Psych Major Syndrome

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Overview

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,...

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Psych Major Syndrome

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Overview

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.

Diagnosis:

Psych Major Syndrome

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Psychology major Leigh Nolan wants to devote her life to analyzing people, but in her first year at a small, highly liberal college, she has her hands full trying to decipher the meaning behind her own idiosyncrasies. Why is she so reluctant to buy a parking sticker when the tickets she has accumulated will cost far more than a decal? Why can't she pinpoint a happy moment that she's experienced? Why hasn't she had sex with the boy she's been dating for over a year? In a romantic comedy that at the same time deals frankly with sexual issues, first-time author Thompson pokes fun at academia as she explores Leigh's muddled feelings about her boyfriend and his good-looking roommate, Nathan. Ironies abound in this novel, and the supporting cast of offbeat characters—Leigh's unconventional parents (“My mom teaches shamanistic dance at the local Y, and my dad takes a weeklong vow of silence every year. Their view of 'normal' is a little skewed”); her arty roommate, Ami; and Rebekah, the smart-alecky, all-too-worldly middle schooler Leigh mentors—add depth. Ages 12–up. (Aug.)
Children's Literature - Suzanna E. Henshon
Leigh Nolan decides to be a psychology major at Stiles College. She is fascinated by how people think and act; Leigh also enjoys analyzing her own life. She signs up for "Introduction to Psychology" and loves the class. Meanwhile, Leigh continues a relationship with her high school boyfriend, Andrew. He is smart, insightful, and pompous. Things seem to be going well, but Andrew never invites Leigh to spend the night. Why cannot Leigh take her relationship to the next level? Leigh mentors Rebekah, a junior high school student; but, Leigh wonders if she is really cut out to be a mentor; her own life is not going too well. One night Leigh has a dream about Nathan, Andrew's roommate. Does this dream have a deeper meaning? Are Leigh and Andrew destined to be together? In her debut novel, Alicia Thompson takes young adult readers onto a college campus that feels realistic and three-dimensional; readers will enjoy meeting Leigh and seeing what college is like for a psychology major. Reviewer: Suzanna E. Henshon, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Leigh, a freshman at tiny Stiles College in California, is more uptight than her artsy roommate Ami, but not quite as stiff as her high school boyfriend, Andrew. She's trying to figure out how to navigate her way through a psychology major at a school that's putting more pressure on her than she expected while weathering Andrew's expectations for sex though their romance is dwindling. Added into the mix are Andrew's attractive but moody roommate, several "mean girl" types, and a healthy dose of quirky, introspective humor. Leigh's exceptional vocabulary is naturally worked into the story, which is also heavily laced with brand and celebrity names, music references, and esoteric comments about zombies and girlfriends who might like to cook your bunny rabbit. The idea that Leigh's kooky parents (who own a psychic B&B) would have her share a bedroom at their home with a young man because they want to save space for paying guests seems far-fetched, as does a contrived subplot that features an overweight matron-type who is too rigid to talk with any honesty about sex. The young woman's ongoing inner conversations about sleeping with Andrew are much more believable.—Maggie Knapp, Trinity Valley School, Fort Worth, TX
Kirkus Reviews
Leigh's psych classes at Stiles College do little to help her understand why sex still doesn't seem like a good idea with her brainy, long-term boyfriend, why she can't stop thinking about his sweet, guitar-playing roommate and why her competitive classmates care so much about making her look stupid. A classic romantic-comedy formula feels fresh thanks to Leigh's witty, semi-slacker narration, adorably kooky persona and background-her parents read tarot cards and run a business as spiritual advisors. Leigh's breakup with the pretentious beau sends her into a dark period of self-pity, and even a titillating road trip with Nate (the one!) can't quite snap her out of it. Readers will speed through the final pages, looking for that fantastic kiss that will bring Nate and Leigh together. The college experience dominates much of the book; older teens looking ahead might enjoy anticipating their time away from home, but younger readers won't relate. Leigh's concern with sexual readiness will leave readers of all ages doing a little self-analysis and thinking about their own decisions. (Fiction. 16 & up)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781423114574
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
  • Publication date: 8/11/2009
  • Pages: 336
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Alicia Thompson graduated from New College of Florida in 2006 with a degree in psychology and wrote this debut novel in between pulling all-nighters on her senior thesis. Her short stories "Abby Greene for President" and "Stealing Mark Twain" have appeared in Girls' Life magazine. She is currently working on an MFA in fiction writing at the University of South Florida (where she still pulls the occasional all-nighter).
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 7 )
Rating Distribution

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(2)

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 6, 2009

    Great book - Learn about yourself and your friends

    This book inspires one to not only look at our inspirations, but our friends and what means the most to us. I really enjoyed the story as well as the over all plot. Some of the characters were a bit on the mean side... but that's real life too.

