Monday, September 10, 2012


by Pandora Poikilos

Anya Michaels is having the time of her life. She has the man of her dreams by her side. She has graduated at the top of her class. She has the job others were lining up for. Between late night drinks at her favourite bar and fancy dinners at the most expensive restaurants, she has a string of adoring friends. Everything changes when she hears the dreaded words, "You are sick." 

Being diagnosed with a rare neurological disorder, her world starts to fall apart, one piece at a time. Now dumped, her four year relationship is nothing but a memory filled with pictures, thoughts and a very broken heart. Her job becomes an even further challenge as she tries to hide her condition. Her friends suddenly have more important things to do, what is a party without a party girl? Perfect could not crumble any faster. 

Soon, caught between situations, people and pieces of life that she never dreamed of planning for herself, Anya begins to wonder if her brain condition is all that bad. As she absorbs the changes in her life and realization sets in, she begins to wonder if she is the only one saying: Excuse Me, My Brains Have Stepped Out.

               (20% of royalties will be donated to the National Organisation of Rare Disorders)  

An Excerpt:

I have come to understand that every once in a while in life we all have to do something because we must. It is not about what we want or how we would like it to be, it simply has to be done because it is necessary. Most times this will be a task that surpasses normal and not many people would choose to understand. But, done it must.

I have tried turning it all around, telling myself that ‘it is a small surgery’, ‘it is just a routine procedure’, ‘it is not necessarily a brain surgery’ but when a neurosurgeon sits down and talks about the risks and procedures of being in surgery, there is no other way of calling it, is there?

I Love You. The best relationships in our lives are the best not because they have been the happiest ones. They are that way because they have stayed strong through the worst storms and held hands during the happiest of springs.

These are the relationships between friends who stay when the rest of the world walks out. The family who holds you close and says, ‘it does not matter what others say, this is something we will get through together because there are no limits to how much we love you.’ And when these people say, ‘I Love You’, it is not because they have to, it is not because they could not order you roses from the best florist or because they need to say something to fill a void in conversation, they say it is because it is just that, Love.

No conditions, no smokescreens, just pure transparent, unconditional love given when you need it the most. As the Swedish proverb goes, ‘Love me when I least deserve it, because that is when I really need it.’

My Review

Anya, the protagonist of this novel, suffers from Pseudotumor Cerbi and requires a shunt to drain excess spinal fluid from her brain. Through letters to her father, Anya reveals her thoughts on her past, her future, her condition, and her philosophical observations regarding people and life. This is not an easy book to read, especially if you have auto-immune or other medical conditions which are difficult or impossible to treat. However, the book has some realistic perceptions that cause the reader to think, “Ah, I know someone like that.” 

Other comments are about life and these also strike a chord with the reader. Let me share a few of them with you: 

“Life isn’t about the latest gadget from Apple or that delicious rumor that is floating around Facebook.”

“And as often as I may sometimes feel down or make a bitter remark at wondering why I would have to go through this, there are more times when I think, what is the use of being normal anyway? You lose out on every single chance of being extraordinary and being in the company of more extraordinary people.”

“So often, we get our knickers in a twist because of what people will think or say without realising that we are giving them more leverage than they deserve. We make other people a priority in our lives without realizing that we need to set aside some priorities for ourselves too.”

And my favorite: 
“Funny thing about people, they will believe that God is dead and Elvis is alive.”

Ms Poikilos has an engaging style and voice. This is not a long book, and may be read quite easily at one sitting. Readers who enjoy women’s fiction, poetry, and serious novels (with an occasional touch of humor) will enjoy EXCUSE ME, MY BRAINS HAVE STEPPED OUT.

International best-selling author, Pandora Poikilos has been writing for more than 10 years for various media which include newspapers, radio, television and various websites.

This novel was furnished by the author in exchange for my unbiased review.

Thanks for stopping by!


marybelle said...

I am absolutely fascinated. What an interesting read.


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thank you for hosting today.

Caroline Clemmons said...

Thanks for sharing with us today, Pandora.

Anonymous said...

Sounds very intense, but nicely done!


MomJane said...

I really loved the review. This sounds like a really good story.

Shannon Ro said...

Wow, it sounds like a really emotional and thought provoking novel. Thanks for sharing

fencingromein at hotmail dot com

Carrie said...

I enjoyed this novel, particularly some of the comments she had like the ones you quoted. It definitely made you think.

I wasn't thrilled with the letter format. I was expecting a more typical novel based on the blurb

Chelsea B. said...

I absolutely love the title! I can't wait to read the book! And thank you for sharing some quotes-- it helps me see if I like the authors voice :-)


Pandora Poikilos said...

Thank you so much for hosting me and for your wonderful comments.

All my best,