A Goth girl with an attitude problem, Elizabeth Davis must learn to control her anger before it destroys her. Emily Delgado appears to be a smart, sweet girl with a normal life, but as depression clutches at her, she struggles to feel normal. Both girls are in Ms. Diaz's English class, where they connect to the words of Emily Dickinson. Both are hovering on the edge of an emotional precipice. One of them will attempt suicide. And with Dickinson's poetry as their guide, both girls must conquer their personal demons to ever be happy.
In an emotionally taut novel that is equal parts literary and commercial, with a richly diverse cast of characters, readers will relish in the poetry of Emily Dickinson and be completely swept up in the turmoil of two girls fighting for their lives.
Cindy L. Rodriguez is a former newspaper reporter turned public school teacher. She now teaches as a reading specialist at a Connecticut middle school but previously worked for the Hartford Courant and the Boston Globe. She and her young daughter live in Plainville, Connecticut. This is her debut novel.
"Dickinson's poetry plays a large part and provides multiple discussion topics . . . Timely." - School Library Journal
“When Reason Breaks is infused with a rare blend of suspense and sensitivity, despair and hope. The poetic spirit of Emily Dickinson shines through the gloom of daily struggles faced by modern teens, as they discover the possibilities where they dwell.” —Margarita Engle, Newbery Honor-winning author of THE SURRENDER TREE
“A sharply drawn, emotionally resonant tale.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Rodriguez cleverly represents Emily Dickinson's dark side and her reclusive tendencies through the two distinct personalities of her teenage heroines . . . gripping.” —Publishers Weekly
“Dickinson fans will love the focus on her life and poetry.” —Booklist
“Rodriguez captures the many moods, dark and light, of Dickinson through the book's characters.” —BCCB
“Representation of diverse characters in books that are not overtly multicultural in nature is an additional positive in an already strong story. Give this to fans of teen problem novels, especially Jay Asher's 13 Reasons Why.” —VOYA