane to shut up. Holly’s therapist wants to get to the bottom of her broken psyche. And Holly? She’s just along for the ride…

My Review:

Sounds Like Crazy is one the best novels I have read this year and also one of the most difficult to review without giving away the beauty that lies within the covers. In the novel Sounds Like Crazy, author Shana Mahaffey weaves together an intricately beautiful, heartbreaking, and redemptive tale of 30-year-old Holly Miller who has a committee of five living in her head. Holly is struggling to keep her past repressed and maintain a life in New York with the assistance of her sister Sarah, Dr. Milton Lawler, and the committee: Boy, Silent One, Sarge, Ruffles, and Betty Jean. Sounds Like Crazy is a phenomenal novel; it is one that, once begun, cannot be put down. I longed to have someone to discuss this novel with, and now struggle to write a review showcasing the marvels of this novel without giving any of the storyline away. Sounds Like Crazy is beautifully written, with delightfully charming, eccentric, and quite realistic characters, not all are likeable yet even in the direst times, Holly's wit shines through. Mahaffey did a superb job in writing a convincing novel about a woman who spent the majority of her life with Dissociative Identity Disorder and a brilliant job at showing the reader what the mind can do to protect itself. My words cannot do justice to the true beauty locked inside Sounds Like Crazy, rather it is a novel one must personally experience and if possible discuss with others. To aid the reader, the author includes a discussion guide at the end of her novel. Sounds Like Crazy is a novel I do not hesitate to recommend to all readers.

About the Author:

Mahaffey lives in San Francisco, California, in part of an Edwardian compound that she shares with an informal cooperative of family, friends, and five cats. She’s a survivor of catechism and cat scratch fever, and is a member of the Sanchez Grotto Annex, a writers’ co-op. Her novel, Sounds Like Crazy was named a notable book for Fall 2009 by the San Francisco Chronicle; and her work has appeared in publications such as Sunset Magazine, SoMa Literary Review, Spectrum Literary Journal, Reflections Literary Journal, and assorted literary blogs. In addition to writing fiction, Shana has contributed articles, white papers, and product reviews to various technology publications. She welcomes all visitors to her website and is happy to meet with book groups in-person or in cyberspace (phone/webcam/the works). Her cat blogs for her at

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Watch the book trailer.

I received a complimentary copy of Sounds Like Crazy by Shana Mahaffey to be a part of this tour and offer my honest review of the novel. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of aforementioned novel.



Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

This is a wonderful review and I am not really interested in this book that I had not heard of until I read your review.

Thanks Jennifer! :D

Mary said...

Fantastic review - it's going on my list!

fredamans said...

Great review! Definitely going on my list!

Creations by Laurel-Rain Snow said...

Your review put this book on my list. Ever since I read Sybil, I have been fascinated with stories about DID (once called multiple personality disorder).

This author sounds intriguing, as well.

Thanks so much for spotlighting what sounds like a fabulous book.

Shana said...

Jennifer, thank you so much for the wonderful review! What a great way to start the week.

Sheila, Mary, and fredamans, thanks for putting Sounds Like Crazy on your list. I certainly hope it lives up to your expectations!

Laurel-Rain Snow, one of the short ways to describe Sounds Like Crazy is to say, "It's like Sybil meets the Simpsons." And yes, DID is a fascinating condition. The mind itself is pretty fascinating too :-)

As for me, well, I like being called intriguing :-)

All, please feel free to drop me a note if you have any questions, thoughts, etc. after reading Sounds Like Crazy.

Thanks again, Jennifer!


Shana (author, Sounds Like Crazy)

Kristen said...

You've definitely intrigued me. :-)

trish said...

I'm so glad you loved the book as much as I did! I think this is a great book that is flying under the radar.

I had to laugh at Shana's description of the book: "It's like Sybil meets the Simpsons." LOL!!! Silly, but true. But it's even better than that, I think. :)

Thanks for being on this tour!