I received this book for free from Scholastic Press in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 14 years of age due to its use of language, mental illness, sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
{The Memory of Light: Francisco X. Stork}The Memory of Light by Francisco X. Stork
Published by Scholastic Press on January 26, 2016
Genres: Mental Illness, Realistic Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 336
Format: Paperback
Source: Scholastic Press
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5 Stars





{Synopsis} – 16-year-old Vicky Cruz wakes up in a hospital’s mental ward after a failed suicide attempt. Now she must find a path to recovery – and perhaps rescue some others along the way.

When Vicky Cruz wakes up in the Lakeview Hospital Mental Disorders ward, she knows one thing: After her suicide attempt, she shouldn’t be alive. But then 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 Vick back to the life that drove her to suicide, she must try to find her own courage and strength. She may not have them. 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.

{My thoughts} – I just picked a random book out of my review pile for Scholastic and started reading it. Most of the books I have an idea of what they are about, but a majority of the time it’s a nice little mystery until I start reading. This book was definitely a nice little mystery.

Vicky lost her mother at a young age and her father remarried not long after. Her older sister Becca moved on in much the same way as their father. This left Vicky in the dark alone, sad and missing her mother, no one seemed to share or display the sane feelings she had which was causing a kind of rift between the members of the family without them actually realizing it was happening.

Vicky decided that since she felt so empty and alone that she’d take her own life. She attempted but her cat and her Nana saved her life. It’s a lucky thing that she was able to live through what she’d done and that she’d been given a second chance.

The book covers suicide awareness as well as depression awareness. Vicky’s main issue is a depression that had been ignored and not treated. When that happens it has the potential to escalate into suicide tendencies.

I know about both topics all to well. They have both effected my life in one way or another. Making people aware that they aren’t alone and that there is real hope at the end of the long dark tunnel is the only thing that can be honestly done. Hope is essential and important to assist with the desire to move forward.

Once Vicky started to hope and understand that there was a real future for her is when she started to accept her illness as just that an illness. It’s not something that defines an individual it just has the potential to make life a little more complicated for those suffering from it.

I highly recommend this book for anyone that’s ever felt depressed or suicidal. It’s incredibly well written and helps to show that no matter how alone you may feel in the terrible dark times, that your never truly alone.

{Quotes I Enjoyed} –
{01} – The call ends. I lie there for I don’t know how long, my hand on the telephone, as if I’m afraid to let go of the voice that flows through it. It is possible, I realize, to have people in your life who love you and who you love, and to still want to kill yourself. It’s almost as if part of the reason your doing it is for them, because you are not worthy of their love, and you want to stop being a burden to them, contaminating their lives with your moodiness and and grumpiness and miserableness. I feel Juanita’s love now. I even feel Galileo’s love. And it makes me feel so much worse.
{02} – “Have you ever tried to kill yourself? What makes you such and expert on suicide? Mona snaps. “I’ve thought about it. Everyone thinks about it sometimes, but only the weak do it,” E.M. responds.
{03} – Gabriel closes his eyes for a few moments and then opens them. He talks more to himself than to us. “Sometimes I wonder why Jesus said blessed are those who mourn. Why? What’s so blessed about mourning? Mourning is painful. I thought about it. And it came to me. When you mourn… you feel alive. When you mourn… it means you care. But when you can’t mourn?You’re dead inside.” He stops suddenly, and then adds, blinking, embarrassed.”
{04} – Depression can be a normal reaction to a life event, like my mother’s death, or it can be a symptom of another physical illness, or even a side effect of drugs. But sometimes depression is in itself and illness – an illness like an other illness, like the flu or the mumps. The only difference is that instead of affecting the lungs or skin, depressions affects the mind. It interferes with certain chemicals responsible for transmitting messages from one part of the brain to another.
{05} – “It always feels as if I can be doing more, and the only reason I don’t is because I don’t want to, because I really, really don’t like what I have to do. I don’t like anything or anybody. It’s all a big not-like.”
{06} – I wish I could be that way. But I’m split. There’s two of me. The person I carry around like a dead carcass inside of me and the one I show to others. This constant effort to be someone else, to pretend to be lively and give people the kind of person they’re expecting, is not so bad here at Lakeview.”
{07} – Have you ever watched any of those shows where they interview, like, a serial killer or a terrorist, and there you are, looking at this ordinary, boring face, and you know they’ve got this other life inside of them? Who’s the real person there? The nice person you see or the monster inside?