Published by HarperTeen on July 2, 2019
A crucial, genre-bending tale, equal parts Ned Vizzini and Patrick Ness, about the life-saving power of friendship.
Solomon and Ash both experienced a traumatic event when they were twelve.
Ash lost all memory of that event when she fell from Solomon’s treehouse. Since then, Solomon has retreated further and further into a world he seems to have created in his own mind. One that insulates him from reality, but crawls with foes and monsters . . . in both animal and human form.
As Solomon slips further into the place he calls Darkside, Ash realizes her only chance to free her best friend from his pain is to recall exactly what happened that day in his backyard and face the truth—together.
Fearless and profound, Sam J. Miller’s follow up to his award-winning debut novel, The Art of Starving, spins an intimate and impactful tale that will linger with readers.
As someone who has mental illnesses of her own, I have always been interested in seeing how authors handle dealing with trauma related to it. Sadly, having a mental illness still holds a stigma for many and especially hard to deal with with normal rites of passage like high school *shivers*.
That is why it is so important that the media address, young adult authors especially handle this touchy subject with care. It’s a big responsibility teaching the next generation and I think Sam did an excellent job. To date I do not think I have read previous authors handle the topic in such an inventive way.
It added a interesting layer to the story by casting the idea of mental illness in a more literal light. The fantasy aspect that was added to help describe how Solomon saw the world made it easier to understand and hopefully helps readers have more empathy for people that have illnesses where they see things like schizophrenia.
I think if you give this book a chance you will enjoy it just as much as I did! I look forward to reading future titles by Mr. Miller.