Thursday, July 7, 2016

Review: The Memory of Light by Francisco X. Stork

Title: The Memory of Light
Author: Francisco X. Stork
Year Published: 2016

Genre: YA fiction 
Pages: 325
Rating: 5 out of 5

Location (my 2016 Google Reading map)USA (Texas)

FTC Disclosure: I borrowed this book from my school library

Summary (from the back of the book): Vicky Cruz shouldn't be alive. That's what she thinks, anyway--and why she tried to kill herself. But then she arrives at Lakeview Hospital, where she meets Mona, the life wire; Gabriel, the saint; E.M., always angry; and Dr. Desai, a quiet force. With stories and honesty, kindness and hard work, they push her to reconsider her life before Lakeview, and offer her an acceptance she's never had.

Yet Vicky's newfound peace is as fragile as the roses that grow around the hospital. And when a crisis forces the group to split up--sending her back to the life that drove her to suicide--Vicky must find her own courage and strength. She may not have any. She doesn't know.

Review: Wow. This one is so good. And he wrote Marcelo in the Real World. Now I feel like I need to go and read his other two books!

This book is so beautiful in it's treatment of mental illness. I know beautiful doesn't quite seem like the right word, but I can't really think of another word to describe it. I feel like I understand the issues so much more after reading this book (though of course, there is so much more to learn), that I have had a glimpse into the minds of the depressed and ill. In the author's note at the end Stork talks about his own battle with depression and I am sure that experience helped him to write such a stirring and believable account.

I also feel that each of the characters is so necessary and well done. Each one brings something important to the story by way of their illness or reaction to someone else's illness. How to behave, what people feel, how it feels, and more. I think this book is such an important one for students to read and that it would a help to some who are struggling with their own demons or with those of friends and family.

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