Friday 4 March 2016

"The Pause" by John Larkin

Book Blurb (from Goodreads):
Declan seems to have it all: a family that loves him, friends he’s known for years, a beautiful girlfriend he would go to the ends of the earth for.

But there’s something in Declan’s past that just won’t go away, that pokes and scratches at his thoughts when he’s at his most vulnerable. Declan feels as if nothing will take away that pain that he has buried deep inside for so long. So he makes the only decision he thinks he has left: the decision to end it all.

Or does he? As the train approaches and Declan teeters at the edge of the platform, two versions of his life are revealed. In one, Declan watches as his body is destroyed and the lives of those who loved him unravel. In the other, Declan pauses before he jumps. And this makes all the difference.

One moment. One pause. One whole new life.

From author of The Shadow Girl, winner of the Victorian Premier's Literary Awards 2012 Prize for Writing for Young Adults, comes a breathtaking new novel that will make you reconsider the road you’re travelling and the tracks you’re leaving behind.

My Review
I think that John Larking has done a good job for writing a book about a very serious topic.
This book is about a boy called Declan, who has a happy family, an amazing girlfriend, friends and everything he asked for. Yet he was willing to throw it all away after a mental breakdown. The Pause shows the reader what could have been if only he would have paused before the train came.
Like I said before, this is a very serious topic. Depression and suicide effect many people around the globe. I was honestly quite impressed at how well John Larking handled this topic and how he managed to write an enjoyable book about it as well as give a very clear message to the people reading the book. I really enjoyed reading this book, but I'm still unsure about what I really think about it.
I'm going to talk about the beginning first. Honestly, I was quite bored at the start. Nothing within the first 50 pages caught my attention. I put the book down several times until I decided to power through it. I'm glad I did that though, because after that it definitely became way more interesting. 
The concept of this book was unique, I haven't read something like this yet. As an example, the ending is left ambiguous because there seem to be two endings to this book and the reader is left wondering what actually happened. This veiled ending is something that I found really cool. The same goes to the content of the book. I liked that the story revolves around what could have been.
I thought that the characters were definitely very interesting. They all had different personalities and mind sets. I thought that John Larkin was fairly successful at portraying the mental states of the individual patients in the psychology ward. Declan's humour was actually really funny and was at times what kept the book going. Sarah on the other hand was a really sweet girl and I could really see her being together with Declan.
Overall I thought that the book was written in a matter of fact way, although it is still written our of Declan's perspective. However, I thought that the story and the writing wasn't very captivating and didn't really capture my attention. Despite that, I admire the message the author is sending through the book: "You will get through the dark times. There are many beautiful moments to live for."
I give this book 3 out of 5 stars.

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