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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 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 grappling with demons beyond their control.
I had When Reason Breaks on my radar to read so I was glad to find some time to fit it into my reading schedule. I thought, despite its tough subject matter, that it was an incredibly easy to read book.
When Reason Breaks centres around two girls, Elizabeth Davis and Emily Delgado. The girls couldn’t be more different. Elizabeth is full of anger whereas Emily is sweet and eager to please. Both girls have inner struggles though which no one really understands the extent of. Through an English assignment on the poetry of Emily Dickinson the girls connect with one another, despite their clear differences. Unfortunately, the girls are unable to help each other and one girl tragically attempts to take her own life.
It’s obvious when you read the synopsis of this story that it is going to be a heavy going topic. I thought it was approached in a very sensitive, real manner. The characters were really intriguing and likeable. Even though Elizabeth did have a massive attitude problem, I still really liked her. I thought Emily was a relatable character, a girl who was hiding her depression from everyone she knew. One of my favourite characters was the teacher, Ms Diaz. I love reading about teachers, being a trainee teacher myself. I would have liked to have had a teacher like Ms Diaz at school. She cared for her students and was passionate about teaching. I aspire to be a teacher like her!
When Reason Breaks deals with mental health in a careful, considered way. It feels very real and I believe many people will be able to relate to this book!
Would I recommend it?
Yes! 3.5 stars