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The Pause

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  829 ratings  ·  168 reviews
Declan seems to have it all: a family that loves him, friends he’s known for years, a beautiful girlfriend he would go to the ends of the earth for.

But there’s something in Declan’s past that just won’t go away, that pokes and scratches at his thoughts when he’s at his most vulnerable. Declan feels as if nothing will take away that pain that he has buried deep inside for
Paperback, 319 pages
Published April 1st 2015 by Random House Australia
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Tedra 13-18, but with a focus on 15-17.

Community Reviews

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4.08  · 
Rating details
 ·  829 ratings  ·  168 reviews

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Aug 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: aussie-ya, faves
More of my reviews can be found at Flipping Through the Pages!

Actual rating - 4.5 stars

This book gripped me from the very beginning. It was beautiful and not only full of sadness, but joy and laughter too. Declan suffers depression and anxiety, and The Pause explores how mental illness doesn't discriminate. No matter how perfect your life is or what has happened to you, anyone can fall victim.

For a good majority of the novel, we explore what happens if Declan pauses, and doesn't make the jump i
Mar 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
John Larkin spent some time teaching writing at my school (Oakhill College) last year. Not only is he bloody hilarious he is also an amazing teacher. I never thought that I’d find writing interesting till I met him – thanks, sir if you read this. He was really honest about the trouble he went through, spending time in a mental hospital and everything and wasn’t ashamed of it or anything like that. Someone on here wrote that he borrowed the aunt that abuses Declan from the Perks of Being a Wallfl ...more
Marie Davies
Mar 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya-fiction-int
A wonderfully inspiring and hopeful book that will resonate with you long after the final page.

A thoughtful and intelligent story dealing with mental health. 17 year old Declan is a sensitive normal teenager who faces some trials in life that seem over whelming. His story is all about asking for help and understanding that even though the bad times are bad, there is always hope and light on the horizon.

I loved this book. Teens will love this book and hopefully will remind readers that there is
Rob De
Feb 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This once taboo subject has now been presented to me to review by most Australian publishers in the first few months of this year. I was somewhat emotionally drained even though some have been exceptional and so found it hard to start reading "the Pause"
I'm sure glad I did !
It is brilliant, occasionally a little preachy, but still brilliant.
It's time to start talking about suicide, not glorify it but show it for what it is, a total waste!
We need to tell people in need to pause,that they are wort
L.L. Hunter
Mar 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Once again I am rendered speechless by a John Larkin book. This deserves so much more than 5 stars. It had me laughing so much my stomach hurt and I couldn't drink anything while reading for fear i would snort it out my nose. All I can say is, you NEED to read this book. Everyone needs to read this book if just to appreciate life.
Erika Osborne
Aug 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
”When your mind cracks and your nerve endings are rupturing, it’s weird how grey everything looks, even on the most perfect days.”

***4.5 STARS***

Trigger Warning - Abuse and Suicide.

The Pause is a story that follows a boy named Declan who has recently been through a difficult time, this results in Declan attempting suicide. However, this story follows two paths one is if Declan had gone along with it. The other is his life if he had paused. This story makes you laugh (Declan’s mum is my favourite
Jaquelyn Muller
Feb 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Declan is a teenager like many that suffer from anxiety and depression. The obvious escape is to do the unthinkable. John Larkin weaves humour and humanity into this story of self-examination and asking what if? Beautifully written yet gripping till the end. I hope it ends up on high school required reading lists.
Feb 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Declan is a teenage boy suffering after a forced split with the girlfriend he adores. He is unable to deal with the depression and anxiety resulting from the situation and one morning he is presented with the opportunity to end all the pain. But does he take it?

