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The Memory of Light
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The Memory of Light
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School: failure. Romance: failure. Family: failure. Suicide: failure. This brave and moving novel by the author of Marcelo in the Real World is about the one thing left: living. When Vicky Cruz wakes...
School: failure. Romance: failure. Family: failure. Suicide: failure. This brave and moving novel by the author of Marcelo in the Real World is about the one thing left: living. When Vicky Cruz wakes...
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  • School: failure. Romance: failure. Family: failure. Suicide: failure. This brave and moving novel by the author of Marcelo in the Real World is about the one thing left: living. When Vicky Cruz wakes up in the Lakeview Hospital Mental Disorders ward, she knows one thing: she can't even commit suicide right. But for once, a mistake works out well for her, as she meets Mona, the live 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. But 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 try to find the strength to carry on. She may not have it. She doesn't know. Inspired in part by the author's own experience with depression, The Memory of Light is the rare young adult novel that focuses not on the events leading up to a suicide attempt, but the recovery from one—about living when life doesn't seem worth it, and how we go on anyway.

 

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  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from October 12, 2015
    Vicky Cruz, 16, “put on strong every morning,” trying to please her demanding father, a emotionally stunted man who married his assistant shortly after the death of his wife, six years earlier. But when Vicky’s father summarily fires her beloved, arthritic nanny, paying for her to return to Mexico, Vicky surrenders to the “soul pain” she has felt for years and swallows a bottle of her stepmother’s sleeping pills. Stork (Marcelo in the Real World) writes sensitively about Vicky’s journey from near death to shaky recovery, discussing his own experience with depression in an afterword. Awakening in a public hospital’s psych ward, Vicky attends group therapy with patients who have a catalogue of disorders, and learns from them to value her strengths. Various studies have estimated that perhaps as many as one in five teens has a diagnosable mental health problem; it’s a subject that needs the discussion Stork’s potent novel can readily provide. Vicky isn’t healed, but she finds a reason to keep living, and that constitutes progress worth celebrating. Ages 12–up. Agent: Faye Bender, the Book Group.

  • AudioFile Magazine Frankie Corzo's delivery is beautifully suited to Stork's spirited narrator and strong characters in this story of loss, hope, and fighting for yourself in trying times. After Vicky Cruz attempts to end her life, she finds herself in the Mental Disorders Ward of Lakeview Hospital. Electing to stay and seek treatment, Vicky soon meets people who accept her as she is, and finds a strength and determination she hadn't thought possible. Through Corzo's characterizations, listeners will meet bubbly Mona, gruff E.M., kind Gabriel, and steadfast Doctor Desai, all of whom have wisdom to share. Varied pacing expertly captures the contrast between time spent in and out of treatment. Corzo is at once somber and hopeful, her words gently tugging listeners towards the story's resolution. K.S.B. © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine

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