Friday, January 27, 2012

Book Review: A Blue So Dark by Holly Schindler

Book Description
Fifteen-year-old Aura Ambrose has been hiding a secret. Her mother, a talented artist and art teacher, is slowly being consumed by schizophrenia, and Aura has been her sole caretaker ever since Aura's dad left them. Convinced that "creative" equals crazy, Aura shuns her own artistic talent. But as her mother sinks deeper into the darkness of mental illness, the hunger for a creative outlet draws Aura toward the depths of her imagination. Just as desperation threatens to swallow her whole, Aura discovers that art, love, and family are profoundly linked -- and together may offer an escape from her fears.

This is a quick review, one I wanted to write while the book is still fresh in my mind.

A Blue So Dark by Holly Schindler is a very aptly-named book: this is a dark and sad tale. Schizophrenia is never a disease to be romanticized, and the author of this story makes it clear that the heartbreak of mental illness can last DECADES.

Aura is a great character, and she's one of those that I'd love to be able to give her a hug, let her know she doesn't have to be alone, and that it's all going to be okay.  Schindler writes in a wonderful manner, she is very tuned-in to both teenagers and divorced families.

I would think carefully about having an actual young adult read this book. It's a "deep in the trenches" type book, and it's a story that deserves to be told, but not all teens can handle something like this. I can see this book being very useful in a college curriculum like Psych 101 or Humanities 101, but not at a high school level. This is my personal opinion though, and since I don't have any actual live teens in my social circle, I could be way off base.

Overall, 3.5 stars and I would most likely read another story from this author.
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