Larkin shows us both eventualities, and we see Declan come to terms with each decision – even in ‘non-space’. Suicide is a sensitive and emotive topic, yet Larkin manages to
Stephanie  Pione
Mar 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was a wonderful read. The Pause is about a suicidal teenager and his recovery which spans over about 20 years. It takes you through his journey, childhood, adulthood, and his pause. This book will help raise self-awareness for suicide and self-harm. It was emotional, heartfelt and as John Larkin always does it, filled with a quite a few laughs. John manages to keep this book spell-binding, powerful, soul-stiring and as always humorous. I loved this entertaining and tear spilling book as wel ...more
Dec 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: work-purposes
Great book! Based in Sydney, Australia. The story follows the what-if's of suicide, and spans over the course of more than 20 years.
It explains that you don't need a 'real' reason t be depressed, that anything can be a trigger. Great book. No discrimination.
The cover doesn't really explain what the book is about, but I hope someone who needs a bit of help picks this up.
Mar 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
John Larkin has really delivered in his newest work. I couldn't put this down. It was an amazing read and has really touched me, I hope it is talked about enough to do the same to others.
Mar 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I don’t know how the author managed to pull this off, but he did. Unbelievable. Just brilliant.
Veronica Roberts
Mar 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Declan is a beautiful, sensitive, caring seventeen year old boy who is loved and cared for by those around him – family, friends and girlfriend. On the surface his life appears perfect. Eventually though, his past (almost being murdered by his aunt – which he has more or less repressed) comes back to haunt him and offer him a way out. When Lisa’s (his girlfriend) mother (the controlling and violent Kraken) breaks up their relationship by sending Lisa back to live with relatives in Hong Kong, Dec ...more
Mark Hitch
Apr 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
For every action there is a reaction. For every event there is a fate. This book was fate! If Larkin never personally went to hell and dragged himself out, the reaction of creating this superb book would never have occurred.
The Pause was real, relevant and robust. Real in detailing the reality of depression, suicide and its futility. Relevant in that it doesn't just present this issue but also touches on other relevances, realities and injustices of 21st century life like confronting gender ster
Simon Yale
Mar 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A heartbreaking subject matter is handled with empathy, care and sensitivity by someone who clearly understands what it’s like to suffer from and live with mental illness. I thought the writing was beautiful and also hilarious where appropriate.

What annoys me about my fellow reviewers is that sometimes you just have to butt out. The Pause is about being honest and open about depression, anxiety and suicide and, as Rob said in his review, this book WILL save lives. If you don’t agree then I woul
Apr 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
John Larkin, you are such an inspirational writer. I absolutely loved this book. I got hooked, I was happy, I was sad, I was angry and I was overjoyed. This is a message to anyone who has suicide thoughts - talk to someone. Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

Thank you, John Larkin. No book has ever made me feel so many feels before.
Jenny Carter
Mar 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Pause is a masterpiece of sustained control. Larkin is aware of both the consequences of mental illness and his own tremendous responsibility of writing a novel about teen suicide (potential copycats). He shows suicide for what it is – a tragic waste. He neither glorifies or underplays it. More than anything The Pause is a novel about hope and possibility. Simply stunning.
Trigger warnings: depression, suicide, child abuse, graphic description of jumping in front of a train.

Holy hell. This book was...brutal. I mean, pretty incredible. But really freaking brutal.

This is essentially a Sliding Doors style situation. Declan's life is falling apart, and he decides that the only way forward is to jump in front of a train. But after he does, he sees how his life would have unfolded if he'd paused at the last minute.

I was a liiiiittle concerned about how this was going
Apr 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Suicide in young people is real so let's talk about it, let's get it out there. No more brushing it under the carpet. Every school should have the topic of youth suicide and mental illness as part of their curriculum. This brilliantly written book tackles these very subjects.

The protagonist Declan is a wonderful character. I wanted to wrap my arms around him and keep him safe. I have known kids like Declan. Sensitive, caring souls who need to know.... they are worth it. This message is repeated
Feb 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
One moment. One pause. One decision to read a great book.

Two versions of your life are revealed. In one, you never read this book. You don't experience the joy of reading a book set in Sydney, Australia, of actually seeing a diverse cast of characters (Italian/Irish protagonist, Chinese and Korean best friends, girlfriend from Hong Kong), of an honestly written book about how one choice changes everything.

In the other, you pause and grab the book. This extremely underrated gem of a book, as most
Apr 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Kate by: John Larkin
I thoroughly enjoyed this book by John Larkin. I felt he encapsulated the mind of a teenage boy in the midst of an angste-ridden crisis perfectly. What I cannot understand is how this work is not getting more press!! Teenage suicide, and suicide in general as well as mental health issues need to be covered within our education system. This book does not condone suicide, but rather presents a person in anguish, who 'paused' and thus changed his life forever. John Larkin, once again, shows us an i ...more
Ryan Buckby
Sep 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
one moment. one pause. one whole new life.

