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The Memory of Light

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  5,214 ratings  ·  976 reviews
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 s
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published January 26th 2016 by Arthur A. Levine Books
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Francisco I hope so Celia. It takes a while for foreign publishers to buy the rights so let's keep our fingers crossed. The Portuguese language is so beautiful.…moreI hope so Celia. It takes a while for foreign publishers to buy the rights so let's keep our fingers crossed. The Portuguese language is so beautiful.
Take care.(less)
Samantha Esser It does but not the worst swear words imaginable are used
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Average rating 3.98  · 
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Emily May
Nov 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Somewhere in me I probably had the strength to not kill myself. But I was tired of looking for strength. Tired of being strong. That’s what I did to make it through… each day, go through the motions of being strong. I put on strong every morning. I’m sick of faking strong.

I don't think a book has so personally affected me since I read This Song Will Save Your Life. This is one of those stories that is so raw and honest, so completely true, so completely unwilling to sell the neatly wrapped-u
Jan 26, 2016 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Dear Goodreads Friend:

The Memory of Light, published today, is the story of Vicky Cruz, a sixteen-year-old girl struggling to find a reason to continue living after a failed suicide attempt. Although Vicky endures many of the stresses normal to adolescence, her life is in many ways safe, comfortable and even privileged. Vicky, however, suffers from an organic, chemical, depression that is not caused by any obvious trauma or other external circumstance. The Memory of Light took a long time to wri
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List

Once again here is a book that I can relate to. I have clinical depression with suicidal thoughts, among a few other disorders. Vicky, the main character in the book, has depression and tried to kill herself. This lands her in Lakeview Hospital, supposedly just an overnight stay as her dad and stepmom want her to come home and get back to normal.. I hate that word.. normal. As if we can put our mental problems away and move right into normal... What is norma

Well this was....okay??

This started off so well and I actually like it, but then all of a just got boring??? Istg this happens every time I read a depressing contemporary. They all start off good, but end up bleh for me.

WHY DON'T CONTEMPORARIES WORK OUT FOR ME???? ugh y'all it's so damn frustrating because I wanted to freaking love this book.

-First thing: this book does not "love will make you better" a mental illness.
*DIVERSITYYY !!!! we have Mexican and Indian character
♛ may
I’ve been trying to write a review for this book from the day I finished it but I’ve realized that every time I try and put this book into words, I just show how inadequate I am as a reviewer ((plus, the book doesn’t deserve that)), so I’ll just run through some of the topics that are covered ((hopefully this won’t be a tragedy))

Reasons why this Book will Mend your Soul
- Accurate representation of depression/anxiety etc.
- Friendship
- So much bloody friendship
- Kids with problems
- Diversity
JV (semi-hiatus)
As someone who's constantly wrestling his own inner demons, this book resonated so much. Stork writes with sensitivity, accuracy, and insight into depression, suicide, mental illness, and recovery. It's a realistic portrayal of what goes inside the mind of those struggling and fighting their own war — being bombarded by uncontrollable thoughts, pierced by emptiness and hopelessness, and wounded by overwhelming emotions. What I love about this novel is that Stork steers clear of any romanticizati ...more
May 28, 2017 rated it liked it
2.5 to 3 Stars

Buddy read with the amazing Kaylin! Sorry for ditching you, babe LOL 😂

After I finished this book, I was looking through some of my friend's reviews for The Memory of Light and I came across my wife's review and she couldn't have phrased it better. I 100% agree with everything she says so go read her review (I'm lazy to write a review right now and her's perfectly explains everything I felt when reading and when I finished 😀

I was actually immensely disappointed in this book, so her
Jan 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
One of the most thorough and realistic accounts of depression I have ever read. Francisco Stork captures the difficult beginnings of recovery from a mental illness through Vicky Cruz, a young woman who tried to die by suicide after the death of her own mother. Vicky ends up at Lakeview Hospital, where she meets Dr. Desai, a kind therapist, as well as a group of friends who accept her more than almost anyone else in her life. At Lakeview, Vicky gains some of the tools to survive: now she just nee ...more
amy ☂︎
hi don't let me discourage you from reading this book. i read it at a time where i was almost too depressed to function, and hearing the mc describing what its like to be depressed, it just..... was more than i could handle at that time.

i would love to get back to this, i do, but it just reminds me of tough times and dark thoughts and i'd rather not go there again.
Kaylin (The Re-Read Queen)
This says some really important things in some really beautiful and profound ways, but I'm not sure there was enough substance.



