Entangled in Darkness

Rated 3.38/5 based on 16 reviews
This was supposed to be the time of her life. Annalyn Johanssen was done with high school, done with living at home with her overbearing family. Moved out and now roommates with her best friend of forever, Annalyn was starting university. A new beginning, she thought. But as much as she hoped to get away from the unhappiness of adolescence, she soon found herself spiraling into darkness. More
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About Lindsey Webster

Lindsey published her first novel, ENTANGLED IN DARKNESS, in 2009. It delves into the world of mental illness. She also enjoys writing sci-fi/fantasy—her favourite genres to read and the genre of her latest book, ESCAPE THE LION'S DEN (published in 2015 under the pen name Michelle Webster). She loves to get lost in other worlds, dream of space travel and distant planets.
Lindsey has degrees in both psychology and psychiatric nursing, from University of the Fraser Valley and Kwantlen Polytechnic University, respectively. Lindsey also writes poetry and has since she was 13yrs old when she first fell in love with the written word. As well as writing, she continues to work in mental health nursing. She maintains her home in British Columbia, Canada, the place she grew up and where she spends her time with her many pets.

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Review by: RAVENSWOOD PUBLISHING on July 16, 2011 :

The story of a college-aged girl named Annalyn's descent into the dark confines of insanity. Feeling that her home-life is a wreck and in the constant position of dealing with her father's violent anger, she begins to lose her grip on reality and tries to commit suicide. Slowly her own darkness starts to consume her younger sister Janey causing her to end her life tragically by stabbing herself.

This story was haunting and extremely dark and scary as you realize just how easy it is to slip so far into depression that you can't even claw your way out. A story with an ending you won't soon forget. "Entangled in Darkness", is a great read!

-Kitty Bullard / Great Minds Think Aloud Book Club

Read more: http://www.greatmindsthinkaloud.proboards.com/index.cgi?action=display&board=gmta&thread=326&page=1#ixzz1SKpomEdg
(reviewed 4 months after purchase)
Review by: justinsgirl2017 on July 4, 2011 : (no rating)
This book starts out with a new high school graduate that is looking forward to starting a life of her own. She is the middle daughter of a not so loving and supportive family. Her younger sister loves her and admires her, a mother that loves her, and a father...that yells and seems indifferent to her. Not to long into her studies, she has a long episode of depression and life spirals down from there. Through her mental illness journey, you learn a lot about the family, their dynamics, and how living with a mental illness can change everything.
I really enjoyed this book, especially because of my connection to healthcare. I recognized her mental illness and enjoyed the authors the detailed description. I thought this book was very thought out and I really enjoyed it.
(reviewed 78 days after purchase)
Review by: Elizabeth Miller on June 3, 2011 :
If you have a family member that has a mental illness then you should read this book. It does an excellent job of helping to explain what goies on in the mind of someone with a mental illness. Annalyn moves out into the adult world and when the stress hits she starts a downward spiral that is terrifying to witness.
(reviewed 46 days after purchase)
Review by: Crystal Waldrum on June 2, 2011 :
A wonderful concept and idea behind this book by author Lindsey Webster. A dark tale of a family's struggle with mental illness and t he repercussions it has on everyone, not just the one who is suffering.

Meet Annalyn. She's newly moved from her parents home, starting university and she's dating a pretty great guy. In a domino affect every bright spot in her life is brought low and shrouded in darkness. She finds herself unable to crawl from the darkness pervading her mind, as well as the literal darkness created by her blanket.

After a suicide attempt she finds herself in love with life and brimming with excitement. All of which comes to a screeching halt when entering the psych ward. There she is diagnosed as Bipolar and now the effects of her illness reverberate her family. The stuck up older sister becomes nice and the younger loving sister hates her. And the dark secret of her parents is revealed to a horrifying result.

The author's ability to bring one to the brink of madness with Annalynn was excellent. There were times when I could feel for Annalyn because who hasn't had a day when we feel overwhelmed and how easy it would be to stay under the covers then to get up. However the actual form of the writing made it difficult to follow closely. The story needs a very strong editing hand and corrections for the conversations. I became very lost as well in the drastic time jumps. Although possibly done on purpose to show the characters spiral it was very difficult to stay on course when reading. Often I needed a moment and a break before I went back to re-read and find the timeline again.

With some good re-work this has the potential to be a strong story that could be enjoyed and understood by many.
(reviewed 46 days after purchase)
Review by: Cassie on May 31, 2011 :
I was a lucky winner of Entangled in Darkness in a Library Thing giveaway.

This might be one of the most personal reviews I write. When I learned that this book dealt with a psychological disorder, I was certainly interested since I also hold a BA in Psychology and plan to work in the mental health field. Much of my life, I personally have dealt with depression and anxiety, partially inherited from my father—another similarity with this read.

