Daelyn Rice is broken beyond repair, and after a string of botched suicide attempts, she’s determined to get her death right. She starts visiting a website for “completers”— www. through-the-light.com.
While she’s on the site, Daelyn blogs about her life, uncovering a history of bullying that goes back to kindergarten. When she’s not on the Web, Daelyn’s at her private school, where she’s known as the freak who doesn’t talk.
Then, a boy named Santana begins to sit with her after school while she’s waiting to for her parents to pick her up. Even though she’s made it clear that she wants to be left alone, Santana won’t give up. And it’s too late for Daelyn to be letting people into her life... isn't it?
National Book Award finalist Julie Anne Peters shines a light on how bullying can push young people to the very edge.
Suicide is a topic of immense fascination to me, but I just wasn't satisfied by the way this book was written. This story felt very contrived at most points.
Daelyn is fifteen years old and planning her third attempt at suicide, using a website that has her wait twenty-three days. I'm really not sure what this website was supposed to be, why 23 days was picked, or what happened to other users, but it seemed like a way to show how Daelyn was at the point where she was pretty selfish and felt like only the things that happened to her matter.
The methodical way she went through ways she could commit suicide was intriguing and shed light on her character. Hearing about her past through her posting on the forums was revealing as to her motivations and feelings, but I still just wasn't able to connect with her.
Santana and Emily were the only characters I really liked in this story. Santana ad his rat were a lot of fun, but I really didn't understand their fascination with a girl who wouldn't speak. It was very contrived. Had she given him any bones, I would have appreciated their budding friendship, but I just don't understand his motivations. Emily, on the other hand, was a breath of fresh air and I think she could do more for Daelyn than Daelyn for her.
In a way, this reminded me of a version of Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, except that this book would only resonate with younger readers and Speak is timeless.
I won't talk about my frustration with the ending.
I recommend this for younger readers, but for me this just felt a bit too intentional.