Review: The Memory of Light

The Memory of Light


I had such high expectations for this book but it just did not work for me. I feel bad giving it a low 2 star rating but I could not get into this story.

Short recap: Vicky is a teenager having a very difficult time with her life and as a result she tried to kill herself. Many issues pushed her to this decision but she is not willing to openly talk about any of them. She is forced into a treatment facility for the help she needs.

For a book that deals with teens trying to commit suicide, this was not an engaging story. I never connected with any character or the story itself. It did not read like a work of fiction, it read like a textbook chapter on teens with depression. Vicky’s character was not a relatable character so it forced me to really keep my distance. I was not given the opportunity to connect with her or any character because I was never given the chance to see exactly how depression affected her. I read about all of her interactions with doctors, psychiatrists, and some of her friends but those barely scratched the surface of the problem. Maybe there was more to Vicky’s depression than her mom’s passing, her father remarrying, and her nanny being forced to retire and move back to Mexico. Those are all significant events but I was not given the chance to see exactly how they all compacted so much to force Vicky to try to take her own life.

I went into this hoping and expecting an emotional tear jerker of a story but instead it was really, really boring. I know it is a serious topic but I truly believe it was not delivered properly. It was not believable in my eyes. I can’t say I have ever read an article or heard a doctor say they would take suicidal patients outside of the facility to their own personal farm as a form of treatment. Especially teens that just tried to end their life five days beforehand. I also don’t believe a doctor and/or facility would let said suicidal patients (teens or not) leave the facility to attend a family dinner. I won’t go into it too much about how I also don’t believe a facility would house both adults and teens on the same floor of said health facility. I could keep going but items like the ones above gave me even more cause to not enjoy this book.

The one thing this author did correctly was put a whole cast of diverse characters together. I commend him for that. They were portrayed very well so I cannot fault him for that. What I can fault him for is not delivering a book about a serious topic well. I appreciate that he included “advice” on how to fight depression and how he included talks of how real peer pressure can be to a teenage girl. But that’s about as far as it goes. Stork got the informational part of depression and possible suicide right, but he didn’t quite capture the human/emotional element of it.

Overall, I wanted more from this story. I feel Stork could have told a more compelling story if the treatments used were a little more realistic. Also, add the human element and allow readers to connect with the characters. I wanted to be able to relate with Vicky but it never happened.