A dark and provocative novel from the author of The Secret Year
Ryan spends most of his time alone at the local waterfall because it’s the only thing that makes him feel alive. He’s sixteen, post-suicidal, and trying to figure out what to do with himself after a stint in a mental hospital. Then Nicki barges into his world, brimming with life and energy, and asking questions about Ryan’s depression that no one else has ever been brave enough – or cared enough – to ask. Ryan isn’t sure why he trusts Nicki with his darkest secrets, but that trust turns out to be the catalyst that he desperately needs to start living again. Jennifer R. Hubbard has created a riveting story about a difficult but important subject.
About Jennifer Hubbard
Jennifer R. Hubbard (www.jenniferhubbard.com) is the author of The Secret Year. She lives and writes near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Evocative symbols, carefully drawn details and hints of romance enrich a spare, redemptive character study.
Home from a stay at Patterson Hospital following a suicide attempt, Ryan hikes to a powerful waterfall each morning to stand under the crushing spray. Nicki, the younger sister of a boy Ryan knows from school, sees him there one day in August and strikes up a conversation. For the first time, Ryan finds himself opening up to someone besides the two Patterson friends he now talks to by phone and online. As trust, familiarity and perhaps attraction build between the two, Ryan and Nicki reveal pieces of their personal histories, though each still harbors secrets. Defying both sensationalism and cliché, the narrative explores Ryan’s suicide attempt and its aftermath with what Ryan calls “Patterson Honesty: the truth, stripped down of all formalities, all politeness.” Although much is made of understanding the past—the shame and numbness that led to Ryan’s attempt, the unknowable reasons behind Nicki’s father’s completed suicide—the story is also about moving forward: Can intimacies built inside a place like Patterson survive outside? How can the parents of a teen who attempts suicide trust their child again? What can we ever truly know about ourselves and each other? – Kirkus Reviews
Not Just For Kids: ‘Try Not to Breathe’ by Jennifer R. Hubbard
The Chicago Tribune Book Review – January 15, 2012 (Excerpt)
Suicide is the third-leading cause of death for young people ages 10 to 24, claiming 4,400 lives annually, according to theU.S. Centers for Disease Control. That statistic alone is alarming, but at least 149,000 more young people attempt suicide and survive each year. It’s this second statistic that Jennifer R. Hubbard humanizes in her young-adult novel “Try Not to Breathe,” about a teenage boy struggling to find meaning after attempting to take his own life.
The book opens with Ryan standing under a waterfall that “pounded my mind blank … so I couldn’t think,” he writes in a story told from his perspective. Ryan, 16, knows the waterfall is dangerous. Someone had died there doing the same thing not too long ago, yet Ryan prefers the numbness that comes from risk-taking to the pain and self-doubt of personal interaction — most of all with girls. He’s been teased by crushes for staring at them and taken advantage of by others. [Read the full article...]
THE BLEEDING HILLS
A Novel by Wilfried F. Voss
I have fought a good fight,
I have finished my course,
I have kept the faith.
- 2 Timothy iv. 7
The Irish War is officially a part of history, but not for Finnean Whelan, an IRA veteran of almost 40 years. British Intelligence has produced evidence that he is the mastermind behind a conspiracy to assassinate the First Minister of Northern Ireland. For Whelan this is not only a mission of revenge, but marks the beginning of a journey into the past and the return to the one true love: Ireland. [More...]
The Bleeding Hills is available at Amazon.Com, Amazon.co.uk, Barnes & Nobel, and any other good bookstore.