Monday, February 2, 2015

When Reason Breaks by Cindy L. Rodriguez

Title: When Reason Breaks
Author: Cindy L. Rodriguez
Length: 304 pages
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Classification: Young Adult, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Mental Health
Release Date: February 10, 2015
Source: e-galley via NetGalley (Thank you Bloomsbury!)
Read: January 2015
13 Reasons Why meets the poetry of Emily Dickinson in this gripping debut novel perfect for fans of Sara Zarr or Jennifer Brown.

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.

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***I received an e-galley of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review***

Wow! Such an emotionally thought-provoking book! I found this book to be a beautifully crafted story about pain, heartbreak, struggles/challenges, hope and strength. 

This book really moved me. I was hooked from the beginning and read the book in one night. I couldn't put it down. I became really invested in both the story and the characters and I needed to know what happened. 

This story is primarily about the lives of two high school girls. They both have the same initials and are in the same English class. In fact both girls have quite a bit in common. And on top of everything, both girls are going through some personal challenges. They are joined together by their English teacher and the works of Emily Dickinson.

One of the things that I found most interesting about this book, is that we the reader doesn't know which girl will attempt suicide. Sure you will have your guesses while reading, but you don't find out until later. I think this added a bit of mystery and also made the story more intense. I also personally think that it helps show the fact that in real life, there are people that you know and might not be aware how deep their depression goes. I really think that this story does a great job of addressing depression. 

There were some really emotionally scenes in this book. And some surprises that I didn't see coming.

And I really enjoyed the English classes the girls attended each day. I was very interested in how Emily Dickinson played into things and how the girls connected with the words and life of Emily Dickinson. I found these parts fascinating and unique. (It reminded me a little bit of high school.) 

Not only did I enjoy the story, but I also really cared about the characters!

I love that both girls have so much in common, but they are completely different. At first I confused them a little bit because of their names. But as the story continued on and I got to know the girls more, it became easier and easier for me to see them as the individuals that they are.

It was really easy for me to care about the girls and their lives. And there were a lot of times while reading where I wished I could talk to them and help them. I really liked their character development throughout the story.

Elizabeth: So much anger. She is really struggling with something that happened in her life and the anger that she feels towards the situation. I think I really felt the anger that she shows while reading this book. I also really liked her friendship with Tommy. And I found the information about El Dia de los Muertos very interesting. Especially how it is important in their lives. I also really liked her relationship with her sister. And the relationship development with her mom.

Emily: She is really a sweet and kind character. Kinda on the quiet side. And her life really does appear to be normal. But she is also struggling with stress and things that are happening in her life. I found her friendship with Abby and Sarah to be really realistic. As well as the development of her romantic relationship.

But more importantly, I really like the interactions and developing relationship between Elizabeth and Emily as the story progressed!

I also really enjoyed Ms. Diaz. She really is a great teacher and tries so hard with teaching the students as well as caring about their lives. She also has personal challenges that she must face in the story.

Also love that this book has diversity!

My Recommendation:

I highly recommend reading this book! I found it well written and very emotionally moving. In fact it brought tears to my eyes. I really connected with the story and the characters. Great book and I am so glad that I read it! 

Would I Buy This Book?

Yes! I really loved reading this book. It is one that I wouldn't hesitate to buy.

My Rating:


  1. I'm SO glad you loved When Reason Breaks! I love books that make me feel something, and have characters I care about. Thanks for linking it up to this month's DAC link-up! :)

    1. Thanks, Jana! I am really glad I loved it too! I love books that make me feel something as well!


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