SUMMARY (From borders):
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?
OPINION: 5 STARS
Gripping, astoudingly powerful and gut wrenching. Despite how many suicide related books are out there, this one easily stands out. Peters has weaved together several unique elements, shining a very bright on Daelyn even in a world where she wants nothing more than to fade away.
Daelyn, for all intensive purposes, is mute. She has not been this way all her life but rather forced into it as a result of an unsuccessful suicide attempt- showing very vividly how easily many things can go wrong when the end isn't reached. Instead of being dead, she now wears a neck brace and her only means of communication is to write things down. This element alone makes this book stand out for me because her mind is fully intact and her personality easily comes through- her pain, her sarcasm, and her honest desire to no longer exist. When her parents try talking with her, it is acceptable for Daelyn to remain silent.
The website she discovers is another very unique aspect of this book- a meeting place for those wanting suicide and giving both an outlet as well as time to think things through. A Date of Determination is chosen- the day you will commit suicide but there is a certain amount of days that must occur before the DOD can be reached. Logically, anyone wanting suicide bad enough wouldn't worry what a website says but Daelyn follows it- the book focuses on those days counting down to her DOD.
Daelyn's character will break your heart. As the book progresses, the bullying and torment she's endured unfolds, showing how she came to be the girl with a few unsuccessful suicide attempts under her belt but determined for the next one to go off without a hitch. She knows her parents love her and she knows they will hurt but she also holds hope they will understand that no matter how much she does love them back, she hates living even more. Peters has written the suicidal mindset astoundingly well, thrusting the reader into that level of pain and hopelessness that could drive a person to taking their own life. Never once did I think Daelyn was being overdramatic- she wasn't even seeking attention. Daelyn stressed the point she didn't want to be remembered after she died and was thinking of those she'd be leaving behind, namely her parents, as she debated her chosen method of suicide.
This plot progresses very smoothly, telling both Daelyn's past as well as what is happening in the present. When she meets a boy- one that actually seems to take interest in her rather than wanting to torment her- minor hitches are thrown in her plans but Daelyn doesn't instantly decide to live just because of a boy. Peters continued to show her struggle and develop her character until the very end which was absolutely stunning and thought provoking. This type of novel tends to make the reader think and feel but Peters kicked even that up a few notches, guaranteeing this one to stay in their minds for several days.
I highly recommend this one as it is a very vivid trip into the world of the suicide and depression that comes from bullying, written beautifully. With strong characters, loving and devoted parents, and many other unique elements, this book stands out.