A Blue So Dark by Holly Schindler
release date: May 1st, 2010
edition: paperback, 288
intended audience: Young adult
source: Traveling Arc Tours
description from goodreads:
Terrified that her mother, a schizophrenic and an artist, is a mirror that reflects her own future, sixteen-year-old Aura struggles with her overwhelming desires to both chase artistic pursuits and keep madness at bay.
As her mother sinks deeper into the darkness of mental illness, the hunger for a creative outlet keeps drawing Aura toward the depths of her own imagination—the shadows of make-believe that she finds frighteningly similar to her mother’s hallucinations.
Convinced that creative equals crazy, Aura shuns her art, and her life unravels in the process.
Review: This was an incredible story, but so hard to read. I don't mean that in a bad way at all. I mean that reading Aura's story and taking this journey with her was painful and heart-breaking. Everytime I put it down, it lingered with me for awhile after, left me exhausted trying to imagine being fifteen and having to deal with a situation that felt so completely hopeless and uncontrollable as being the soul care-taker of a parent with schizophrenia; to be so creative that your art makes you whole and on the other hand, having to be so terrified that that creativity will turn you into what you fear the most in the world. Her anger and her frustration at what life had dealt her were apparent in her rough attitude and her harsh outlook on all aspects of her life. To those out there that are sensative to foul language, I will warn that the "f-bomb" is dropped quite a few times throughout this one. (It doesn't bother me, but I know I've seen discussions about swearing in YA fiction, so its worth a mention.) She has no one to turn to, as her best friend also has some really tough things to deal with, and her father has completely abandoned the family. It's quite an experience to see how the mother-daughter conventional roles are completely turned topsy-turvy. Schindler's writing was spot on, and really brought this emotional story across beautifully.
I really don't know what to do---I guess I'm alittle like a bird who's railed against her cage her whole life, only to cock her head to the side in confusion when somebody finally opens the door.