The Memory of Light (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

When I finish a book there's almost always a period of about or two or three hours where I don't want talk about it at all. I take the book into my room, put it on my bookshelf, and then hoard it there forever. I'll recommend it to other people, but the copy of the book that I read is mine and it becomes part of my bookshelf the way it became part of me, permanently. I get clingy and posessive about my books, and that's just the way it's always been.

But the exact opposite thing happened with The Memory of Light. As soon as I turned the last page I wanted to throw it at every preteen and teenager I know, and anyone else who suffers from mental illness or has ever dealt with depression or suicidal thoughts or self harm or the shame that is offten attached to those things.I actually turned the last page and handed my copy directly to the person who was physcially closest to me at the moment. The book is THAT important. 

This incredibly tender, candid, and eye-opening young adult book (recommended for ages 12-14) follows Vicky Cruz from the moment she wakes up in the hospital after a failed suicide attempt. The book follows her road to recovery, the friends she makes there, and the lessons she learns from them along the way. Mental health, especially concerning depression and suicide, is not a topic often explored in books aimed at young people and Francisco Stork (Marcelo in the Real World) handles it here with the necessary care and understanding of a man who has struggled with those things his whole life. Though the book is incredibly honest and at times raw, it is also full of uplifting and funny moments. It's a book I wish existed when I was twelve, one that I would have benefited from immensely at that age, and one that I benefit from even today. 

— From Jenna's Picks


When Vicky Cruz wakes up in the Lakeview Hospital Mental Disorders ward, she knows one thing: After her suicide attempt, she shouldn't be alive. But then she meets Mona, the live wire; Gabriel, the saint; E.M., always angry; and Dr. Desai, a quiet force. With stories and honesty, kindness and hard work, they push her to reconsider her life before Lakeview, and offer her an acceptance she's never had.But Vicky's newfound peace is as fragile as the roses that grow around the hospital. And when a crisis forces the group to split up, sending Vicky back to the life that drove her to suicide, she must try to find her own courage and strength. She may not have them. She doesn't know.Inspired in part by the author's own experience with depression, The Memory of Light is the rare young adult novel that focuses not on the events leading up to a suicide attempt, but the recovery from one -- about living when life doesn't seem worth it, and how we go on anyway.

About the Author

Francisco X. Stork is the author of Marcelo in the Real World, winner of the Schneider Family Book Award for Teens and the Once Upon a World Award; The Last Summer of the Death Warriors, which was named to the YALSA Best Fiction for Teens list and won the Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award; Irises; and The Memory of Light, which received four starred reviews. He lives near Boston with his wife. You can find him on the web at and @StorkFrancisco.

Praise For…

Praise for The Memory of Light:

*"Stork further marks himself as a major voice in teen literature by delivering one of his richest and most emotionally charged novels yet." -- Kirkus Reviews, starred review

*"Stork writes sensitively about Vicky's journey from near death to shaky recovery... A subject that needs the discussion Stork's potent novel can readily provide." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review

*"Accurate, heartbreaking, and hopeful... A beautiful read." -- School Library Journal, starred review

*"Undeniable emotional strength and an encouraging, compassionate message. Stork writes his characters with authenticity and respect... Highly rewarding." -- Booklist, starred review

Praise for Marcelo in the Real World:

"[A] brisk, brilliant, unsentimental novel." -- Robert Lipsyte, New York Times Book Review

* "Stork introduces ethical dilemmas, the possibility of love, and other 'real world' conflicts, all the while preserving the integrity of his characterizations and intensifying the novel's psychological and emotional stakes. Not to be missed." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review

* "It is the rare novel that reaffirms a belief in goodness; rarer still is one that does so this emphatically." -- The Horn Book Magazine, starred review

Praise for The Last Summer of the Death Warriors:

*"Stork's latest marks him as one of the most promising young adult authors of the new decade." -- The Horn Book, starred review

"Complicated yet ultimately endearing characters are a Francisco Stork standard. His latest novel doesn't disappoint." -- Chicago Sun-Times
Product Details
ISBN: 9780545474320
ISBN-10: 0545474329
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
Publication Date: January 26th, 2016
Pages: 336
Language: English