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.
I'm fascinated by the depiction and workings of mental illness in YA lit. I can't explain it. Books with narrators on the autistic spectrum, depression, hallucinations caused by borderline "insanity" so that you can never be sure whether they're really or not... and now schizophrenia, one of the trickiest mental illnesses to catch, define, and treat--if there is even a need for treatment: some people function better under schizophrenia than they would without. This sensitive and deep subgenre never fails to draw me in and make me think. Holly's book is the first I remember coming across that deals with schizophrenia in teens. I'm looking forward to reading it!
A Blue So Dark will be published in paperback by Flux on May 28, 2010.
What are you waiting on this Wednesday?