Friday, January 14, 2011

Psych Major Syndrome by Alicia Thompson

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

Psych Major Syndrome is Alicia Thompson's debut which came out in August 2009 (which sounds like ages ago now that we're in 2011...)

I wanted to read it for AGES. Set in college. With an older protag. It sounded fun and maybe a little bit mad crazy. Which is how I love my books to be...

When I finally got it, I started reading and couldn't put it down. Sneakily, (despite my, erm, new years resolution Reformed Sleeping Habits Commitment) I stayed up until 3:30am to finish it.

It's probably an odd book to find un-put-downable. It's not because I was sucked in to the plot, or waiting for some major twist/secret to be revealed. It's because I was JUST HAVING SO MUCH FUN reading it. It was compulsively addictive.

It's gorgeous. 

And KINDA SWEET with this FUNKY VIBE. It's FUNNY (oh, I so love books that make me grin) and often cringe-worthy and honest and, dear God, I was also in a state of swooning and sweating over Nathan. Boy, talk about a new fictional crush. Phew...

Leigh felt like every-girl. I so loved her with all her flaws. 

It's not a deep book. It's not going to blow your mind. It won't have you on the edge of your seat. You can kind of see the ending coming. You get things before our spunky, OCD protagonist does. Okay, sometimes way before she does. You sometimes want to scream some sense into her. But you just love being taken along for the ride. (I've slipped into second person POV here :)

I haven't really said what it's about. Mainly it's just about Leigh and her first year of college, classic coming of age stuff. Growing up and freaking out and  wanting to lose your virginity and figuring out what you want to be and how to get there, yada yada yada. 

It's an older YA read ~ a few older themes but still done in a squeaky clean kinda way.

My fave part? The road trip with Nathan and thanksgiving back at home.

Recommended: This one is for fans of Rebecca Sparrow and Kirsten Murphy's Raincheck on Timbuktu. It's like a witty, fun-filled blend of these three books (below) ~which are favourites of mine.

Others have recommended it for fans of Meg Cabot and Megan McCafferty's Sloppy Firsts series. I can see why ~ it's reminiscent of both their work. I personally loved it more than Sloppy Firsts and Meg Cabot's work. It's got a bit more of a funky edge. Think, throw in a little bit of Beatle Meets Destiny...

and now I'm getting carried away... haha.

So I recommend it for fans of contemporary. 

For when you're in the mood for a rainy day comfort read. 

In the mood for grinning and swooning and just relaxing into a slightly crazy, fun story. 

I'm not ashamed to say I've already re-read parts of it, curled up in the hammock the next day (after pulling my all-nighter). 

It's a new favourite of mine because books like this just make me happy

I could find so many quotes that I adored to give you a taste... but here's the opening, where Leigh fills out this psych evaluation dooby:


1. I like... to read incredibly unrealistic and badly written romance novels.

2. The happiest time was... I can't remember.

3. Back home... the house smells like incense all the time

4. I regret... buying Avril's first album on the basis of one song

5.At bedtime... I make up stories in my head.

6. I am... very sensitive about the weirdest things

7. What annoys me... is when people confuse "you're" with "your" or "its" with "it's"

8.People... are stupid.(see above)

9. A mother... can really embarass you sometimes, espescially when she insists on bringing her tarot cards to all parent-teacher confrences

10. I feel... a low level of dread on a regular basis.

11. My greatest fear is... of being stranded in the desert or buried alive. Or never finding happiness.

12. When I was a child... I liked to play "pretend" a lot.

13.I suffer... every time I have to drive my car.

14. I failed... geometry. Twice.

15. Guys... are confusing, but nice to have around.

16. I need... Dunkin' Donuts coffee to live.

17. I hate... the way parking services hunts you down.

18. This school... is a small liberal arts college in California.

19. My father... wears an eye patch as an affectation.

20. I wish.... Rotter had never graduated with a psychology degree." 


  1. i love that cover. it's so well set out and green.

  2. Did you just say you liked this better than SLOPPY FIRSTS? NAOMI YOU JUST SOLD A COPY OF THIS BOOK.

    NOw go and relax in your hammock with a cocktail, your work here is done.

  3. haha this sounds great. looks like i'll be ordering it in...