BR with the lovely Alyssa! ❤️

Been seeing great things about this one recently!
It's hard to write a review for a book like this, because it means so much to me personally. I'm not talking about how much I loved the book, I'm talking about how much this book spoke to me. How much I could relate to it.

If you haven't struggled with depression, it's hard to understand it. That's what makes it so hard for people who are struggling with it, because the people around them either don't understand it or why you yourself are depressed.

I think I speak for many people struggling with
Sep 23, 2015 marked it as dnf
Shelves: 4, ya, starred-2016, 2016
I am sure this is a very important book on a very important topic, but I feel like I've already read this story before, and not once. ...more
4.5 stars

So how will I convince you guys to give this book a try? I'm seriously saddened by the fact that only 1,260 people have read The Memory of Light on Goodreads. I can perfectly understand why people don't gravitate to books like this, but it bothers me that such a raw and honest account of depression would be missed out by a lot of contemporary readers. The last time a book has hit me this hard, was back when I've read Schmidt's Orbiting Jupiter; and while these two novels are highly dif
Feb 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
I was excited to receive this book when I won it some time ago, as the premise sounded very interesting and, yes, I was sold on the cover, too:-) The story centers around Vicky, who has just attempted to commit suicide. This book focused on the aftermath of such a decision, and the fact that someone who had nothing she felt she could live for, must learn to exist in the world.
Stork's characterizations are really the heart of this novel. Vicky and the other characters she meets at her rehab hosp
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
Grade: C-
Writing, characters, depiction of mental illness: A
Realistic treatment, therapy: F

From the first page, I was swept up into Francisco X Stork's beautiful, almost poetic descriptions of depression through Vicky's gorgeous narration. I actually felt like I was inside Vicky's skin, experiencing the dearth of her lows, the hopelessness of her existence. Stork, I thought, is someone who not only understands the feelings, but can giftedly bring the reader along for the ride.

The characters were
Célia Loureiro
"This strange feeling of not belonging, this sense that every task, even the smallest one, is unpleasant and requires effort - this is how my days will be here."

This book pierced me in places I had forgotten about. I had forgotten that it is possible to forget how it's like to be you. Depression does that for people. Back in 2014, shortly after my cat disappeared and I moved into an apartment alone, I was stroke with depression. It wasn't my first, but it was the first time I named i
Laura Resau
Nov 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Wow. Such an honest and completely engaging account of depression. I loved the characters and was moved by the supportive friendships formed. So much goodness and earnestness and tenderness and rawness and love in this story. I wouldn't be surprised if this book ends up saving lives... and making lives feel more livable. Highly recommended to everyone, and especially those who are living with mental illness or any kind of psychological/emotional challenges. ...more
I blurbed this book I loved it so much. An honest look at mental illness and the challenges of "after" -- what happens when you've hit rock bottom and need to crawl out?

This story features a Latina main character, it's set in Austin, Texas, and it's frank and real without a hint of romanticizing the pain that is depression. So, so good.
Feb 28, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2016-books

You know when you complete a book, say you're going to write a review the next day, and then two weeks later you haven't written anything and can't remember why the book was so bad except that it was cheesy and unrealistic and bothered the hell out of you?

Note - I am not making light of depression/suicide. I am aware of the seriousness of these topics. I feel like The Memory of Light had a good backbone, and a good story outline. But the..... unsophisticated writing style/unnatural dialog
Feb 08, 2016 rated it it was ok
I feel so bad giving this kind of book a low rating, especially when I understand what the author was trying to achieve, and it was a powerful and admirable feat. He was giving people who have mental illnesses the guidance they need to overcome their disorder.

And he did send some great messages about how life is worth living and you shouldn't give in to the dark voice that will eventually lead to suicide… But the bottom line is this book was really boring.

