Saturday, August 20, 2011

Book Review: A Blue So Dark by Holly Schindler

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.
My thoughts:
My only previous experience with reading about mental illness comes from sneaking away with my dads old Stephen King novels as a teenager (which by the way is a perfect recipe for nightmares), so I did not really know what to expect from A Blue So Dark. 

What I got was one of the best written books I have read in a long time. The topic of mental illness is something that's not seen a lot, especially not in young adult novels, but Schindler handles it perfectly. Even in between all the darkness, the crazy, the anger, fear and frustrations, there's still light, hope and love. What took this novel from good to great for me is that I felt every one of these emotions while reading. There were times when I could barely turn the page because I was afraid of what would come next, and I was constantly crossing my fingers for someone to open their eyes and see what Aura was going through and offer some help. This is an amazing debut novel from Holly Schneider, and I can't wait to pick up her second novel Playing Hurt next.

The cover:
The cover is what made me pick up this book from the library in the first place, and I still love it.

My rating of this book:

Want a second opinion? Check out these reviews from some of my book blogging friends:

Want to know more?
Add A Blue So Dark to your Goodreads wishlist
Visit Holly Schneider's website
Read Holly Schneider's blog
Follow Holly Schneider on Twitter

A Blue So Dark by Holly Schneider
Published: May 1 2010
Pages (paperback): 277
Publisher: Fluc
ISBN: 0738719269 (ISBN13: 9780738719269)
Full disclosure: Checked out at my local library

This book can be purchased from a number of local retailers and online book stores such as Amazon or The Book Depository (I am not an affiliate of either). The latter store has free shipping to about 100 countries.


  1. If you want to read more books about mental illness, try Crazy by Han Nolan. I read it recently and loved it!

    I'm glad you enjoyed A Blue So Dark, it's one I've been wanting to read! Great review!

  2. It sounds an amazing book and one I really want to read. Thanks for your great review.

  3. Oh this sounds fantastic. You have made me so eager to get my hands on this! I love that it's tackled such a difficult issue and managed to pull it off brilliantly. Great review!

  4. That is sure different and not something I have read a lot about in YA

  5. I enjoyed reading this. I love Holly's writing.

  6. Sounds like an amazing read. Adding this to my TBR.

  7. I'll have to take a look at this one. I don't think I've ever read a YA book that deals with mental illness.

  8. Wow, brilliant review. This book looks so emotional and everyone has been saying how well-written it is. It definitely seems like a book I can really get invested in.

  9. This is a book you need to read for yourself. It's about a tough topic and the characters are nitty gritty but I really loved it. This one will make you think!

    Irene (TRUSTprice - Software Download)


Thank you for sharing your thoughts =)