Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Black Box by Julie Schumacher

Elena can't remember a time in her life when she's cried. She's a driven student, rational, and in control of her emotions.

Elena loves her sister Dora, but also knows that Dora has some major problems. Depression will come and take Dora for a ride that no one expects. Sometimes the ride is to the hospital for an overdose...sometimes it's to the psych ward to help Dora get better. But the last bout of depression was the worst, and Elena doesn't want to talk about it.

She won't talk about it with her parents...but hey, they don't want to talk about the truth anyway. She won't talk about it with her therapist because Elena doesn't have the problem - Dora does. The only one Elena will talk to is Dora. And right now, Dora is telling her baby sister she needs help and Elena is the only one that Dora trusts to keep her secrets and get her home. But are trust and alibis the same thing?

Elena really want to help by trying to get her out of the psych ward. She's seen her sister's condition first-hand. Is it progress or torture? It's not until Elena meets Jimmy, a loner in her neighborhood, who has the inside scoop on the ward...having a mother who's a psychiatrist has its perks. But is that where he gets his information, or is he lying to Elena?

Another wall, another person she can't trust...Elena is breaking down....

Schumacher has written a powerful story of teenaged depression and how it not only affects the victim, but those around her, from family to friends. Readers get to glimpse inside the chaotic and dangerous world of what having and living with depression can be like. The characters, especially those of the two sisters, will draw the reader to the end of the book making them wonder if Dora will make it or if Elena will be able to hand the pressure. Recommended.

1 comment:

bj neary said...

I really enjoyed this novel and felt the characters were raw, yet helpless, and those around them (family) didn't understand what was happening and didn't ask questions like Eleni. Eleni had a deep feelings concerning her sister and I liked their dynamics when they were together.