The Memory of Light

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Memory of Light

Francisco X Stork

Is it really that big of a surprise when a child follows into the same career path as his parent? Children are amazing observers and mimickers. It only follows that the conversations children hear their parents have about work sink in.  In a small way, children learn their parent's trade simply by being in the house.  It is part of their world, and therefore, their reality.

For me, I grew up hearing about those with mental illness, as my father works nights in a mental hospital.  As a result, I was surprised when at school I learned that most people did not discuss this topic - while illness was discussed, mental illness was avoided, sometimes outright ignored.  Yet, anxiety, depression, and suicide are extremely prevalent in the world we live in.

To follow in the idea that society tries to keep mental illness, depression and suicide on the sidelines, literature can sometimes suffer when it comes to characters with these issues.  The authors do not know how to portray mentally ill characters well, or worse yet the illnesses are the basis for the "evil" characters.  Granted this is not always the case, but the good books are few and far between I have noticed.

Needless to say, I was more than excited to get my hands on Stork's newest book, The Memory of Light, as the story follows Vicki as she comes to the realization that she attempted to commit suicide because she has depression, and what that means moving forward...




The Memory of Light by Francisco X Stork  a book review on Reading List





Story Overview 


When Vicky Cruz wakes up in the Lakeview Hospital Mental Disorders ward, she knows one thing: She can't even commit suicide right. But for once, a mistake works out well for her, as she meets Mona, the live wire; Gabriel, the saint; E.M., always angry; and Dr. Desai, a quiet force. With stories and honesty, kindness and hard work, they push her to reconsider her life before Lakeview, and offer her an acceptance she's never had.

But Vicky's new found peace is as fragile as the roses that grow around the hospital. And when a crisis forces the group to split up, sending her back to the life that drove her to suicide, Vicky must try to find the strength to carry on. She may not have it. She doesn't know.



Title: THE MEMORY OF LIGHT
Author: Francisco X. Stork
Release Date: January 26, 2016
Pages: 336
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook
Find it: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks







About the Author




Francisco X. Stork is the author of the acclaimed Marcelo in the Real World which received five starred reviews and won the Schneider Family Book Award for Teens; The Last Summer of the Death Warriors, named a New York TimesEditors’ Choice selection; and Irises. He was born in Monterrey, Mexico, spent his teenage years in El Paso, Texas, and now lives outside Boston, Massachusetts, with his family. Visit him online at www.FranciscoStork.com.  




Personal Likes


I absolutely loved this book.  Vicki is a wonderful example of a teenager realizing that depression is an illness, not the sum of a person.  She is able to glean wisdom from each of the characters she meets in the book, which is an amazing lesson so many of us could learn.   

Most importantly, Stork did not turn this into a story that was overly dramatic or even sentimental.  Yes, there are some sad scenes, and there is drama, and yet it is natural.  The discussion of many different kinds of mental illness is straightforward and honest. As Vicki is telling the story in first person, we are able to read how her mind grasps thoughts, instruction and feelings. While she sees herself as a teenager who does not fit in to her family, who cannot succeed at anything and has nothing, no wants or hopes, it quickly becomes clear that she is loving and caring and wants to be helpful. 

The most intriguing part of this story for me personally surrounded Gabriel's character.  For a long time it is not clear why he is even in the mental hospital, but once he gains enough courage to share his battle with the small group, it becomes clear he has quite the battle ahead of him... I cannot really say more without spoiling the book.  However, with Gabriel, Stork shined a light on a side of mental illness that pulls this book out of just a young adult story and into a must read for everyone. 



Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all the darkness.


Personal Dislikes


I really do not have any issues this book - but allow me to make two small points that others might get hung up on:

While Gabriel's story line was amazing to me, it could also cause some discomfort to many readers (again I do not want to give too much away, so bare with me).  His condition leads to some rocky territory about God, the nature of God more specifically. By the end of the story, it was all worth it, but I am guessing a  reader or two might not give it the chance it deserves.

Another minor point, was near the end when Vicki sends up two or three attempts at prayer... It felt odd that she suddenly prayed as she and her family did not seem to be religious.  If the point was, in an emergency, God is the natural entity we as humans reach for, then yes, but still it seemed a little out of character...


Reasons to Read


I believe if you have a pulse you should read this book.  It helps those who struggle with depression, anxiety, thoughts of suicide, or any of the multitudes of mental illness see that they are not alone in their thoughts and struggles.  For those who know someone who attempted suicide, or has any kind of mental illness, this book will help you see a glimpse into what their struggle might be.

Want some more opinions?  Check out the other stops on The Memory of Light Book Tour:

Tour Schedule:

Week One:
1/18/2016- BookishLifestyleInterview
1/19/2016- Here's to Happy EndingsReview
1/20/2016- StorybookSlayersGuest Post
1/21/2016- Such a Novel IdeaReview
1/22/2016- LiteraryMeanderingsInterview

Week Two:
1/25/2016- Worth Reading It?Review
1/26/2016- The Bibliophile ChroniclesGuest Post
1/27/2016- Reading List- Review
1/28/2016- Paranormal Book ClubInterview
1/29/2016- Curling Up With A Good BookReview



Reading List Rating

Five Heart Rating on Reading List

I have to give this book a five heart rating, as it was magnificent. It was well written, clearly well researched, and the message it sends about hope is priceless. 







My Suggested Audience


This book is categorized as a teen book, specifically for 12 and up.  Considering the topic, I would agree that readers should be around 12.  There is nothing that a younger reader should not read, but they might not understand it either.  However, do not allow the teen category to scare you adult readers away - consider this an easier, quicker read that will enrich your desire for hope and life while educating you on mental health through a literary vantage.  I do honestly believe if you pick up this book you will not be disappointed. 



Win a Copy!


The Memory of Light Book Tour, hosted by a Rock Star



The best part of being in a blog tour is a chance for you all to win a copy!  5 winners will receive a finished copy of THE MEMORY OF LIGHT, US Only.







When you mourn it means you care. But when you can't mourn? It means you're dead inside. #TheMemoryofLight @StorkFrancisco @Reading_List1


Do you know someone who would benefit from this book? Is there a book that you read that helped you become emphatic in a way you didn't know you needed to be? 

I'd love to hear from you, please leave me a little note!



Marissa @ Reading List






**If you are considering purchasing this book, please consider using the affiliate link here and support Reading List in the process. 




****Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher and Rock Star Book Tours. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”





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