Grace King is determined to avoid turning into her mother, who left when she was still a child. Since that day, Grace’s father has been doggedly researching a cure for the schizophrenia that his beloved wife suffered from. He has become distant and consumed by this goal, and he’s missing signs of the same disease manifesting in his daughter. But Grace is smart and independent, and her internship at her father’s lab helps her discover a potential breakthrough in schizophrenia research. However, the events leading up to her discovery are thrown into doubt by the unraveling of her own mind. Can Grace’s findings be trusted, and can she be trusted to know what is truly real?
Printz Award winner An Na’s brilliant new work is a slim yet power-packed read. She digs deep into the mind of a teen with schizophrenia, immersing readers in Grace’s scattered thoughts, hallucinations and delusions. The dizzying pace of the narration at times leaves the reader confused about what is truly happening around Grace and what is not. Through short chapters divided by seasons, readers witness the progression of Grace’s illness as her reality becomes more and more distorted.
An incredibly immersive story that is both excellent and unsettling, younger teens would benefit from reading The Place Between Breaths with an adult.