The Opposite of Music

The Opposite of Music

by Janet Ruth Young
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The Opposite of Music by Janet Ruth Young

when i am well
i will take you

At first Billy's father just seemed distant, as if he had something on his mind. Then he stopped listening to music, saying it hurt his ears. After a while he stopped eating and sleeping. And after that he just stopped. Stopped being Billy's father and his friend and became someone else. Someone who was depressed and withdrawn and wouldn't respond to treatments.

Determined to help their father, Billy and his family devise a series of unconventional therapies for him. But the strain of looking after Dad begins to wear on them all. Billy stops writing songs and starts avoiding his friends. His sister wants to suicide-proof the house. And his mother worries about losing her job because she takes so much time off. Taking care of Dad is starting to sap the strength they need to keep him alive.

The Opposite of Music is a powerful and realistic debut novel about the lengths a family will go to in order to save one of their own, and the strength it takes to learn how to ask for help.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781416958239
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date: 05/20/2008
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 12 Years

About the Author

Janet Ruth Young is the author of the teen novels My Beautiful Failure, Things I Shouldn’t Think (previously published as The Babysitter Murders), and The Opposite of Music. She lives in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Visit her at

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Opposite of Music 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Tysheema Holmes More than 1 year ago
Great book, I really enjoyed it. Touching story great characters and interesting events.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Billy describes how his father just seemed less interested in life at first, but then things deteriorated to the point of severe depression including weight loss, lack of communication, insomnia, and thoughts of suicide. THE OPPOSITE OF MUSIC tells the story of a family dealing with depression.

Billy's mother finally decides that her husband needs to seek medical help. Dr. Fritz is nice, but his attempts to help are frustrating. The first medicine he prescribes makes Billy's dad break out in disgusting sores. The next medicine causes paranoia and frightening dreams.

After failed attempts to use medicine to treat the depression, Billy, his mother, and his sister become determined to treat the problem themselves. Each researches the therapy they think would be best, and then they work together to cure dad. Some of their treatment involves diet, exercise, light therapy, aromatherapy, etc. Everyone sacrifices their own life to devote time to dad.

When it is obvious that their theories are not working and thoughts of suicide surface, it is decided that a new psychiatrist must be consulted. The new doctor recommends electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). Research tells Billy the therapy could be effective, but he also reads horrific tales of brain damage and torture. Will this help, or is his father's recovery a hopeless dream?

Janet Ruth Young offers an extremely realistic portrayal of depression and its effects on a family. It is definitely a book to recommend to teens living a life like Billy's. They will know that they are not alone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago