Lisa Vegan's Reviews > Black Box

Black Box by Julie Schumacher
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Jul 30, 09

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bookshelves: novel, fiction, young-adult, reviewed
Read in July, 2009

I really liked this book, but I also felt as though something was missing. This story is about a sixteen-year-old girl suffering from depression and how that affects her family. Perhaps it’s that it was told by a fourteen-year-old narrator who’s somewhat naïve. She provides an interesting perspective; I felt some understanding of depression was absent, but that made sense given who’s telling the story.

This is a spare little book and personally I’d have liked a more in depth narrative. However, maybe for some readers this book might be a perfect telling. What felt somewhat superficial to me might be a brilliant reflection on how this family is dealing with a crisis. I did get emotionally involved while reading. This was painful to read but it also had many, sometimes unexpected, humorous parts too.

I actually really appreciated the author’s 3 page personal note at the end of the novel. I also think it’s good that there’s suicide prevention contact information at the end of the book because this book about a sixteen year old depressed girl and her family could definitely have an emotional impact on vulnerable teens.

I do have to say that I did not approve of how the story ended, so I'm sure that did make a difference about how I rated it.
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Reading Progress

07/30/2009 page 88
51.76% "I wasn't sure at first if I liked the narrator but she's growing on me."

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Lisa Vegan I think it will make them more depressed; the author thinks it will help them. I don't know who is right. I find these books about depression, anorexia, etc. etc. will trigger those who suffer from those conditions. I would say adolescents who have a sibling who's depressed or a friend who's depressed and doesn't understand depression at all might do ok with this, but I'm not even sure about that because, as I said in my review, something is missing here, and the ending is infuriating, in my opinion. I really did enjoy it though. It was a page turner. I liked the narrator's voice. The author got much right about depression too.


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