  4. I love the sound of this one! I love books set on college campuses and coming-of-age stories always get my attention! Such a cute review! I totally want to meet this guy, Nathan, too! I have so many book crushes I can't keep track, but, there's always room for one more, right?! :)

  5. what do you mean by squeaky clean?

    because you say 'squeaky clean' and i say NO WAY!

    do you mean classic movie (ie. kiss then fade to black) or hannah montana/high school musical disney-esque squeaky clean?

  6. Sounds just like my cup of tea :) Ah, how I love YA contemp.

  7. @ Anna ~ I know - awesome cover.

    @ Carla. haha. I so would if it weren't edgind on midnight. I have those new years resolution sleeping things to commit too ;) and, I wasn;t the HUGEST fan of sloppy firsts, but i did like them :)

    @ Jess ~ i think you'd love it :)

    @ Leanna. There can never be too many fictional crushes. I am always roving around hunting for more...

    @ Kate: haha. i should clarify. ah, despite lots of sex talk - *spoiler* no actual sex. also there's no swearing, no drugs. so, you know, mature themes but not edgy.

    is that squeaky clean? hmmm...

    ah, not hannah montana, LOL

  8. That intro? And your review with that feel-good vibe?

    I'm sold.

  9. A protagonist who is a college student, is majoring in Psychology and has a tendency to over-analyse things? That's ME!! This is a book which I am definitely buying soon.
    Thank you, Nomes! :D

  10. As a former psych major, I'm now obliged to read this book. Plus, I dig the cover! :)

  11. This sounds so sweeet :) Like a perfect summer read.

  12. sounds great, I've been meaning to read it but then just put it off until the PB came out (I often do that).

    And I really like that it's an older YA! I think we need more of those. :D

    I also swore I wasn't going to stay away past midnight... but I'm re-reading Saving Francesca, so that didn't work.

  13. Hey, even light and classic coming of age stories have their purpose. I hadn't heard of this one before but it sounds fun. And I'm always totally read to swoon over fictional boys. Gotta rack them up.


  14. OOOO, I'm really interested in this one now! It sounds like so much fun!

  15. You stayed up to 3.30 am finishing it! I hope the kids didn't wake you up to early. I need to get my hands on this immediatley.

    Love the psych evaluation part you included.

    Another wonderful review Nomes :)

  16. I remember reading this book. It was SO cute-and Nathan was adorable! I wish we could've seen more of her parents though--they were crazy (in a fun way). I LOVED that they took photos of people's auras, lol.

  17. OK so Patient sounds like an older version of me. Most of her answers on the Rotter Incomplete Blank fit me to a tea. I am sure that this would be a fun book. Thanks for the review and for once again turning me on to a title I have never heard of before!

  18. Oh gosh, I had no idea this book existed *blushes* but after this review, it is for sure added to my wishlist. Totally sounds like something I would adore, plus I've been meaning to read some older-YA for a while. And FUNNY. YAY for FUNNY :)
    Great review, thank you!!
    ohh, and those quotes totally rocked

  19. Oh, fab review!! You always articulate things so well and make me want to read whatever's on your bookshelf. If this one is in the realm of Beatle then I think I'm already in love. Adding it to the list now. :)

  20. Great review. I've actually had this in my TBR pile for ages, Meg Cabot raved about it on her blog and I thought I must read that and then promptly buried it under loads of other books!

    Thanks for reminding me about it, it sounds exactly what I am in the mood for right now. Plus there is a road trip and Thanksgiving - yay!

  21. Ooh I love the sound of this book (I'm a contemporary book lover) and now with your great review Nomes I need to get my hands on a copy :)

  22. you have me sold! plus, I'm always looking for the older college-aged protag, love it.

    absolutely brilliant review!

  23. This sounds like such a fun read. I am definitely adding it to my TBR pile. I agree with liking the older protag. sometimes - there are not enough out there in YA lit.

    I also had to laugh about your Reformed Sleeping Habits resolution. I made one too this year after a few too many nights staying up to 1:30 to finish a book and then having to get up at 5:30 to get ready for work! Best of luck with your resolution. :)

  24. This looks like a cool read! Hopefully I can add it to my list of books to read after deadlines! :)


Thanks for the commenty love :)