When Reason Breaks

When Reason Breaks

by Cindy L. Rodriguez


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781619634121
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication date: 02/10/2015
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 233,901
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range: 13 - 17 Years

About the Author

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.


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When Reason Breaks 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Katie_breathofbooks More than 1 year ago
I sped through this book in two days, and I loved it. It was a quick read, and the characters really wrapped themselves around my heart by the end of the book. I cared about both Emily and Elizabeth and I wanted them both to be okay at the end of the story. POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD Emily is someone whose life may not look too bad from the outside, but that doesn't mean that it's actually as good as it may seem to others. She seems like she has good friends, is popular, has a sweet boyfriend, and a good family. What she is hiding from others is her fear of slipping up and making her father mad at her. As a politician, he is scared of her doing anything that might tarnish his reputation. She knows that anything she does could be scrutinized and in the public eye. Her relationship with Kevin is a bright spot in her life, though that's certainly not perfect either. I wasn't a particularly big fan of her friends, especially Abby. Abby did something that involved posting something online that made me not really like her. The other main character is this story was Elizabeth, a goth girl who often gave people attitude. She was different from Emily, in that people at school weren't as accepting of her, sometimes calling her "Elizagoth." She may have made some mistakes in her behavior, but that doesn't mean that she wasn't a good person on the inside. It was heartwarming to see how much she cared about her younger sister, and her mom too, though there were some more difficulties in that relationship. Her friendship with Tommy was sweet, and it was nice to read about it and wonder whether it would become a romantic relationship. Something this book did that I don't think I've seen very often is showing the impact that one teacher can have on her students. Ms. Diaz was that teacher for both Emily and Elizabeth. Both girls connected to Emily Dickinson's poetry, as well as to Ms. Diaz herself. She showed how much she cared about them, which made me think of the quote, "[Students] won't care how much you know, until they know how much you care." Ms. Diaz discovered that in this book, as well as discovering how much she truly did care about her students. If you like YA contemporary with emotional parts, read this book.
KerryOMalleyCerra More than 1 year ago
I had the pleasure of reading this ARC as part of the Fearless Fifteeners' tour. I'm incredibly impressed by the plot and pacing of this novel. While it's not a thriller, it's definitely a page-turner. It took a few chapters to really grasp the story (which is done intentionally, as the characters are so similar), but I found it heartbreaking and, yet, full of hope, too. There are many books out there the deal with suicide, but this one tackled the subject in an authentic and gripping story with characters you will relate to, fall in love with, cry for, and not soon forget. Have your tissues ready.
megankylene More than 1 year ago
When Reason Breaks is Cindy L. Rodriguez’s debut novel and I have to say that I really enjoyed this heartbreaking young adult novel.. Rodriguez’s sheds light on a dark topic and the delicacy by which she does is admirable. Weaving in bits of Emily Dickinson’s life and poetry while simultaneously telling the story of two troubled teen girls, Rodriguez delivers a good young adult debut. Emily “Elizabeth” Davis and Emily Delgado are both very different from each other. They have different friends and widely different home lives. But both are very emotionally trouble girls. The story begins with one girl attempting suicide and leaving behind a final letter to her teach that tried so hard to save her but was too late. Told in alternating third person point of view, you get to see each girl’s inner turmoil through their eyes. Emily is from a very prominent family in town. Her father is an attorney and city councilman. Her life is defined by the pressures that her family and her popular friends put on her. As the story moves forward you begin to see the toll it takes on her as she slips into a very deep depression.  Meanwhile, Elizabeth doesn’t have the same affluent upbringing that Emily does. Her mom and sister are all she has after her dad left them. Her mom is so focused on keeping the family afloat financially and doesn’t take the time to sit down and listen attend to Elizabeth’s needs. In English class, their teacher Ms. Diaz starts teaching a unit on Emily Dickinson, pairing the two girls up together on a project. It was hard for me to be fully invested in the book until the latter part of the book. This is very character-driven book, rather than a plot-based book, so I kept that in mind as I read. Nonetheless, even with that reminder, I still felt like the book dragged quite a bit. One thing I really liked was the author had very intricately worked in a lot of Emily Dickinson references and discussed a lot of her poetry in detail. Dickinson’s life and morose poetry was mirrored in this book through Emily and Elizabeth’s pain. I’ve never experienced the level of depression these girls went through, but the author really dealt with the subject matter in a respectful way, treating it with care and drawing awareness to it. “Compared to others, her life and her problems were pretty ordinary. So why did it all feel like she was in an epic battle? I really appreciated the small subtle changes in Emily and Elizabeth (Emily especially) as they both sank into despair. The changes in their character were small minute changes that eventually turned into something big and obvious. For example, Emily went from being very social to isolating herself from her two friends The great mystery in this book was which girl was the girl who attempted suicide. Obviously, I’m not going to mention it, but I had theories throughout the book.  Overall, I liked this book. I would recommend it to those who love “issue books” and enjoy very character-driven types of stories. 3 stars *I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Kimmiepoppins More than 1 year ago