I really enjoyed this book a nice quick read but it was enjoyable I couldn't put it down so that's a good thing that I love in books.

the main character Declan is complex and a total mystery at the beginning of the book were you don't know what events lead him to end his life. the story soon reveals itself and I come to terms on what lead Declan to want to end his life. I love the way the author wrote from the past and present so I got an insight of w
Ian Tymms
Remarkable book. Lovely writing for older adolescents with strong narrative and interest for upper middle school and high school readers.

The real power of this book, however, is what it has to say about suicide. Always such a difficult topic, Larkin manages to be frank but also hopeful. He writes to help. I really want to know what our school counsellors think, but I feel this book might help keep kids alive - and that's a remarkable thing for a book to be able to do.
Benjamin Farr
Jul 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Wow! There isn’t many times when you read a book and it completely realigns you as a person. This is one of those books. I’ve never read anything like this, particularly as it’s primarily a YA book that deals with suicide, relationships, love and the “what-ifs” in life. I thoroughly recommend this book to all. What a book! Wow.
Bruce Gargoyle
3.5 Stars

I received a digital copy of this title from the publisher via Netgalley.

Ten Second Synopsis:
At a singular moment in time, Declan's life could go two ways. This tale explores what would happen for each choice.

This book is based upon an incredibly simple, yet vitally important concept: that when it comes to mental illness and decisions made when not in one’s right mind, a moment can make all the difference. Undeniably, this is something that young people, with their still-developing brai
Steve lovell
May 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is an important book.

Every book, it goes without saying, is important to its author. I suspect for John Larkin this is the most important book he's written - perhaps the most important he'll ever write. We get a hint why with the knowledge that it took him three years to get the manuscript to a stage he was happy to submit for publication. We receive another indication when we read its dedication – firstly to his children '.., the brightest stars in the darkest night.' and then to his wife
John Larkin blew me away a few years ago with The Shadow Girl, so I was keen to read this new novel. I was not disappointed.
Declan is a teen who, on the surface, seems to be well-adjusted and living a wonderful life. He has great mates, a loving family and a beautiful girlfriend. There is little to betray what is gong on underneath the surface. When his girlfriend, Lisa, is sent away to Hong Kong, Declan's world unravels. Feeling depressed and in despair, he makes a split-second decision to thr
Tadashi Hamada
Didn't really like how Lisa's "mom" was written. I mean I know physical domestic abuse still exists but really, who still "canes" their child anymore? Declan keeps calling her "the Kraken" and emphasising how bad she really is, and maybe that's true, but you have to remember that Larkin wrote her that way and knowing that he's married to a Chinese woman, it makes me wonder how much of this was maybe based on his real-life experiences with dating a Chinese woman? I just find the whole thing funny ...more
Sean Kennedy
Aug 11, 2015 rated it did not like it
Ugh, I hate to give such a well-intentioned book a terrible rating, but it's just a mess. The lead character, for all his issues, is horribly unsympathetic. The main reason for this is the terrible way he treats his father and his sister, like they aren't cool enough to join the cool gang of him and his mother - seriously, they spend the whole book sneering at them, looking down at them and being condescending towards them. His mother is his enabler, encouraging his bad behaviour, even manipulat ...more
Apr 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Pause is like being massaged with words. It takes you to another place and you feel so much better for the experience. I found myself reading passages over and over again such was the resonance. I thought Larkin wouldn’t be able to beat or even match The Shadow Girl but I’m happy to say that I’m wrong. Not the high octane thriller that The Shadow Girl was but more gentle and reflective. Preachy? Sometimes, yes. But that’s the point. I think this message (of pausing) is worth preaching and La ...more
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YA Book Group: The Pause 2 13 Aug 15, 2015 10:49PM  
  • Freedom Ride
  • Risk
  • Are You Seeing Me?
  • After the Lights Go Out
  • Protected
  • Becoming Kirrali Lewis
  • Head of the River
  • The River and the Book
  • Dear Vincent
  • Creepy and Maud
  • Talk Under Water
  • The Minnow
  • Sister Heart
  • The Haunting of Lily Frost
  • Catching Teller Crow
  • The Incredible Here and Now
  • The Dead I Know
  • A Shadow's Breath
Sydney-based author and screenwriter, John Larkin, was born in England but grew up in the western suburbs of Sydney. He has, at various stages of his writing career, supported his habit by working as a supermarket trolley boy, shelf-stacker, factory hand, forklift driver, professional soccer player and computer programmer. He now writes full-time. John has a BA in English Literature and a MA in Cr ...more
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