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The Place Between Breaths | May 16, 2018

By An Na (Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books)

Printz winning author An Na has crafted a thrilling, brave new novel, giving us insights into the mind of someone struggling with mental illness in THE PLACE BETWEEN BREATHS. Grace King’s mother left when she was five, but that hasn’t stopped Grace from becoming an intelligent and self-sufficient sixteen-year-old. When she secures an internship at a lab, the path ahead of her is clear, until she starts exhibiting symptoms of the same disease that drove her mother away, and Grace can no longer tell what is real. An Na expertly delves into the warped reality of mental illness with expertise, finesse, and care. You are left as confused as Grace at the end of certain chapters, trying to piece together the reality from her own mind.  The King family, each one caught up in their own obsessions, are beautifully written—Grace’s father in his search for answers about schizophrenia and the whereabouts of his wife, and Grace’s mother who is determined to protect her loved ones even at great personal cost. This is a short novel, but the haunting text stays with you long after the story has ended.

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