As I read through the first third of Entangled in Darkness, I was immediately wrapped up in the intensity and darkness of Annalyn’s story. It brought up a lot of personal memories and feelings for me. My life certainly wasn’t exactly like hers, but I could definitely identify with her helpless spiral into depression. That first night, I slept horribly because of the nightmares that the memories had brought on. The following day, I was in a total funk both from exhaustion and all the thoughts that were crowding my head. I actually had to take a break from the book to catch my breath.

When I continued, Annalyn was moving into the more manic stage of her disorder and starting to realize something more was going on. I identified less with her from this point, but I was no less enraptured with her life. Her relationship with her father was striking for me. Again, it was not exactly the same, but there were many similarities between their relationship and my own with my father.

Overall, I really liked this book. Lindsey absolutely knows about the darker side of mental illness—the side that often stays hidden within the person’s own mind. She describes this perfectly through Annalyn’s experiences and thoughts. The effect that it can have on family and friends is also flawlessly portrayed through her story. My only issue with the book is that sometimes the actual writing became a little repetitive, and there were several technical things that could have used a little cleaning up. I read the Kindle version, so the paperback might be somewhat different. Without all that, I probably would bump my rating up to 4-stars, because the actual story is very interesting and enlightening. I am curious now if Lindsey will continue the story or if she is just going to leave us hanging!

This review can also be found at www.gatheringleavesreviews.blogspot.com.
(reviewed 45 days after purchase)
Review by: Jill Lanning on May 24, 2011 : (no rating)
This was a difficult book to read due to the subject matter of depression & bipolar disorder & also what seemed to me to be a bit of schizophrenia thrown in for good measure. The author definitely knows her subject (mental illnesses) inside and out, but I felt the book lacked a smooth flowing sequencing of events. The main character Annalyn slips into the throes of mental illness shortly after embarking on an independent life away from her troubled family. She moves into an apartment & begins college and in short fashion, her troubles begin. I found it difficult to accept that it only took about one week on her own to fall into deep despair, and depression......I would have thought that she could have enjoyed life away from her obviously mentally ill and emotionally/mentally abusive father for at least a few months. However, in just one week away from her unpredictably angry and seemingly hate-filled father, she crumbles. My personal experience with despair and depression says it takes more than one week of attending college classes to have everything fall to pieces. The remainder of the story details her superspeed descent into total inability to function and the inability for anyone to help her help herself. Her family dynamics are skewed.....there's no explanation for the bitter rancor between her and her elder sister Lydia and the previously great relationship Annalyn had with her younger sister Janey is irrevocably damaged after Annalyn makes a futile suicide attempt. I would have found it more plausible that the younger sister would have been more forgiving given that the two had supposedly had such a close and caring relationship. The amount of rage and animosity and inability to forgive coming from the younger sister just did not ring true for me. The mother/daughter relationship was undefined which I find best illustrated by this: "Our mother was there, but she would only protect Janey as much as she could. And beyond that, our mother was so busy making him happy that she didn't really work on making us happy." Now that just sounds totally contradictory to me....which was she a mother that would protect as much as she could or a mother too absorbed in making her husband happy? That's quite a dichotomy. And the ending? Well, if you're not in a really happy place when you think about reading this book, then I wouldn't recommend reading it at all.
(reviewed 38 days after purchase)
Review by: AJ on May 22, 2011 :
Not a light easy read, Entangled in Darkness is actually well named, for it is a dark brooding story of struggle and adversity. It opens the door to a topic that is at the very least a mystery to many in this time.... the stigma of living with Mental Illness. Worth reading yes, disturbing, on some levels yes, but definitely worth reading.
(reviewed 35 days after purchase)
Review by: Shannon Walters on May 17, 2011 :
A very dark, depressing book about a girl moving out of her parents home for the first time. Starting college and finding it difficult and demanding, the being betrayed but a guy she likes/sort of dates, she spirals into some unreal pit of bi-polar, schizo, depression. I felt the characters were not developed enough to form any empathy for them. There was barely an explanation how she goes from totally fine and functioning to a total suicidal wreck over lifes normal stressors. Perhaps mental illness is exactly like this and I just dont get it. I hope that is the case.
(reviewed 25 days after purchase)
Review by: rebecca on May 14, 2011 :
Entangled in Darkness is the first person account of a college freshman and her development on Bi-polar disorder. i like the concept and the fact that is showed the affect of the diseaseoon the sufferer and the family. It started dragging and lost my attention towards the end despite the drama unfolding in the story. Overall a good read if you are interested in the subject matter.
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)
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