It felt like I was reading a textbook ab
Cheryl Klein
I'm just going to put Stephanie Perkins's blurb here:

"This book can save your life."

lily ☁️
2 1/2 stars

I really wish The Memory of Light could have been a four-star read at the very least—if nothing else, because of the accurate and unflinchingly honest portrayal of depression—but sadly, it was not to be.

There are a few aspects of this book that I enjoyed, but after a five-star worthy beginning that spanned maybe three chapters, I got bored and detached from the storyline. The subsequent chapters of The Memory of Light never quite managed to reach the heights of magnificence of its f
CW (The Quiet Pond) ✨
Note: review has trigger warnings for suicide

Often when we read books about mental illness, we follow the trajectory and development of an individual's experience with mental illness. The Memory of Light offers something a little different; rather than looking at the events preceding a traumatic event or exploring the age-old question of 'what drives a person to take their own life?', The Memory of Light explores its aftermath.

The Memory of Light explores something we need to see more of in youn
Jan 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
After finishing The Memory of Light, I was at a loss to explain how it had affected me. So, I wrote a perhaps too-poetic post on Facebook:

"Reading The Memory of Light felt like becoming aware of a tight little bud in my chest which, page by page, unfolded, plainly and without expectation of praise, as all flowers must. It's an unglamorous and gorgeous book."

Then a friend asked me, with trepidation, if given her family history, she should read this book. So I was more direct in my reply:

Feb 08, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 3-star
TW: suicide, depression

Talking about suicide is hard. People often disagree about how to approach discussing suicide, as it can easily become triggering or harmful, but the one thing that can be agreed upon is that it needs to be talked about.

This is a novel centering around a girl who recently attempted suicide and follows her as she enters recovery.

In some parts, this book impressed me with its bold, unromanticized version of such a sensitive topic. I had mixed feelings with this as a story, b
Liv | Books to Liv by
Title: The memory of light
Author: Francisco X. Stork
Rating: 4 stars
HEA: (view spoiler)

“Do you want to die?”
The directness of E.M.’s question takes my breath away.
“Maybe that’s not the right question,” Gabriel says kindly. “Maybe the real question is, do you want to live?”

Once upon a time, Stephanie Perkins stated that this book had the power to save lives. I happen to strongly agree with her. This novel talks about depression and survival; it talks about life
Oct 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing

“Can you hope for hope?”


“There's two of me. The person I carry around like a dead carcass inside of me and the one I show to others.”

Lately I spent a big amount of time reading fantasy ,so in my pursue for a change I found this book waiting ,my first impression is that it has a beautiful cover ,my second was that I always loved books entitled with the word LIGHT to me it brings HOPE and there eventually it brings LIFE as well ,just like the “sunrise” .

“You are not the clouds or even the blu
Jan 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
"The small things. That's where the green of life is, which is all around us." – Francisco Stork, The Memory of Light

I am very privileged this year to read a book by my first writer of Mexican descent, Francisco Stork. “The Memory of Light” is a deeply moving and personal story honed in the crucible of Stork’s own experience with depression. It is also an important book because of the light it sheds on depression and the hope that light can be found in deepest despair.

Vicky Cruz, a wealthy adole
May 01, 2016 rated it liked it
not good and not bad
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Memory of Light, Francisco X. Stork
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Francisco X. Stork was born in Mexico. He moved to El Paso Texas with his adoptive father and mother when he was nine. He attended Spring Hill College, Harvard University and Columbia Law School. He worked as an attorney for thirty-three years before retiring in 2015. He is married and has two grown children and four beautiful grandkids. He loves to discover new books and authors. His favorite boo ...more

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26 likes · 6 comments
“You are not the clouds or even the blue sky where clouds live. You are the sun behind them, giving light to all, and the sun is made up of goodness and kindness and light.” 32 likes
“You say that as if pretending were a sin. We all do that kind of pretending to survive ... Some pretending is necessary and even good. We can tolerate all the pretending we need to do if we have some islands of honesty in our lives. Places where we don't lie to others. Most of all, places where we don't lie to ourselves.” 29 likes
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