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Customer Review

on 28 August 2007
Most of us never have to worry about going on a family vacation, only to find out that we're being unceremoniously dropped off at a boot camp, instead. We have never questioned the imminent arrival of "escorts" who come in the middle of the night and drag us away, kicking and screaming, from our home. We've never wondered what it would be like to be shuffled off by our parents to a "rehabilitation school" because we're overweight -- or because we might possibly be gay. For Brit, V, Bebe, Cassie, and Martha, however, the above mentioned scenarios aren't just nightmares. They're real events.

Welcome to Red Rock, a "school" in the middle of Utah run by the Sheriff, staffed by pseudo-psychiatrists like Dr. Clayton, and guarded by former bouncers with more muscles than brains. This is the place where parents can send their children when they rebel, misbehave, or show antisocial behavior. Red Rock offers such pleasantries as "confrontational therapy," where girls are called names and hounded until they break down and cry, a punishment system where being sent back to Level One status means complete isolation and no shoes, and where the food comes in freeze dried blocks.

The problem is that, although there may be a few "students" at Red Rock who really belong in such a school, most of them, like main character Brit, don't. These are teens who may have lost their way, sure, but their behavior isn't anything beyond normal adolescent angst. But what the parents don't know -- and what it's up to the Sisters in Sanity to prove -- is that Red Rock is a place full of fakes who are doing more harm than good.

When Brit and fellow "inmates" V, Bebe, Cassie, and Martha set out to get the school shut down, it's all the girls can do to avoid trouble, keep their chins up, and survive. But in the process, these five girls find a friendship that eventually helps them all in ways they'd never expected.

Ms. Forman has written a fast-paced page turner that you'll find hard to put down. SISTERS IN SANITY, although not based in hard truth, does show the frightening aspect of so-called "boot camps" for teens, and you'll find yourself appalled at the reality of the situation. Ultimately, however, you'll be overjoyed to watch Brit and her friends not only buck the system, but find their own places in the world.

Reviewed by: Jennifer Wardrip, aka "The Genius"
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