Saturday, 22 August 2009

Psych Major Syndrome by Alicia Thompson

Publisher: Hyperion Books for Children
Pub. Date: August 2009
Age range: Young Adult
Pages: 336pp
Format: ARC
Source of copy: from publisher - Disney Hyperion

Using the skills you've learned so far in Introduction to Psychology, please write a brief self-assessment describing how things are going in your freshman year.

Presenting Concerns:

The Patient, Leigh Nolan (that would be me), has just started her first year at Stiles College. She has decided to major in psychology (even though her parents would rather she study Tarot cards, not Rorschach blots).

Patient has always been very good at helping her friends with their problems, but when it comes to solving her own...not so much.

Patient has a tendency to overanalyze things, particularly when the opposite sex is involved. Like why doesn't Andrew, her boyfriend of over a year, ever invite her to spend the night? Or why can't she commit to taking the next step in their relationship? And why does his roommate Nathan dislike her so much? More importantly, why did Nathan have a starring role in a much-more-than-friendly dream?

Aggravating factors include hyper-competitive fellow psych majors, a professor who's badly in need of her own psychoanalysis, and mentoring a middle-school-aged girl who thinks Patient is, in a word, naive.


Psych Major Syndrome

Are you fond of psychology? Are you the type to analyze everyone you come across? Or simply think too much all the time? Guess what? You might have just found your fictional soulmate who happened to be the main character of Psych Major Syndrome. Following Leigh's college days, the book was a perfect choice for self-ascertainment and full life-enjoyment.

The layout of Psych Major Syndrome was very original. I didn't think it was done on purpose but the ARC version looked like a psych patient file which just sucked me right into the story. Each and every chapter started with a psychological concept and even though some were not really familiar or easy to comprehend, they were so fun to look at. You know what was more fun? That the concept fitted with the content of the chapter so well. It was praise-worthy because I'm sure it took a lot of time and effort from the author to do such a thing.

The story to me, wasn't the kind where one huge problem was set up to solved so everything could end up nicely. It combined quite a lot of things that played important rolew on a teenager's life: study, future goal, boyfriend-girlfriend relationship, family. Thus, it felt very natural and delightful. You don't have to focus on one issue only but have the chance to take in other details. Alicia Thompson did a good job of balancing parts of Leigh's life and her writing was great. It was mind-probing yet would make the readers feel comfortable still.

I have a lot to say about Leigh. She was such an outstanding character. I liked the way she analyzed everything and everyone that she encountered. Sometimes she had a lot of thoughts that I couldn't catch up with. She was also a fun and silly one. Her not-so-hilarious acts had me either laugh or chuckle. That was one of the reasons why I was so eager to tag along with her throughout the story. And despite how uptight and clueless sometimes she was, she didn't lack strength or confidence.

Aside from Leigh, I also liked Nathan. Such a sweet guy! The way he expressed his feelings to Leigh was adorable. Seriously, how could you not love someone who recognized every little thing you do? His grumpiness was something that added to the cuteness. I don't usually go for shy guys but hell this one was too cool. And Andrew, what could I say about him? Definitely the biggest jerk. But don't you agree that jerks make stories more interesting?

To sum up, Psych Major Syndrome was a likeable read that I recommend you to pick up as soon you as you can. Hopefully you'll enjoy watching Leigh figuring out the real problems of her life and how to solve them all - let loose and take the changes when needed - just as much as I did.

Rating: 4/5


Marie said...

Sounds really cute. I'm totally one of those people that reads Psych stuff and then thinks I have it.
Like "omg- I TOTALLY have OCD"

Steph Su said...

Ooh, yay. I'm like Marie: I like reading the psych stuff, but then I worry if I have those problems as well. xD This book sounds like cheerier, cuter version of Megan McCafferty's. I really want to read it now!

Annie. said...

Ohhh I like the sound of this. I've recently had an urge to do psychology at uni but considering I've been there for 6 years doing one degree after the other, I think it's time I stopped studying and enter the real world. But maybe later on I'll try Psychology too....always a topic of interests ^^

B.A.M. Book Reviews said...

Good review! I've been reading a lot of good things about this book. I'll have to check it out when it's released.