Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Five Minutes More review

I've been so caught up with giveaways and picture books these past few days, I just haven't gotten around to writing the huge amount of reviews I have piling up in young adult and middle grade fiction. Back to the regular program now folks, it's YA this morning!

Five Minutes More, written by Darlene Ryan, is one of those heart breaking books that just make you sad all over and in desperate need of a big hug. It sounds like a book you would want to completely avoid, but sometimes sadness is necessary in life...it's a process we all go through and it yearns to be written about. Ryan took a character, D'Arcy, and made her go through a terrible amount of pain, but wrote about it in a healthy and informative way.

D'Arcy's father just died and though the authorities and her mom continually tell her that he committed suicide, D'Arcy just can't believe it. She can't grasp the idea of her precious father choosing to end his life, knowing he would never see her again, not even saying goodbye. She's tries to find an answer and when she does stumble upon some new information, a reason her father may have chose to die, she's still mad, hurt, broken. Even learning why is not enough.

When she meets Seth, she hopes life will start to get back to normal. Instead things get even more complicated, twisting down roads D'Arcy never imagined she would take and when something goes seriously wrong with Seth, she doesn't know how much more bad stuff she can take. Self destruction is an option for her, one she really considers...alcohol and pain don't mix well and D'Arcy is slowly disintegrating into someone she, and no one else, recognizes.

This is not a happy book. It's hard to get through, taking me almost a week, only reading for a bit each day, as the sadness is almost enveloping as you read. And the ending, I thought it a bit much. I think Seth's issues weren't necessarily a positive addition to the story, but rather just more sadness. That being said, I meant what I previously wrote about sadness being a serious and realistic aspect of life. Things aren't always neat and pretty, I know this first hand. And D'Arcy? Nothing is neat and pretty for D'Arcy. Her emotions come across as real and raw. She is one big open wound and for good reason.

The emotional aspect of this was perfect, however...I wasn't in love with the plot as I was with other "sad" books featuring death and heartache. I felt that the insertion of ALS was almost an afterthought, it didn't happen until well into the book and it wasn't totally expanded upon. Overall it was good and thought it pure in it's rawness (if that makes sense).

To learn more or to purchase, click on the book cover above to link to Amazon.

Five Minutes More
Darlene Ryan
212 pages
Young Adult
Orca Books
April 2009

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