Review: When Reason Breaks by Cindy L. Rodriguez


A Goth girl with an attitude problem, Elizabeth Davis must learn to control her anger before it destroys her. Emily Delgado appears to be a smart, sweet girl with a normal life, but as depression clutches at her, she struggles to feel normal. Both girls are in Ms. Diaz’s English class, where they connect to the words of Emily Dickinson. Both are hovering on the edge of an emotional precipice. One of them will attempt suicide. And with Dickinson’s poetry as their guide, both girls must conquer their personal demons to ever be happy.

In an emotionally taut novel that is equal parts literary and commercial, with a richly diverse cast of characters, readers will relish in the poetry of Emily Dickinson and be completely swept up in the turmoil of two girls fighting for their lives.


I will start off by saying that I had to start this book over 3 times before I was invested and committed to the story. The Elizabeth and Emily name game was extremely confusing at first; however, once I was committed, I was taken on an emotional, life-changing suspenseful story.

This is the tale of Emily and Elizabeth, both girls just struggling to get through high school and figure out life. Both girls struggling internally with home life issues and both relating to Emily Dickinson. You find out that one of the girls is suicidal; however, you don’t know which one. You read letters and find out that life is hard and I think everyone can relate to the struggles of high school and how small problems seem like tremendous mountains at that age. You also see the tell tale signs of depression and as someone who has personally battled depression, Cindy L. Rodriguez hits the nail on the head in her description. I could relate to both Emily and Elizabeth on a new level.

In the end you learn that life is about making decisions and finding your own happiness because if you aren’t truly happy with yourself, you will never be happy with anyone else. Its about learning that you will lose friends and gain friends and that high school is both a journey and a destination. Bravo on this breakout novel where you learn the true price of being a people pleaser and living a lie. Can’t wait to see what Cindy L. Rodriguez comes out with next!




Barnes and Noble:

Comments are closed.