I first got this book at a book fair a year or two ago. I loved the art on the cover and the summary intrigued me. I soon began to read it, but quickly grew bored. I only got to the second or third chapter before I put the book down and eventually forgot about it. When I was looking for a book on my shelf, I found this one and decided to try it out again. I’m so glad I decided to read this book. When I bought it a year ago, I wasn’t ready to read it. I had never felt depression and no one in my life tried to commit suicide before. Now, however, I understand it and I really appreciate it more than I did when I first read it.
Vicky is a sixteen year old girl who, in her eyes, shouldn’t be alive. Vicky has been suffering for a while from depression and one day, she choses to do the deed. Even though Vicky tries to OD, her suicide attempt fails because of her cat, Galileo, and her nana, Juanita. When Vicky wakes up, she is in a bed at Lakeview Hospital. While at Lakeview, Vicky’s life changes. She begins to have appointments with Dr. Desai and GTH meetings with three other patients: Mona, E.M., and Gabriel. As Vicky continues to stay at Lakeview, she starts to really understand herself, her depression, and her new friends.
This book is an emotional roller coaster. It sets up all kinds of emotions: Happiness, sadness, anxiousness, fear, bliss, etc. It never stops at one emotion for too long. You can go from feeling fervent one second to crying you eyes out the next. The book might change emotions a lot, but it doesn’t do it too much to exasperate you.
I love the characters in this book. Each one has a little bit of their story told from Vicky’s perspective and you gain feelings for each character. Mona is very energetic and daring, but she can also change her emotion on the dime. E.M. is the usual tough guy, but as Vicky gets to know him, his scariness lessens by a least a little bit. Dr. Desai is kind, but firm when she wants to be. Out of all the characters, Gabriel seems the most interesting. He is bright and polite, but he also hides many secrets deep within his brain. Even though some characters are clichés, they still have unique parts about them.
The setting in this book never becomes stodgy or tiresome. When it seems like Vicky and the gang have been in one area for a while, they go someplace else. Some of these areas include: Lakeview hospital, Gabriel’s house, and even a farm. Each setting is unique in its own way, making sure the reader never feels bored.
This book likes to make you reflect a lot. Almost every character in the book has something abstract to say. They talk about symbols or even tell stories and how it helps them. Each character gives something Vicky can use against her fight with depression. It is really nice to put the book down and think a little after a character has said something deep and meaningful.
The only negative thing I have to say is that this book doesn’t have the prettiest writing. It doesn’t include very in depth details or elegant wording. It can describe things just fine, but it is also very basic. The writing doesn’t hinder the story in any way, it just doesn’t get into things with great detail.
I really recommend this book to anyone and everyone interested. I don’t regret reading this book and I feel like I’ve learned a bit more about depression. This book might have even helped me in some way. If you are curious about this book, you should get it. It doesn’t have detailed writing and some of the characters might be considered clichés, but I found the story kind of charming.
Just before I end this post, one thing that I saw the book had were links found on the author’s note. They were links to websites to learn about/to go to if you have depression. I am going to leave these links below in case anyone wants to view them.
You hardly see me in the sun,
My sparkle’s in the stars.
When all is dark around you,
I’m the memory of light.
I’m not the fruit of summer.
I’m not the blooming rose.
I live in roots of trees
And in the seeds of love.
When all is lost around you,
When life’s last dream is gone,
I’ll be the breath you breathe,
The next step that you take.