When Reason Breaks

 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
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When Reason Breaks
Age Range
12+
Release Date
February 10, 2015
ISBN
978-1619634121
Buy This Book
      
13 Reasons Why meets the poetry of Emily Dickinson in this gripping debut novel perfect for fans of Sara Zarr or Jennifer Brown. Meet Elizabeth Davis and Emily Delgado. A Goth girl with an attitude problem, Elizabeth must learn to control her anger before it destroys her. Emily appears to be a smart, sweet girl, with a normal life, but as depression clutches at her, she struggles to feel normal. Both girls are in Ms. Diaz’s English class, where they connect to the words of Emily Dickinson. Both are hovering on the edge of an emotional precipice. One of them will attempt suicide. And with Dickinson’s poetry as their guide, both girls must conquer their personal demons to ever be happy. In an emotionally taut novel that is equal parts literary and commercial, with a richly diverse cast of characters, readers will relish in the poetry of Emily Dickinson and be completely swept up in the turmoil of two girls fighting for their lives.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Gorgeous Prose and Strong Female Friendship
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
This is the first book I’ve read in a long time (or maybe ever) that made me choke up by the end of chapter 1. I wasn't sure where it was going at first, but by the end of that first chapter, I was almost in tears. It's a strong opening, and sets the mood for what you know will happen in the end.

When Reason Breaks is the story of two girls named Emily that come from different worlds. One is Hispanic and follows the rules (mostly), and the other one hates her name and goes by Elizabeth. Elizabeth is white and comes from a bad home. Both of these girls suffer from depression in different ways. I love the way Cindy L. Rodriguez writes different narratives for the same emotion.

When I was in high school, I fell madly in love with Emily Dickinson and her poetry—and poetry in general. So for that, this book has a special place in my heart. I love the way each chapter starts with a short epigraph from one of Emily’s poems. I also love that both girls share the same initials, and despite coming from different backgrounds, also share the same internal struggle. Cindy deals with the strong emotions in this book so subtly that when you realize what’s happening, it hits you in the gut. Here are some of the many, many things I loved in this book:

#1 Two individual and smart girls.

#2 Girls that don’t let themselves get bossed around by boys. (so many stars for this)

#3 Complicated and complex relationships between girls/girls, student/teacher, boys/girls, children/parents.

#4 Dealing with depression and anger in a way that is very real. (I will say that this is real not just for teen, but for the way adults deal with the same feelings.)

#5 Straight up beautiful and emotionally powerful writing.

#6 An incredibly diverse cast that is genuine (and necessary).

#7 All the feels.

#8 Alternating perspectives that are easy to keep track of.

While I was reading the book I kept seeing myself in both of these girls. As a teen. As an adult. And I think that was my takeaway from this. I’m a little bit of both, and when you think about it, so is everyone else.

When Reason Breaks is a much needed voice to YA fiction. It is an uplifting story of friendship, and girlhood. Definitely add to your shelves.
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