Where I share my love of books with reviews, features, giveaways and memes. Family and needlepoint are thrown in from time to time.

Monday, May 17, 2021

Book Review: A Breath Too Late by Rocky Callen


Title: A Breath Too Late

Author: Rocky Callen

Genre: YA/Contemporary

About the Book: Seventeen-year-old Ellie had no hope left. Yet the day after she dies by suicide, she finds herself in the midst of an out-of-body experience. She is a spectator, swaying between past and present, retracing the events that unfolded prior to her death.

But there are gaps in her memory, fractured pieces Ellie is desperate to re-assemble. There's her mother, a songbird who wanted to break free from her oppressive cage. The boy made of brushstrokes and goofy smiles who brought color into a gray world. Her brooding father, with his sad puppy eyes and clenched fists. Told in epistolary-like style, this deeply moving novel sensitively examines the beautiful and terrible moments that make up a life and the possibilities that live in even the darkest of places. Perfect for fans of the critically-acclaimed SpeakI’ll Give You the Sun, and If I Stay.
 (from Goodreads)

My Thoughts: Where to start. . .   This book was heartbreaking, yet beautiful. The story is told by Ellie, the day after she has committed suicide.  It is her remembrances, both good and bad, that have led up to her fateful decision.  Through letters to her mom, dad, best friend August, depression, her house - she tells the story of a life - what might have been - what was - and the light and dark places in between.  She tells the story of her life with her mom and her best friend August, before her dad finds them, and how all of their lives change as her dad's alcohol and domestic abuse increases.  How insidiously changes creep in that can take away choices and friendships. Ellie sees too late the life she might have had, and the hope that her mother had been holding on to. 

Not being prone to this level of depression myself, I cannot relate to what triggers this might have for others. I would hope that it might give someone else the courage to hang on and look for that hope that is right around the corner.  To make them see the bigger picture that Ellie missed. If anything, it would be a good conversation starter for a young adult book club.

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