In a sequence of short, intense poems based on the author's own experiences, a 13-year-old girl suffers through her shifting feelings about her sibling's mental illness. She recalls the terror of the Christmas Eve when Sister was suddenly transformed into a stranger; the horror of visiting Sister in the hospital and finding her rocking on all fours; the fear that her friends will find out; her own worry that she, too, may lose her mind; and her wistful memories of Sister as she was before. More complex emotions are also explored, such as her irrational suspicion that Sister may be deliberately acting crazy, as poignantly expressed in the title poem: "Stop pretending./ Right this minute./ Don't you tell me/ you don't know me./ Stop this crazy act/ and show me/ that you haven't changed./ Stop pretending/ you're deranged." Gradually, as Sister begins to recover, the girl is able to find hope and again take pleasure in her own life.
An excellent book for preteen through adult. It's a quick read, but will spark lengthy conversations, especially in families with a history of mental illness/depression. It'd be a great jumping-off point.