Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Review of 'Black Box' by Julie Schumacher (Audio Book)

"Elena is quieter and steadier than her fun, unpredictable older sister, Dora.  But they have always been close, and have always told each other everything.  So when Dora is diagnosed with depression and has to be admitted to the hospital, nothing makes sense to Elena without her.

At school, the only people who acknowledge Elena are Dora's friends and Jimmy Zenk-- who wears black every day of the week and seems to be getting through ninth grade on his own special schedule.  At home, Elena's parents have started arguing with each other after they think Elena has gone to bed, and it just gets worse once Dora is finally discharged.  Now Elena will do anything to help her sister get better and get their lives back to normal-- even when the responsibility becomes too much to bear.

In this gripping, moving audio book about a family in crisis, Julie Schumacher asks: How far should we go to try to protect the people we love?"

I like that Julie Schumacher focuses on the family of a depressed person.  It was an interesting point of view-- I felt stressed with Elena's parents, I felt helpless and on-edge when Elena felt helpless and on-edge.

I really didn't like Dora at all.  Maybe I would have like her better had this story been from her point of view, but from this standpoint, it felt like she didn't care and that she was doing these things on purpose (I've learned in psychology that what I'm doing is called attribution theory.  I think that the actor (in this case Dora) is deliberately being rather horrible, but she may have motives behind her behavior other than depression.  Bonus points for applying my learning?  No?  Fine).  I'm sure that's not the case, but I can't say that I've know someone who has been diagnosed with depression, so I can't say what goes on in the mind...

While I thought Julie Schumacher's novel was affective, I didn't care very much for her writing style.  It was bad, just not my cup of tea.  I can't even put my finger on what it is that I don't like, but she lacks something that just about all of my favorite authors have.

I thought that Schumacher did a great job with character development.  That's what kept me listening-- the good characters.

Overall, 'Black Box' had interesting characters and clever metaphors but still left something to be desired.

I give 'Black Box':
Thanks for reading!


No comments:

Post a Comment

I love your comments! Comment away!