Friday, June 24, 2011

Review: A Blue So Dark by Holly Schindler

A Blue So Dark by Holly Schindler

Pages: 288
Publisher: Flux
Published: May 1st, 2010
IBSN: 9780738719269

Fifteen-year-old Aura Ambrose has been hiding a secret. Her mother, a talented artist and art teacher, is slowly being consumed by schizophrenia, and Aura has been her sole caretaker ever since Aura's dad left them. Convinced that "creative" equals crazy, Aura shuns her own artistic talent. But as her mother sinks deeper into the darkness of mental illness, the hunger for a creative outlet draws Aura toward the depths of her imagination. Just as desperation threatens to swallow her whole, Aura discovers that art, love, and family are profoundly linked—and together may offer an escape from her fears.

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Aura has been taking care of her schizophrenic mother as she descends gradually into insanity since her father got fed up and left several years ago. Her mother eventually loses her job teaching art classes at the museum and soon thereafter, becomes completely catatonic, and Aura needs to figure out how to help her.

All the while, however, Aura is stifling her own creative abilities because her mother has shown her that art leads to insanity.

While I could see how Aura developed that mindset, it still struck me as slightly ridiculous. Each chapter begun with some tidbit from Aura about schizophrenia, usually attaching the disease to a great artist, like Vincent Van Gogh.

The disease felt incredibly well researched, the symptoms portrayed accurately and people's reactions to it realistic.

The plot was slow-burning in a literary-esque way, but I couldn't find the depth to justify the slow pace. I found myself bored in some places, wondering where exactly the story was going.

A Blue So Dark enticed me with its cover and the fabulous quotes on the back. Apparent in them and in the rest of the book was a poignant and poetic style of writing that kept me entertained while the plot and characters could not.

I give A Blue So Dark 3 out of 5.