I LOVED this book for so many reasons, but my three favorite are the seamless integration of diversity into the story, the candid look at depression through the eyes of teens and the English teacher Ms. Diaz.  The cry for #weneeddiversebooks is everywhere at the moment, but that doesn't mean just slapping down a diverse character onto the pages. Rodriguez adds diversity into her book with light and natural strokes. Instead of shifting focus, she's opened the door wider, creating an opportunity for MORE readers to relate and connect to her characters. It's beautiful to watch. Additionally, Rodriguez uses that same expert touch when shedding light on teenage depression. The truth is that depression, particularly in teenagers, is confusing, overwhelming and often frightening. Rodriguez allows us to watch how depression unfolds which is a gift for those who are dealing with it in their own lives. I anticipate there will be many readers who find hope and answers for themselves by reading  WHEN REASON BREAKS. Lastly, as a former teacher, I fell in love with Ms. Diaz. Although all of the characters in Rodriguez's book were rich and complicated, she was my favorite. Ms. Diaz is the teacher we all wanted and we all want to be. These are just a few of my reasons to read WHEN REASON BREAKS, please crack open this book, because I know you'll find a million more. 
SleepDreamWrite More than 1 year ago
Second book I read that had poems and Emily Dickinson part of the story. The first being the book, And We Stay. This sounded interesting. You have two girls. One of them tries to kill herself. As the story goes along, you wonder who it'll be and what led up to it. I kind figured it out, what with one of them mentions something and then it gets mentioned later again. The writing was good though.
BlkosinerBookBlog More than 1 year ago
    I wanted to read When Reason Breaks because mental illness and thoughts of suicide are an issue that is close to my heart. I deal with my own depression and thoughts as well as losing my dad. Books like this are so important to help people understand at least a little bit, and see the power that a kind word, or actually taking the time to care about and listen to someone can be such a big thing.      I could tell this is going to be an emotional one. Elizabeth is one of our main characters and we are seeing her through one of the toughest times in her life. Emily is our second and she is dealing with things on the inside and at the beginning to pulling herself away from the people she cares about stages of depression.      We know going in that their lives have changed in the last year. One if the girls is on the edge of death after taking pills and writing her notes. The book alternates in time showing us her decent into depression and what lead her to that hopeless day, and it shows another's battle to open up to others as well as both getting some healing and encouragement from unexpected places and centering around a teacher who is genuine, passionate and cares about her students.       We see her making choices nearly all teens do but since her dad is a lawyer and in politics her choices reflect on him. This is always hanging over Emily's head, and she is in the public eye and afraid to mess up and be on the news or disappointing her dad. She had friends from when she was younger and it was hard seeing her pull away from them, tell only half truths or hide huge portions of her life. Depression is so isolating, and I have been there where you withdraw into yourself and feel whether rightfully or not that no one else understands and just the sense of differences that seem insurmountable.      Elizabeth has also been going through a hard time herself. She is the more outspoken of the two, and the one that seems the most obvious choice for the opening scene. But then we see her expressing herself through art and trying to let others into her life.      Come to find out they share the same names but Elizabeth goes by middle name. At times it makes it hard to tell which which at times but this is intentional. We don't know which it is at the beginning who is in what could be the last moments of their lives. So they both have Diaz the teacher who cares and the suicide note is dropped off with.        There is so romance but I did like how it wasn't in the front seat, it was the emotions and character development that rightfully took the front stage. What romance was there was helping to show more about the girls and how things hanging over their head and their inner struggles with self image, esteem, pain, and depression.     The ending was well done in my opinion and I like that it was wrapped up but also gives room to imagine what the future could be like in this group of friends, in the girls who connected with their teacher as well as parts of themselves through the poetry of Emily Dickinson. Bottom Line: Emotional and layered story of girls who are fighting depression and trying to live to the fullest.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Outstanding first novel. Looking back at my years in high school, I can easily associate with Emily and Elizabeth's anxiety and depression. Kudos to the author.
SezjbSB More than 1 year ago
When Reason Breaks is a heartbreaking novel about two girls who are each harboring feelings of pain and depression, but the face they show to the outside world is markedly different. So much so for one girl who believes the only way to handle it is to end her life and put herself out of her misery, and this is how the book begins, we see a girl as she's lying close to death, will someone arrive in time or will it be too late? What's interesting about this book is the way it's set up with the story going back in time leading up to the opening scene, we also never get told at the start who this girl is, but we know it's one of two girls, Emily a very smart student, the daughter of the town's council chairman who has to be on her best behaviour for her Father's public image and Elizabeth a goth girl with a serious attitude problem. Throughout this story these two girls will connect, their lives will be changed and they may just get the help they need. This was an amazing story, emotional and at times uplifting, featuring a sensitive subject that will get you thinking. I really enjoyed Cindy's writing and I'll be sure to keep an eye out for whatever she releases next.