Book Review: Straightjacket by Meredith Towbin

Author: Meredith Towbin
Reading Level: YA
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Released: February 15th 2013
Review Source: Author
Available: Amazon •

Summary: (from goodreads) Eighteen-year-old Anna has lived her whole life in shame, losing herself in books to cope with crippling panic attacks triggered by her abusive parents. Forced into a psychiatric hospital, she can’t imagine a future that’s anything but bleak—until she meets Caleb, a gifted, 19-year-old artist who insists he’s an angel.

He swears his mission is to help Anna break free from her parents’ control and fulfill a destiny that she can only dream of. The doctors, however, are convinced that Caleb is delusional.

Anna doesn’t want to be that girl who’s in love with the crazy guy, but when she sees his stunning portraits of her and the way he risks everything to keep her safe, she can’t help but imagine a new future for both of them, filled with hope. But just when it seems they’ve created heaven on earth, Caleb’s past emerges full force, threatening to destroy their tiny, blissful world. And Anna has to decide if she should follow her heart, or if Caleb’s really as troubled as his doctors say…

Eighteen year old Anna has been sent to live in the loony bin after threatening to kill herself at home. Her parents are ultra oppressive and highly religious. They do not believe that young women should be touching let alone kissing boys until they are married. Anna hates her parents and would do anything to get away from them, but landing herself under the watchful eye of a psychiatric facility isn't the permanent solution she was looking for. She knows that one day her doctor will deem her fit to leave the treatment facility and she'll be sent home to live with her parents. All Anna wants to do is go away to college and get away from them their rules once and for all.

Her plan quickly falls apart when she meets Caleb. Caleb suffers from Catatonia. He has random fits where he just goes completely still and doesn't appear to be in his body anymore, at least that is what any passerby would think. But where Caleb goes is a different story. Caleb is an angel but of course nobody believes him, hence why he landed in this facility as well. But Caleb is here by choice and he has a job to do while he is inside. His job is to work on Anna's weakened self confidence, get her back on her feet and get her to write the book she is destined to write. There is just one catch ... Caleb can't let himself get attached to her romantically because once the job is done, he will need to go back to his place in Heaven.

This was such a wonderful story. It's heart warming but at the same time extremely heart wrenching. Naturally Anna and Caleb's story at it's heart is a love story. But there is so much more to it than that. This is a very powerful story about mental illness and the effect that it has on young adults. It's about getting help and learning to control the sickness that plagues you instead of letting it run your life. It's also about believing in yourself and in the healing power of love. Meredith Towbin is a very talented writer and story teller. She only has one other novel out currently but I have a feeling we'll definitely be seeing more from her in the future. I am definitely a fan and will continue to read her novels for years to come.

1 comment:

  1. sounds like a deep story dealing with some though issues. I never heard of this book so I am curious, but the fact that it once again features bad parenting has me grinding my teeth. Great review though!


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