(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Published by Bloomsbury Publishing USA on February 10th 2015
Genres: Family, General, Love & Romance, Mysteries & Detective Stories, Social Issues, Suicide, Young Adult
A Goth girl with an attitude problem, Elizabeth Davis must learn to control her anger before it destroys her. Emily Delgado 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.
I’m always a bit leery about reading stories in this genre, sometimes they are incredibly heavy, and horribly depressing and if I’m being honest, I prefer to stay away from those for personal reasons. That said, I still wanted to give this a try. There was just something about the summary that intrigued me… maybe it was the idea of weaving the poetry of Emily Dickinson into it, I’ve never been much of a poetry reader, and I don’t know much of her stuff so I thought this might be an interesting way to experience that in addition to an interesting story.
I have to say that I wasn’t disappointed in the least.
Elizabeth Davis and Emily Delgado couldn’t be further apart in the high school social spectrum. Elizabeth, is the goth girl who has anger issues and a chip on her shoulder… Emily appears to be the smart, sweet girl who has everything she needs.
But what no one knows is that these two have way more in common then it may seem on the outside. Both are battling inner demons, that are threatening to engulf them and as the summary states, one of them actually gives in to this war waging inside.
I think that my favorite part of this book is the developing friendship between two unlikely characters. It’s not your typical friendship either, they are sitting around chatting about boys and gossiping about school… friendship isn’t even really acknowledged until the very end, but you can see the build and the connections and I loved that.
I will say that I kind of suspected what the author was going to do in this story with these characters. I’m not going to go into detail on this, but once you read it, you’ll know what I mean. I don’t think there was any trickery intended, only the idea that you never really know what might be happening with someone on an emotional level, and appearances aren’t necessary everything.
Now on to the Emily Dickinson aspect of this story. As I said, I’ve never really been a poetry reader. I should probably change that, because I love the dissection of poetry and trying to get to the bottom of what an author might actually mean and how it can be different based on a person’s experiences and background, and that is what I really enjoyed about it being woven in here. I loved that the characters really dug into her work and shared conclusions about her with us. I loved that the author shared Emily Dickinson’s history with us in the back and I really liked that it allowed me this additional insight into the characters when we got their interpretation of the writing.
I have to say that the end of this story could have gone many different ways, but I was incredibly happy with the way Rodriguez wrote it. It offers a serious look at mental health issues, but also hits on a couple other major issues that are prevalent in high school these days. What it left me with when I turned the last page though was hope and I think that that’s something sorely needed in books that fall into this genre.
If you’re looking for a wonderfully written, and moving story about depression and suicide, definitely give this one a read. I’ll definitely be checking out Ms. Rodriguez’s next titles when they arrive.
This giveaway is US only for entrants aged 13 and older.