    I would definitely say it has some re-readability to it as well.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 21, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I wish I had read this book before I did that Top Ten Tuesday po

    I wish I had read this book before I did that Top Ten Tuesday post on authors who deserve more recognition because this book you guys. This book is a hidden gem that everybody should be reading. A fantastic cast of characters, fresh writing, and a swoon worthy romance? YES YES YES. Psych Major Syndrome is one of those rare books that just sang to my soul, from the moment I read the first sentence, the book I wish I’d had in my hands during my freshman year of college. It was so relatable and realistic and I never wanted it to end. The closer I got to finishing it, the more excuses I would find to stop reading and do something else because I wanted to live in Leigh’s life for just a little bit longer.

    Leigh is a freshman at a small liberal arts college, and Psych Major Syndrome details her  journey during this pivotal year, where she learns how to balance new academic needs, new relationships, a preoccupation with sex, and all of the other changes that come with leaving home and being on your own for the first time. She’s one of those characters I loved instantly, even more so because I could strongly relate to her, right down to her penchant for badly written romance novels. She’s just so well-rounded and normal. She’s smart and witty but she’s also naive and blind to the obvious and has that tendency to over analyze every little thing that I think all girls can relate to. She brought out all the emotions that you want to feel when reading. I cried with her and laughed with her and of course had moments when I wanted to strangle her for being oblivious or stubborn.

    Thompson’s writing is fresh, witty, quirky in all the right ways and utterly charming. It just warmed my heart and caused me to constantly grin like a maniac while reading. While the story does contain some clichés, a couple of scenes that made me cringe and some moments that I wish had been better developed, they were not enough to distract from the story being told. The plot moves quickly and fully engaged all of my senses.

    All of the secondary characters were also just as well-written and developed as Leigh. Her best friend/roommate Ami reminded me so much of my college roommate/now life long best friend it was almost like deja vu. Ami is artistic, vocal and absolutely the voice of reason. She’s not afraid to tell Leigh or anyone else how it is and I love it. She’s one of those secondary characters I would love to see have her own story told one day.

    As for the two love interests, I have a lot of feelings. Andrew is Leigh’s high school sweetheart and the world’s biggest douche bag. Seriously. He actually had me Hulk smash raging every time he was on the page, to the point that I actually threw my book across the room. Of course I picked it right back up and hugged it close but still. I can’t remember the last time I hated a character this much. Rude, condescending, self-absorbed. If you don’t hate him from the moment you’re introduced to him you are doing something wrong. His roommate Nathan is pretty much is exact opposite. 100% swoon worthy, sweet, charming and caring, he’s pretty much the perfect guy. It also doesn’t hurt that he play’s guitar, walks around shirtless and has some issues of his own that make him an observer of human nature. While both of the guys could have been developed a little better, Nathan was definitely more fully developed than Andrew and is total book boyfriend material. And although I guess this could be considered a love triangle, it never really felt like one. The development’s in both of the relationships felt completely realistic, which was refreshing.

    This was a perfect contemporary YA read for me and I look forward to any future works from this author.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 7, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    PSYCH MAJOR SYNDROME- A funny, contemporary read about college life, lessons and love!

    I immediately felt the need to read PSYCH MAYJOR SYNDROME when I first discovered it!

    And the character of Nate does definitely not disappoint! He is a sexy nerd! Nate studies math, is an open-minded creative artist and always there for you when you need him.
    Our female protagonist, Leigh, is a crazy psychology student who tends to overanalyse every situation and person she comes across. What an irony that the psych major girl who analyses everyone doesn't know her own feelings.

    When it comes to the part where both get to know each other, I was hooked. I enjoyed how clumsy these two were interacting and how hilarious the moments they often ended in were. I hoped for much more interaction between Leigh and Nate and I wouldn't mind to spend some more time with them in a sequel.
    Each chapter begins with a psychology related term and explanation functioning as a kind of headline. I am not that interested in psychology and its techniques or theories, but Alicia Thompson used it in a funny and anything but dry way.

    I really liked that the story of PSYCH MAJOR SYNDROME was set at uni. The writing is good and the overall plot sweet and funny. I want to read more of that!

    THE VERDICT

    PSYCH MAJOR SYNDROME is a novel about the bright and not so bright sides of being a student and the odds of finding love as a psych major. Sign up as psych major yourselves for a chance to meet gorgeous Nate!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 22, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Angela S. for TeensReadToo.com

    Leigh is in her first year as a freshman at a small California college and, so far, college is not what she thought it would be.

    Despite majoring in Psychology, Leigh cannot diagnose and solve any of her own problems.

    Like the fact that her boyfriend, Andrew, wants to take things to the next level, even though Leigh's feelings for their relationship are almost non-existent. She's much more interested in Andrew's roommate, who is really attractive, but more often than not moody and not easy to be around.

    With her teachers putting a lot of pressure on her (much more than she expected) and a few catty girls making Leigh's life difficult, Leigh is starting to wonder if college was for her after all.

    Written with humor and heart, this is a wonderful book that teenagers and young adults can relate to. The main character is believable and honest. And, even though the storyline sometimes falters, Leigh's character holds the book together nicely.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2009

    loved it

    I really liked this book. I can really relate to the main character who is a last minute person and makes everything harder on herself. This book makes you think about your future changes( if your in high school)and what you want from life and changes in relationships and friendships. I can't wait to go to college and fall in love

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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