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The Most Dangerous Thing Paperback – March 7, 2017
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"An approachable, earnest, feel-good romance...provides the flavor for a tale of recovery and empowerment (Kirkus Reviews 2017-01-17)
"Lieberman has written a beautiful novel...it will definitely appeal to teenage readers who are beginning to date and to explore their sexuality. Her portrayal of Sydney's depression and relationship challenges is both sensitive and insightful." (Resource Links 2017-02-15)
"Family, mental health, and sexual awakening all combine for an honest and enjoyable read...The protagonist's revelations about sex, her body, and feminism are developmentally appropriate, and many struggling teens will appreciate that Sydney continues to process these issues. Lieberman's story of a girl living with depression as she moves into womanhood will be a hit with fans of Sarah Dessen and Christine Heppermann." (School Library Journal 2017-02-28)
"Syd is likely a character that will be relatable to readers who have experienced mental illness...Her mental illness, mainly anxiety and depression, is handled well and rings true. It is neither glamorized nor sensationalized. It is nuanced...The Most Dangerous Thing isn't the first YA book to talk about mental illness, or desire, but the intersection of the two feels novel and important...People living with or interested in mental illness, teens who are starting to confront sexuality, those interested in modern Judaism, and people who like slice of life novels will certainly find something to enjoy here." (CM Magazine 2017-02-03)
"This title for me was a welcome change from the traditional YA romance. I consider myself middle of the road in terms of romance that tackles things of a sexual nature. Leanne covered the subject in a very tasteful way in my opinion. I won't give too much away, but I loved seeing her feelings for Paul develop. It made me think back to my first love and the nervous excitement of each new day...I also enjoyed how she tackled the subject of depression. I myself am a sufferer and I thought her use of the 'fog' in order to describe when the sadness is looming to be a very effective description." (YA Obsessed blog 2017-04-07)
"The richness of Leanne's novels makes them a fascinating read for both adults and young adults. The story is complex and rewarding, and the themes are significant...But what kept me reading long into the night was the writing." (The Kingston Whig-Standard 2017-04-13)
"This is a quiet, gentle novel that conveys not just Sydney's pain, but also her courageous attempts to dispel the fog, even when it seems to be winning." (Booklist 2017-04-28)
"Lieberman handles many heavy topics in a way that is both realistic and gentle, offering readers a chance to grapple with these ideas through a main character that is relatable…An interesting and timely angle on female sexuality and feminism from the perspective of a teenager trying to understand what they mean to her." (Association of Jewish Libraries 2017-06-20)
"This book felt very real to me—accuarate in its emotional content. Its voice is poignant and believable. It reminded me of how perplexing it felt to fall in love for the first time. I must also high-five Leanne Lieberman for the wonderful way she addresses the issues of female desire; it's done in a way that feels both honest and non-judgmental…Teens will relate to this story on many different levels. Those grappling with anxiety and self-esteem issues will most certainly find a kindred spirit in Sydney." (BCBookLook 2017-08-30)
"Sydney's struggles and battle against 'the fog' are palpable; she is a curious, smart and self-aware protagonist. Lieberman also excels at depicting Sydney's close relationship with her cantankerous grandfather." (Jewish Book Council 2017-11-14)
Syd wonders where desire fits into depression.
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Syd is a member of a Jewish family and is very close with her Zayda (grandfather whom she visits regularly, the cranky, grumpy old gentleman loves her unconditionally and gives her stock market tips.
As introverted as Syd is, so extroverted is her older sister Amy who is planning (to Syd's absolute horror) on staging a version of The Vagina Monologues at school for the senior drama festival. Her lab partner gently starts courting Syd and although she is attracted to him is totally out of her depth as she is unable to even think about sexuality, much less talk about it.
The day comes when the fog wins and Syd has a breakdown; therapy and meds follow and Syd has a breakthrough in her personal relationships.
This is a gentle non-intrusive book that chronicles the story of teenage depression amidst the already difficult task of just being a teenager, as well as loving support from family and friends.
This book gets 3.5 stars
I also enjoyed how she tackled the subject of depression. I myself and a sufferer and I thought her use of the ‘fog’ in order to describe when the sadness is looming to be a very effective description. Over time you see Sydney grow and tackle difficult challenges in her journey to discover the kind of woman she will grow up to be. I look forward to reading future books by you Leanne! *Adds Leanne to her Goodreads watch list*